With our first week on our own here drawing to a close and our first busy weekend of ministry behind us there’s no question that the Lord is with us!
The big church van rumbled up the driveway shortly after one o’clock on Saturday afternoon and ten energetic children piled out. The eleventh arrived a few minutes later with her mom who is a leader. Mr. Richard started them off with a game of ball tag. Next we sang some actions songs before dividing into younger and older groups for their Bible lesson. I had the older group and Amor, the younger. They’ve been using children’s Bible quizzing material to study 1 Samuel and boy, do these kids know their scripture! This week was a review of their lesson entitled A Good King Goes Bad from 1 Samuel 15. Can you name the king of the Amalekites? They can. Do you know why God rejected Saul as king? They do.
Following the lesson came their favourite part of the afternoon; the snack! There’s no question that some of these kids are hungry. We suspect that the food we provide is one of the main reasons that some of them come. During the school year, they eat breakfast and lunch at school but that’s not available to them over the summer. They quickly devoured the ham and cheese sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies and topped them off with pink lemonade.
Yesterday, we had 24 children, teens and adults for Sunday School. Richard taught the adult class, I taught the teens and local women, Malou and Amor taught the children. Again, Richard picked up many of the kids with the van which is a very vital part of the ministry here. Without it, most of the kids wouldn’t get here as it’s too far for them to walk and very few of them attend with their parents. We’re hoping that we might get some of the parents out for a family fun afternoon later in the month and for the Vacation Bible School wind-up next month.
There were 25 of us for yesterday’s church service. The open porch across the front of the house serves as our sanctuary as well as a Sunday School room (above). Though the house has a formal dining room, we also eat our meals out on the porch so it definitely serves many purposes.
What would worship be without music? Neither of us plays an instrument but our many years in the classroom taught us the art of being flexible and making do, skills that we’re quickly learning transfer well to the mission field! We sang along with hymns and choruses on CDs which worked just fine. We also watched a short video clip about what the church has been doing in Haiti since the devastating earthquake hit there early last year and Richard preached a message from 1 John entitled “Believe”.
Afterward, when Richard had delivered the children to their respective homes and everyone else had left, it was time for us to kick back and indulge in a little R&R. I hadn’t been off the property for a couple of days and though it’s spacious, I was beginning to feel a little claustrophobic so we decided to walk part of the beach path that skirts along the lagoon on the west side of the island. Other than my two walks up and down the steep driveway with the dog each day, we haven’t been doing a lot of walking since we’ve been here and it felt very good to stretch our legs. We figure we must have walked at least 4 miles.