Today was our third day of VBS in Mo Bay and things are going GREAT! We had 15 of our group leave last weekend, so our number is quite a bit smaller, but there are also fewer children here each day than we had last week so it works out perfectly. I had the opportunity to teach the women's class for the past two days and I am so encouraged by their determination to serve God and raise faithful children in the midst of so many obstacles. We studied lessons from women in the Bible like Sarah, Lydia, the woman caught in adultery, the widow who shared her oil and flour, Tamar, Mary & Martha, and Bathsheba. There are so many important lessons from these women; a few that we covered were not letting the events of your past hold you back from accomplishing great things in the future, the consequences of sin outweigh the fulfillment of sin, being a faithful example even when your family may not be, trusting that great things will happen when we put our trust in God, etc. I learned so much by teaching - which seems to often be the case here!
My apologies for those of you who have been checking this site and wondering what happened to the updates. I started feeling ill late last week, and the pains got severe enough that Sunday morning I was taken to the local hospital here. After 8 hours of waiting (I'll spare the details, but I'm sure you can imagine what the facilities and medical care are like down here), I finally saw a doctor, who (after much pleading) agreed to do an ultrasound. The baby seems to be doing fine and the heartbeat was strong. I'm taking the medicine they prescribed, and dealing with the pains until I can get back home. I can deal with just about any level of discomfort as long as I know the tiny life inside of me is okay! The wonderful news is that while I was spending my Sunday in the hospital, our group traveled back to Savanna la Mar for evening services and baptized two young women!
Back in 2002 I met a woman named Carmaleta who had a small daughter. She has been a wonderful friend to me through the years, and now she has two girls - 11 and 7 years old. They spent the night with us on Monday night and came back after VBS yesterday to go down to the water with me. The girls has never seen an air mattress before and it took over an hour to temper their excitement just to get them to sleep! These girls live in Jamaica, yet only swim once a year when we are here because the taxi fare is too great to spend on a recreational trip like that. We have very little time for 'fun activities', but watching the girls splash around, laugh, and play in the sand was the sweetest sight, and I'm thankful that I was able to help make some great memories for them.
Yesterday we were inquiring about a young 16 year old Christian girl who is here every year but that we hadn't seen yet. We were heartbroken to find out that she had been raped 7 months ago and was too ashamed to come. Sadly, it seems like we hear of atleast one case like this each year. David was able to make contact with her and she has spent the day with us today. I pray that we have been able to lift her spirits a little and offer her some hope - please keep this young girl in your prayers.
Chris Jones (from Texas who has been here several times) flew down Saturday and has added updates to the blog he kept last year. He has also added some photos from the past couple of days and I encourage you to visit his site:
Thank you for taking the time to stop by and stay involved with our work! It's hard to believe that we're down to our last two days here - we prepare all year long and the days seem to fly by much too quickly! Please continue to send notes and remember us in your prayers.
Love & blessings!