....there are just not enough words to describe this day for you all...for me, it began at 5am leaving Ola with Amanda to go braid the chica's hair for the parade...which enabled us to help get them ready, eat breakfast with them and go with to take them to school...let's just say we learned alot...learned so much about this culture, the children and their personal situations...(which are unbelievable, ask me later) and learned so much about the importance of ushering in the presence of Christ everywhere we go.
When the team arrived at Hannah's, they quickly began marching practice...which they were so incredible at, they only had to practice a couple times! They quickly got in to the dirt, literally, and continued moving dirt....Rob rigged quite a system of team a and team b which would alternate shoveling and wheel barrowing (is that a word? we'll go with it!) for 20 minutes at a time!
We ate a quick lunch and then we were off to the PARADE!!!
The parade was quite different this year, it was in front of the municipality building and was way more organized...streets were blocked off and the crowd was controlled...we watched for about a half an hour and then it was our turn!
let's just say, there are no words....this is Gateway's 3rd time marching and it was indescribable...the people were cheering LOUD for us and when we passed by the grand stand, the officials rose to their feet and were clapping for us. They had been announcing all morning every 10 minutes that there was a special group with ChildReach Ministries...so needless to say, in spite of our white skin, we were standing out big time...the cool part...our prayer going into it is that we would all point to Jesus and I truly believe we did just that...His presence was so real there...it was AWESOME!
Back to Hannah's for some more service opportunities and then let's just say...the majority of the team (the students and the Hannah's children) were super-stoked that pizza was for dinner! Nothing like Dominoes in Peru! :)))) (no more Pizza Hut for us!) Dinner was celebrated with all the staff and family at Hannah's...wonderful evening!
Then...the night was NOT over...the cafeteria in the back was transformed into a DAY SPA! Manis and Pedis were in full swing! Mani's and Pedi's for EVERYONE! Yes, Jim and Dave and Jose and Brandon all got pedis! (well, a couple of them just opted for the massage part...but we pampered every single last one of them and then true to mission trip form...the tables turned and the girls had to paint all of our nails...it was precious and priceless!
I think the night was a highlight for everyone for the week...scratch that...I KNOW it was a highlight...but the icing on the cake was when Karin, one of the ladies that works at Hannah's, said through translation after Adri and Aubree had given her a manicure and a pedicure..."I've never had someone do this for me before...I felt as though it was God' hands Himself touching my hands and feet tonight, I praise God that He sent you here to be His hands and feet..." there was not a dry eye after that...God spoke BIG...we saw the burning bush...all of us. Cause that is what we are here for...to be His hands and His feet...and to walk the road of submission...a life that says "yes, Lord". Sometimes it is just a simple task of getting a washbin and a water and washing someone's feet...providing relief. Doing something that might be out of our comfort zone but is a pure act of obedience to God...others are blessed, we are changed.
It's late, the team is hopefully all sleeping...and we are ready for another incredible day ahead of us...including a BIRTHDAY PARTY!!! for 2 of the children!
Thank you for all your prayers...we know that you are praying...we seriously can see the answers with our own eyes...Laci-God has definitely slowed the week down and pushed pause several times...everyone has commented on how long this week has felt..so thank you for that prayer!
love to all...