From April: Boy, it's been a busy couple of weeks! Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. We spent it with our cousin Bill, who has lived here in Costa Rica for 16 years. He brought the turkey and it was wonderful! His girlfriend and her son came as well. It was a great night.
We had a three day weekend which was also nice. We were able to get some Christmas shopping done down town. I spent most of the weekend preparing for the Christmas party in La Carpio. I think I mentioned it before, but La Carpio is a Nicaraguan slum. It is built in around a trash dump in a old mine for cement material. (I don't know what exactly you put in cement but....) Now there are about 50,000 people living there. Most houses are of corrogated metal. The city doesn't recognize property rights there, so people build but never actually own the land. So, as you can imagine there is a lot of poverty and crime, but also a lot of great people just trying to survive.
The idea was to do a movie night on Thursday as a Christmas party. We were going to show the Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe and then present the gospel. Some popcorn and drinks and we were all set, right? That's what I thought. Well, a couple of churches in the states donated about $450 for gifts, which was awesome. Well, the woman in charge of the party wanted to decorate gift bags for the kids. Then she wanted to buy different gifts based on gender and age. So.... Friday night we decorated bags. Saturday, we shopped all day. Sunday, we decorated bags. Monday, I played for a Christmas Party at the school. Tuesday, we spent 7 hours in La Carpio decorating the room and making up the gift bags.
Ok, so here I am trying to survive the week of school with a grammar exam and a difficult subject to understand. I didn't have a great attitude about all the time preparing for the party. I was exausted and frustrated and hadn't spent any time with my family. I am sure you know what I mean. I was on the verge of tears every moment. I didn't even want to go the party.
I had told the girl in charge that I wasn't going but I don't think she heard me. So, when the email went out about the part, I was in charge of a couple games, so I went.
We had planned for 150 kids which is double what we normally have. When we pulled up the the gym on Thursday, there were about 400 kids! Word had gotten out that there were presents! Every plan we had made had to be changed. The movie was out. We couldn't use the room we had decorated. The kids could hardly fit in the gym and they would not quiet down enough to sing carols or hear any gospel presentation. Five of us had to go dump out all of the bags we had decorated and then sort everything into different boxes. The kids lined up down the street and we gave out one item to each kid. It took an hour and a half just to pass out presents. But, God was good and we had enough!
I don't know what exactly the moral to this story is. It was quite an experience. I just find it comical that the 25 hours spent planning for the party were all for nothing! Serves me right for having a bad attitude! Nothing went according to plan. But, I'll tell you one thing- everyone in that neighborhood knows that there is a place where people love God and love them. So hopefully, God will use this event to open doors for the full-time missionaries there. But, I did come home to a bouquet of gerber daises from Jeff. He was such a support this week.
Well, that's enough about that. We can't wait to see you all. Only one more week. It's so hard to believe! Love to you all.