A Day in Santa Clara

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Today was ‘bonding day’ in Santa Clara. While Allen and Ron helped to move bricks from the brick factory to the house being built, Karen worked with several neighborhood children–coloring and just enjoying interactions. By noon, the bricklayers had completed the third course of brick above the top of the windows, and began the stepped brickwork on the two gable ends of the roof.

About mid-morning we walked down the long, steep hill to visit Rosendo and Reyna and their eight children including a 21-day old baby. We finished that three-hour visit with Karen and Allen sitting on the floor with five of the kids playing UNO. Neither of us won, but we celebrated with the winner.

The highlight of the afternoon was a meeting with students who will be able to attend school this year as a result of an anonymous donation to the foundation. The students range from 7th grade to 11th grade. One of the boys wants to become an engineer; one girl wants to be a journalist, maybe a TV newscaster. Another girl wants to study vocal music at the university, and a third who likes English was encouraged to consider becoming a UN translator. The oldest girl there, who had to drop out of school during the seventh grade because her family couldn’t afford to keep her in school, expressed a fervent desire to become a nurse. She will talk more with Karen as the week progresses. But mostly we tried to instill in them a desire to do their best in school to prepare themselves as potential future leaders of the country.Front row, left to right, are Ruth, Paola, Nuri, Dalila, Julissa, and Estuardo. Back row, L to R, Francisco, Byron, Marlon, and Brenda. Carlos was away picking coffee; Bryan was making baskets; Esther and Manuel were unavailable.

The evening session of a home group with one of the community families was led by Ron, with participation by the assembled group as well as comments from Karen and Allen. Introductory comments from Rick Warren’s book “A Purpose Driven Life” opened the discussion which evolved into emphasis on how our relationship with the Lord needs to be walked out in our relationships with our neighbors.

After the long day we wished the home group members a heartfelt “hasta mañana”