Outreach has started! We are officially in our practical phase of DTS, applying what we’ve learned and reaching out in the communities. And boy, a lot is happening.
We’ve been in outreach since the 27th, and seeing as how it’s been a lot of days since I’ve written, this is probably going to be a long post. Consider that your warning. I’ll try to go in chronological order (more or less), to be less confusing..
I really do appreciate that you read these. Prayer support is so important, and I’m incredibly grateful for each and every one of the people back home and around the world that read this and are in prayer. Or are even just interested. I hope these widen your perspective a bit as to what is going on around the world. It’s so easy to get stuck in our own little bubble.
Ok, so with that being said, let’s begin!
December 27, 2011-January 1, 2012:
First official outreach week! Basically this week consisted of a lot of heavy work duties in the mornings (weeds, moving piles of dirt, breaking concrete beds, and hauling rubble), and then ministry in the evenings.
On the 28th we presented our choreography for the first time – and on the most central stage in Cancun! It was at Parque de las Palapas, a place where tons of different kinds of people hang out: everything from rude clowns to hippies to reggae to guys messing with spirits… Lots of prayer that night. And a lot of talking to people..
On the 30th we did a program in the local area. The original plan was to go present in the streets, but it rained so nobody ended up coming out. Buuuuuttt we ended up setting up a time to go to a local church instead. God definitely turned that out for the good. We had so much fun playing with all the kids too.
Something that we’re really focusing on is the children. We always pray over the kids and really interact with them. You never know what their story truly is.. Some have so many hardships in their background, it just breaks my heart..
January 2-5, 2012:
This week we spent with a team from St. Louis, Missouri. They aren’t a DTS team, but rather on a week long & annual mission trip with their church – with the purpose of reaching people here, giving glasses to those in need, and helping build a church.
First of all, it was weird at first to have more Americans on base. I’m not used to talking to people who don’t understand any Spanish at all! Some words just make more sense in Spanish than in English, so I tend to mix my languages a bit. But these people didn’t understand. It was like culture adjustments all over again! Definitely had fun with this group though.
On Monday we went to a small Mayan village called Francisco May. There we set up four stations – registration, eye exams, glasses fitting, and prayer. Some of my team also spent a lot of time playing with the kids: soccer and nail polish and the like. I was stationed on registration and had to take people’s information and direct them. Completely in Spanish, and sometimes with a translator from Mayan to Spanish, as some of these people don’t speak Spanish. I really enjoyed doing that. I got to interact with everyone that came through, people watch, and pray as God put different things on my heart. There were some old Mayan women that were absolutely adorable.
They wore their traditional white dresses with the embroidered flowers, and ranged from 60-74 years of age. But there were also many young mothers; one of which was 18 and had a 3year old daughter and a daughter that was 1year and 4months old.
After the glasses clinic was over, we (the YWAMers and youth of the visiting team) presented our program of dramas and such. The nice thing about dramas is you don’t necessarily have to know the same language to get a point across. Many of these people wouldn’t have understood Spanish had we been speaking, but they could still understand the message. Praise the Lord, He is good.
Tuesday we worked on base more to prep it for incoming teams. And then Steph and I were requested to accompany the ladies of the Missouri team to a church as interpreters. I think that was the first time I’ve ever been introduced as an interpreter. Can’t say I mind….
Steph and I were later talking about how languages were originally a curse. At the tower of Babel, languages were mixed up so people couldn’t talk. So in a way, being a translator/interpreter is a gift: to be able to redeem the curse and build a bridge between people. I think that’s a pretty cool way to think about it!!
Wednesday we went to another area for the glasses ministry and then another program. I won’t give you a blow by blow, but rather will just hit the highlights.
This time, I was translating the entire time. I love translating! I had the opportunity to work in all of the other three stations that I didn’t work in on Monday.
I started in prayer, half translating and half praying on my own. We would ask people how we could pray for them, and then pray in pairs. It was really cool to be a part of that and especially to be able to bridge the gap between two languages. The people were so blessed!!
Then I went to the exam station to translate, and finally to the fitting station – where people were given their glasses. I can’t really even put into words the looks on some of their faces when they received glasses and were able to see, some for the first time. There was an old gentleman who was completely blind in one eye and had severely impaired vision in the other. But with the glasses, he could read out of his right eye! You should have seen the look on his face….
Thursday we went to a place called DIF. It’s where a lot of children go who have been abused in various ways or were abandoned. They all have their stories, some of them horrendous. Two sisters, for example, have American parents that are very wealthy. But their parents simply didn’t want them, and abandoned them. Two little girls. Younger than the age of ten.
Before walking into the DIF, I felt sick. Dizzy, headache, and just weak. It was a spiritual attack. The enemy did not want me to go in there with joy; did not want me to be able to reach out to those kids.
But we did. We did our dance and a drama, and then I was in the group with the older kids. We taught them the first few 8-counts of our dance, and they loved it. Saying goodbye was a flurry of hugs (some repetitive from the kids that didn’t want you to leave) and many wishes for us to return.
Just a few hours in that place, and we brought joy. We brought the joy that God has put into our hearts into lives that the enemy has tried to destroy.
-the children that we’re encountering, that seeds would be planted
-finances so our whole team can go to Cuba…..
-help with the language
-unity with two other teams that are here in Cancun-one from YWAM and then the team from Missouri as well.
Not sure what the rest of today will hold, but I know we’re going to have a worship night with all the groups! So excited.
I’m off to drama practice. Praying for you all and love you very much!