Day 2 in Colombia - by Anna & Dennis

Today I woke up early and cooked breakfast for the team with Dennis. We helped dry and put away dishes. We helped make arapas which was so much fun to make and they were so good. It felt nice to be able to help out with the work. We didn’t actually make the dough, but we helped form them. We had to take a bit of the dough and put a bit of cheese in the middle and folded it up and formed it into a circle. With the arapas we had and a scrambled egg with peppers. 

After breakfast we went to see the field and heard the story for our hosts. The story that was shared was beautiful and powerful. The story of how the church came to be and the influence of Jesus in their lives. Then the children came and we hung out with them and played soccer. It was so nice to meet them and just listen to them talk even though I didn’t understand all that they said. Grace and I had a group of girls and we played Duck Duck Goose for a while along with one of the team members of the church that is hosting us. I took to the children and connected with them while playing. After playing outside we had lunch and talked within our group and connected. The food was also wonderful. After lunch we took a bit of a break and then teens came and we played volleyball with them, which was fun. We talked to them and heard  their stories and shared some of ours. After, there was a Suicide Prevention seminar with the parents and some of the teens stayed around and played more volleyball. I sat with a little girl and she talked to me. She brought me a snack that was really cute. She had a good time talking to me and having me listen to her even though I couldn’t always respond. She also gave two stuffed animals to me to hold while sitting with her and watching volleyball. Then it was time for dinner and we had a great meal with the group and talked about our day and I felt closer to some of the team members. Then to end the day my mom and I participated in a play with some of the volunteers from the church. That was a cool experience because I was able to be part of something with them. I’m excited for more experiences like this. ~ by Anna

After a much-needed rest from travel and getting settled in yesterday, day two has been amazing. I was partnered with Anna to help with breakfast. We met with Lucy and Ricardo at 7am. The first task we were assigned was to dry the dishes from last nights dinner. Lucy then invited us over and taught us how to make arepas con queso. It was a really great experience learning a traditional Colombian meal from scratch. 
Upon the completion of breakfast, we were able to exchange our money before going outside to the coliseum (area with basketball court and small field for children). Here we listened to the story and testimony of Lucy and Ricardo and how they were brought to building the church and community center here in the barrio. Their story is one built on the faith of Jesus and listening to God’s words. It was a very emotional moment for all of us. Just before being greeted by the children, a few of us went to the local bodega and bought a few items. I bought some chicharrones, Colombian kola, oreos, and a coke. I must say it all tasted great. Once we got back its was soccer time for the young kids. This was definitely a highlight for so many of the kids. It allowed us to connect with them in something they enjoyed. Some kids also played duck, duck, goose, and were jump roping. 
After lunch we met with the older teenagers (ages 14-17). One thing I noticed is that there was no difference in trying to get a teenager to talk here in Colombia as it is in the United States. It took a bit for them to open up and share their story but by the time they felt comfortable with us they were much more relaxed and willing to share. We then went out and played volleyball with them before dinner.
I would have to say that my biggest high from today was watching everyone continue to build relationships. God’s will truly is manifesting here in Colombia. I am truly blessed to be sharing this moment with a great group of amazing people. ~ by Dennis