Seeing how everyone is busy playing games or sleeping and we REALLY need an early night - I am going to go first.
Today we jumped straight into the deep end of ministry. After only 4-5 hours of sleep, we were all bright eye-ed and bushy tailed for 7:00 am breakfast and a full day of activities. The Jungle is one of my favorite places to be. It'fs a HUGE space painted like a jungle complete with a swinging bridge, a fireman's pole, climbing wall and because it was once a church - it comes with a baptistry cleverly transformed into a giant ball pit.
Kids started showing up as soon as we got there so it was all hands on deck. On facepainting duty was Ellie, Rachel, and Morgan. All the guys tryed their hand at balloon artistry while everyone else played soccer, basketball or a combination of both. Crazy time. As I wandered through the stations I realized that as frustrating as the language issues were, relationships were still able to be formed through simple play. We told our story of David Chosen to be King and other YWAM DTS students presented skits and music.
I think the thing that struck me is how normal these children seemed. They really didn't appear to be much different than the kids in our own school, but as we heard some of the stories of where they came from the similarities disappeared. These little ones have seen, heard, and experienced things that no child ever should. Most live in deplorable conditions - their parents prostitutes, thieves or drug dealers. Staring at their beautiful faces was often overwhelming - thinking about where they would be returning once the doors of the Jungle were closed.
After the kids left we were able to go on a tour of the neighborhood to really see it for ourselves. I mentioned to Morgan as I was swallowing back the tears, that I could picture God crying over these people. Steve Bartell (a YWAM missionary from Bogota) challenged us to find out the name of one of the childen and pray for them. Mine was Juan David. He was a charmer through and through - but oh so lovable. I pray that the darkness of his environment will not swallow him up. I pray that he will be set apart and spared a life of pain and hurt. I just pray.
Wanting to bless The Jungle staff further, we volunteered much of the afternoon to clean the building. One of those tasks was cleaning out the ball pit. We emptied it out ball by ball. Morgan and our dear Carlos Suarez cleaned out the dirt and grime followed by the whole team washing each ball. I'm pretty sure there was a million of them....
But these kids are pretty awesome. They made it a game and laughter ensued as we got the job done.
What a great start to our time in Bogota. We are so so so tired. Michael figured out that he has slept only 9 hours in the past 62 hours. But even though we are exhausted, spirits are high and attitudes are amazing. God is so good.
Thank you for praying for us! We love you but we're just too busy to miss you!... well maybe a little.