Pictures and stories are just not the same! I wish you could stand on Grace Mountain and listen to the children talking, laughing, and singing. I wish you could see them running, playing, and stuffing their faces. They are loving the bit of “normalcy” and being able to just be children.
This Thanksgiving was a bit different but we chose to focus on the little things. We made arrangements to cook a traditional Thanksgiving meal with the children, teachers, and workers. Of course these plans were made when we thought my mom would be here to help. However, life doesn’t go as planned. So we cooked 160 pounds of turkey, 32 boxes of Mac and cheese, 200 servings of mashed potatoes, green beans, and cake for the children. We had very little turkey leftover. The food was so rich that some of the children had to take their dessert home with them. While others asked for a second serving! Abner (there’s only one Abner) cleaned his plate and managed to get seconds of everything in a to-go box!
The workers and teachers enjoyed turkey, ham, sweet potato casserole, corn, green beans, homemade mashed potatoes, broccoli casserole, croissants, pumpkin cake, fudge, pecan pie, etc. It was very nice to have Thanksgiving lunch with about 35 of our favorite people. After lunch, the teachers enjoyed a 4×4 adventure on the mountain of Finca Xejuyu. Jorge is a great tour guide. We knew the “break” was needed because it is the calm before the storm.
The rest of the week has been spent practicing Christmas songs for the performance, wrapping 1000 toys, organizing food baskets, preparing for Christmas dinners, interviewing prospective students, home visits, preparing for 6th grade and kindergarten graduation, and rearranging classrooms for safety measures in 2021. Not to mention working on a soccer field, continuing to beautify the campus, completing tile work, replacing all light fixtures and fans at the mission house, and finishing plumbing at the mission house. We really haven’t been very busy this week!
There is a buzz in the air as the children have seen the room overflowing with gifts. These are not cheap toys. Thanks to some bargain hunters they are very nice toys. There are going to be some very happy children! My daughters have begged me for some of the toys and I have simply replied “No!” (Seriously, who needs a walking toy cat and more slime).
Due to the cancellation of teams, many of you have not had the pleasure of driving down the bumpy El Tejar road. I am not talking about a few holes. Full size lakes! Thankfully a few of our teachers have been very pro-active in meeting with the government officials to repair the road. Repair = Fill in the lake size holes. They are suppose to begin working on the road on Monday. Please pray this is true and it happens fast!
Over the past several weeks, God continues to show me glimpses of stories of His grace. Stories that are a reflection of His work in the lives of our workers. Stories that are not publicized, but are always behind the scenes. I am going to share some of these stories with you within the next week. (I have to write this in order for me to actually do it).