Sunday afternoon at Herona

Several years ago the owners of a retreat center about 30 minutes from Iglesia Adonai asked them if they would do a children's church for the kids living around the retreat center.  Each Sunday afternoon youth and young adults from the church travel to this area, called Herona and share Jesus and lots of love with these kids.  In the dry season up to 200 children will attend and the Pastor has started conducting classes for the adults living in the area.  There is a lot of poverty and need, and no church in the area to minister.  We're thankful to be able to join these leaders of Iglesia Adonai as they minister to the least of these.  The following post was written by Abby, a member of our team from Wilson Community Church.

Youth from Iglesia Adonai leading worship at Herona
Today was a day that I cant even put words to describe the impact it had on me. We arrived at this beautiful resort complete with orange, lime and banana trees. Tropical flowers were everywhere the nice green grass was not. Absolutely gorgeous.

About 65 children arrived running with excitement into the building (it was raining, heavily). White chairs lined up rows for the children to sit in, with these beautiful youth from Iglesia Adonai in the front with microphones leading worship. High tempo and fantastic dance moves to each word. It was nothing like I had ever seen.

There was one particular boy that grabbed my attention. He was being carried in by one of the youth young men. I snatched him up because he was upset and crying. There was no mistake that this little boy was literally crusted in dirt from head to toe. Dirt under his
fingernails, dirt filled up every crevice under his chin and he and all the children smelled of smoke. Bathing was scarce and probably not in his near future. I took him to the back and cleaned him up a bit with some baby wipes (praise God for those). He was a gorgeous little boy with or without the dirt. Once cleaned up we took him back to his older sister (who was about 10 years old and taking care of him and 2 other siblings). He calmed down and wound up falling asleep sitting straight up in his chair. Nixa picked him up and swaddled him while he slept.

The children had a blast playing games and singing songs for 2 hours. Now it was snack time. Each child received a cup of soda and a tamale. Most children ate it right up. Then there were others that took a few bites and wrapped theirs back up into their napkin. We found out that they were taking this tamale home to share it with other siblings and family members. One tamale. Just one they were going to share with family members. One tamale. Its amazing to me to see that these starving children are so selfless. Absolutely amazing.

So after seeing these children filled with dirt and hearts full of love, we took the bus to go see where these children lived. Picture the forts we made as kids with chairs and bed sheets. Replace the sheets with scrap metal, and that is what their homes looked like. Several families could be sharing the same 12x12 home. A wood burning fire to cook on (which explains the smoke smell on the children). Think poor, and then realize you can't fathom how poor this is, and these kids are STILL happy. Truly amazing.

God is everywhere. Whether you are in a multi-million dollar home in America or in a "fort" in Guatemala. God can and does put smiles on your face if you are willing to accept his gift. Our God is an awesome God. He creates miracles every day and will continue to do that.
Lord, please bless these children. Inspire them to live out their dreams in your name Lord. Praise you for all of these special children. And thank you for this life changing moment in my life, Lord. Praise YOU in all of your works. Amen.

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