Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. James 5:7-8
The rains have come and the grass is green, growing, and needing to be mowed constantly. The accompanying insects and flies annoy us all, but we put up with them, since we can’t have one without the other.
Myra’s friends, Daisy Oviedo and her daughter, Evelyn, came for a visit from Honduras toward the end of April. Evelyn holds the record around here for how fast she learned an amazing quantity of sign language, and Daisy sewed numerous dresses and aprons for Myra. It was fun having them here! Eliazar’s sister, Olivia, was also here to visit for a week.
On April 26th, Teresa turned 17, and we all had a grand party during recess – water balloon fight, cake, and a piñata in the shape of a dog, suspended from a branch of the enormous mango tree by the classrooms.
One weekend shortly afterward, Becky’s sister, Mary, was here from Mexico for a visit, and Paty Vasquez and her sister Nancy came for a couple days. Paty was a teacher here last year and the year before, so we were all happy to see her again. Nata wanted to have a meeting with the teachers, so Mary and Paty corralled the students for a devotional in the Chapel and afterward we all played a couple games – something similar to Dodge Ball, and then a relay race, holding spoons in our mouths to carry lemons across the yard and back. The hardest part was transferring the lemon to your partner’s spoon without dropping it, especially since you weren’t allowed to use your hands!
We held our first spelling competition on May 12th. Seven-year-old Antony didn’t come, and the other boys in his class, Jairo and Miguel, didn’t do well enough to receive prizes, but all the other students did. The scores for Myra’s class of four girls were all very close, even Maria, who only started coming to school last year! Each class takes a written test of the words they’ve learned, and then they take turns either finger-spelling words or trying to recognize words when their teacher spells them out. The students and teachers all get plenty nervous, but giving and receiving prizes is fun!
Bethany started giving cooking classes several weeks ago. Every other Monday, 18-yr-old Maria, 16-yr-old Teresa, and 13-yr-old Paola take turns (they’ve each had one turn now) staying over and learning how to make cookies. Paola has hardly had any experience in the kitchen but is a fast learner, and Maria is even faster, since she does have some cooking experience. Both of them have a very healthy fear of the oven, explaining that they only have a stovetop in their house. They are both excited to be learning to bake, and Bethany helps them practice reading (the recipe) and arithmetic. The girls have taken some cookies home each time so their families can see and taste what they’ve made. It’s a joy watching them learn and improve throughout the rest of the year.
Paola says she also wants to learn how to sew. Bethany had been helping Beatriz sew a dress of her own, and although she usually didn’t get very far in one sitting, she is definitely improving. When it was Teresa’s turn to come and make cookies, we ended up being out of flour, so she cut out and sewed a dress instead, finishing all but the zipper. With Teresa busy sewing, Beatriz was inspired to sew more as well, and now her dress is also close to finished.
Several people have been sick the last few weeks. Becky, the director’s wife, says that during the rainy season when there are lots of flies, people get sick easier.
One Saturday, the staff went with a few other folks from church to pass out Christian literature at the market in Aguilares, the closest town. That was a good experience, and afterward, during lunch, we staff discussed people’s responses. On the whole, people were much more friendly and receptive here than on other occasions when I’ve passed out tracts in the States.
This past week Juan Carlos Trejo, a former CICS staff member, flew in from the States with his wife and son for his father’s funeral, and some people from here went to the funeral to see them. They were also at church on Sunday, and he preached the message, sharing some of his story and encouraging us to be prepared for whatever God brings our way.
Two weeks ago, Becky’s father, Saul, and his workers came with a yoke of oxen to plow furrows and plant corn in the newly-disked field beside us. Spurred on by all the recent rains, the green shoots are pushing high, stretching away down the length of the field in somewhat uneven rows.
What an amazing God we serve – the Author of all life!