The past few days have been incredible. Each morning we wake up to roosters crowing and many dogs barking. Then we meet for a delicious breakfast and devotionals led by our team members to start our day off well. Next, we jump on the bus and make our way to the learning center of the day where we are graciously greeted by the staff.
Typically, at the learning centers (which are housed in churches), we start by helping with various tasks around the facilities which would usually get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. We have completed a variety of activities including: preparing meals, scrubbing toilets, cleaning quinoa, mopping floors, wiping tables, and much more. In addition, our team has completed three beautiful murals at two locations.
Around noon, we take a brief break for yet another delicious meal created for us. After this, kids start arriving at the learning centers. We typically begin our time with them by trying to engage with them through broken Spanish and laughs. Once everyone has arrived, we start our VBS-type program. We usually begin with a few songs and then move on to our skit about the Easter story. After this, we split up and do games and crafts. Usually the younger children do the craft and the older children play games. This time is typically crazy and incredibly fun! I think we enjoy it almost as much as the children!
After our time at the center is over, our group splits into two and we visit homes of some of the children at the learning centers. The families are incredibly gracious, always making us feel welcomed and appreciated. As we view it as a privilege to be welcomed into their homes, they view our visit an honor to have us in their homes. While they may not have many material possessions, they have a wealth of hospitality and deep love. We are able to learn more about their lives during this time by getting tours of their homes and asking them questions. We end the time by praying for the needs of the family and thanking them for being such wonderful hosts.
Usually we have a bit of free time to relax before yet another incredibly yummy meal. The time following dinner has varied from night to night. We have played soccer, visited look-out points in Ayacucho, gone to the market, and experienced some of the Holy Week festivities in the main square. Finally, we end the night by reflecting on our experiences each day as a team and then going to bed.
One of the best group experiences so far on this trip happened yesterday at one of the learning centers. After lunch, we went to the roof of the building to take a team picture. We were able to see much of the city from this place. After our picture, we took time to pray for the people of Ayacucho all at once and then our translator ended in prayer. God’s presence was so evident and beautiful. God has been here, God is here, and God will be here in the future. We are grateful that God has allowed us to be a small part of His intricate plan for Ayacucho, Peru.
Thank you so much for your continued prayers for our time here. Please specifically pray for the youth camp that will be beginning soon and that we will be a helpful support to the locals who are working hard to provide this for the youth in the community. God is showing His power and blessing us in mighty ways! Each day we are amazed of the ways He is revealing His great love for His people.
We love you all lots! -Katie and Team