Thursday, August 15 (Josh Blessing)
Today was our second day volunteering at the Promesa school. My family and Jim & Lily Weaver started the day with a quick breakfast of eggs and bread and then walked down to the hotel (about 1 mile away) where the others are staying, which is also very close to the school. We first sat in on the devotional time for teachers and then we helped lead the devotional time for the high school classes. Jim and I led a devotional on Daniel 12, which was the next chapter in the series they were doing. It was very challenging to try and explain this particular passage because it deals with eschatology (end times theology) and prophecy. We focused on the fact that this is one of the earliest passages in all of scripture where heaven and hope for those who suffer and die are mentioned. We then sang some worship songs and got to see some Quechua-style dancing that the younger students had been working on.
After the devotional times, I sat in on 4 consecutive English classes for the high school students; the English teacher is new and she had me grade several of the assignments in each of the classes. I think English is one of the hardest languages to master because of all the tenses and rules that are not always followed consistently (in my opinion). There is definitely a big difference between the 9th and 10th grade classes and the upper classes in terms of their English competency, which is to be expected. I then went to check on Micah in his kindergarten class. The children in these classes have been very friendly to us and wanting to develop relationships. I only peeked my head in the classroom and several of Micah’s classmates yelled, “Josue!” (Spanish for Joshua) I sat in on some of Micah’s classes yesterday so they knew me. After that, I went to watch and see some of the students on break playing volleyball in the small courtyard area of the school. They really make good use of the space here. One (or perhaps more) of the high school grades had their physical education class next and they asked me if I’d like to join them to play volleyball. I of course said yes and then brought Jim and Hannah with me to play with Edie and Ramona tagging along to watch. We went to the big community center across the street, which has a huge gym and pool, and had a great time playing volleyball with the girls. In this culture, it seems that mostly boys play soccer and the girls play volleyball. These girls were very good and competitive!
We then left the school at 1pm and went to pastor Roberto and Valeria’s house for a lunch feast. Mike and Nancy Hostetler, EMM regional reps for South America, joined us too. We had cuy (guinea pig), pollo (chicken), stuffed peppers, regular and sweet potatoes, a kind of lime beans, and cauliflower/broccoli cake with coco mate. Afterwards, pastor Roberto brought some soda to drink, including Inca Cola, which tastes a lot like cream soda. Apparently, when coca cola tried to enter this market, they found it very difficult to compete with Inca cola…..so they just bought out the company. My family, Hannah, and Jim & Lily Weaver then walked back to our homes (maybe 2 miles) while the pastors met to discuss some local things. We had a relaxed afternoon after that, taking naps and getting some laundry done. There is basically no climate control in this place and is really not necessary since you experience both hot and cold throughout the day. And dryers are not used for laundry; we simply hang the laundry on the roof of the house (4th floor). But you must make sure the clothes are securely clipped to the line, otherwise the strong wind could blow them a block away! In the evening, some of us went back into town for ice cream and to finish shopping and others stayed back to rest. This has been a fantastic trip; thank you for praying.
Thursday, August 15 (Jim and Lily Weaver)
Last evening (Wednesday) was another late evening and impacted the kids as all three fell asleep in the taxi ride back to the apartment. Even with an accelerated bedtime, we were dragging this morning. Breakfast was very good (eggs, bread, and oatmeal), but we needed to eat quickly and walk briskly to the school.
Chapel was pretty much awesome! It was lengthy.
1. Promesa’s principal led the worship / devotional time for the faculty.
2. Then, grades 7 to 11 joined which is somewhere around 100 students. Their student worship band kept a good rhythm in leading (presumably) a worship song. (Unsure what the Spanish lyrics translated to). I was particularly impressed with their drummer.
3. Next, it was the students turn to struggle with the language difference. Josh and I taught Daniel 12. Prior chapels had taught the earlier 11 chapters of Daniel, so we were asked to finish the book. We taught in English without a translator. I suspect most students were unable to follow our lesson. We spoke slow and aimed for a limited vocabulary, but it was quite hard for them. Our lesson focused on how the promise of everlasting life encourages us during troubled times. This chapter is perhaps the clearest evidence of heaven in the Old Testament.
4. Student dancers performed a folk dance that appeared to be the developing relationship between male birds (perhaps a condor) and female birds. Dancers dressed in colorful Peruvian clothes.
5. Memorized story told by one of the students. His impassioned story told of a conversation between a father and a son. The father sacrificed much so that the son could become an educated professional. His expectations were for his son to become a doctor, nurse, engineer, or architect. However, the son saw that being a teacher afforded the greatest benefit to others. The student’s story covered the back and forth dialog. It was impressive. I thought I saw one teacher tearing up.
Thursday, August 15 (Lily Weaver)
After chapel, Joelyn, Shelby, and I joined Promesa’s 2nd grade class. We did geography. Countries of Colombia, Peru, Chile, Bolivia. Regions of Chinchaysuyo, Antisuyo, Cortisuyo, and Collasuyo. Then, we did English class. We practiced emotions such as “I like”, “I love”, “I don’t like”, and “I hate”. We practiced fruits like guava, grapes, mangoes, and limes. After English ended, we, three, went to meet up with the church group. Hannah left her charger in computer class and went in to get it and saw our 2nd grade class. In computer class, the students learned mouse and keyboard control by playing computer games.
All of us went to Pastor Roberto and Valerio’s house. We went for lunch. They made guinea pig which was not bad and not good tasting for me. They also made cauliflower and broccoli shaped like pancakes. They also made a casserole that my dad liked, but he said it was spicy. Potatoes were made like this: they built an oven (out of bricks); put potatoes inside the oven; covered it all with dirt; started the fire; collapsed the brick / dirt oven; potatoes baked over three hours; then, taken out and served to us. We had to peel off the skin because of how the potatoes were cooked. Also, Roberto had two happy dogs and a cat.
We walked home (1.5 miles). After we got home, we took showers, did laundry. Others went out to shop, while we stayed back at the apartment.
I was nervous the 1st time I went to class in Promesa. I found friends named Kelly, Abigail, and Marcos. I’m glad that I visited their class even though I cannot understand their words.