The system is up and running! Praise God! The first water produced was shared with the community and we had a lovely dedication service complete with a downpour that significantly shortened the sermon but left enough time for our team to sing “Alaberé;” up front with video running. Unfortunately, I am pretty sure that we have gone viral on facebook in Jeréz based on all the giggling going on. The courtyard was full of people for the outdoor service, but they just gather up all the electronics and head into the church, reassemble and continue on.
Now! I apologize for not keeping up with the updates; but between the heat, the motion sickness, and the busy days with 200 children, I have just been too tired to post anything. And, honestly somewhat overwhelmed (in a good way). The people are so warm and welcoming and the children are so curious and full of energy. I think I have had more hugs in the past few days than during a year at home. They are really good kids too (for the most part). We never had to lock the van or worry about the kids getting into our backpacks left lying around, or the teaching supplies laid out each day. The crayons and markers were definitely a hit and quite a draw, but the children would just stand and look and look, never touching. I was completely impressed by the respect they demonstrated. It was pretty hard to hold their attention during the education, but as soon as Ann played a few notes on the keyboard, they all snapped back to attention. We might have been the first foreigners the children had experienced because the really wanted to hear us speak and even a simple “gracias” from one of our mouths caused lots of giggles. By the 2nd day, they were trying to learn a little English and teach us a little Spanish. I was afraid that 2 rowdy little boys had gotten me to say a naughty word based on their laughter and running away as soon as they got me to say “sapo.” Turns out that is just “frog” and I am still perplexed as to why that caused so much mirth. The women were busy most of the day preparing food for their families and snacks for us. Their hospitality and concern for us was really overwhelming coming from a community with so little. They were so willing to share completely with us and seemed so happy to have us here.
So, again, I am so sorry to have fallen behind and will summarize each day with some additional posts for each day.
Sunday, we had the privilege to worship at Belèn Presbyterian church. The prescence of the Holy Spirit was strong and the voices of the congregation loud and clear with worship and praise. It is powerful to sing our old familiar hymns together in unison even though the language is different and WOW, does this congregation sing out. Mucho gusto. It sounds wonderful! The women of Jerez served lunch after the service and we all got started with the work at hand, right away. By the end of the day, the installation team had completed the parts inventory and mounted the board, right on schedule. Only one small part was lost somehow, maybe during TSA inspection. The education team met with the teachers and reviewed the general plans for the week. An unsuccessful stop at the hardware store, a visit to the supermarket, and dinner a couple of blocks from our hotel finished off a very long day. Our first day on site was very good, but it is SO HOT and HUMID.
Next post will cover the project days and pictures of the children.