DAY 3: We started off the day as a team walking through the streets of Sangre Grande exploring the culture, the stores, and the over all feel of the town in which we soon hoped to connect with. In our groups we attempted to speak to the people we saw, understand the things around us, and connect with each other.
It is always a blessing to be able to multi task the way that we do here by, at it simplest, fellowshipping and worshipping while we complete the tasks at hand. Our pale skin has been a major give away these few days. Everywhere we go we get looks but of course we have loved it and have taken that attention as an opportunity to connect with and relate to the locals.
After our prayer walk we ate a delicious home cooked meal at the Heerahs house and soon changed into our swimwear. We spent a few hours on a local beach and had a grand old time. I have been personally so encouraged by the way that in whatever we do, we do it as a team. We played Marco-Polo the majority of our time there and I so appreciated the participation of the entire team as well as some new friends we made that day.
After some major fun and fellowship we began an evening of sharing in the community. Our American team split up into groups of three or four including some extraordinary Trinidadian help. We went our separate ways within nearby neighborhoods and went house to house asking locals questions from a survey with the intention of not only having a greater understanding of the needs around us, but also to interest people in Hope Community Church and ultimately the gospel. These kinds of surveys were very different from what most of us were used to simply because the Trinidadians here typically enjoy sharing with us and getting to know us, whereas in the states most of us are used to being brushed off.
Talking to strangers with thick accents and strong opinions was certainly enough to stretch most of us, but at the end of the day we all took joy in what God had done in us and through us. God gave us the chance to be bold and to lead for the sake of the gospel, for which we praise Him. We ended our day sharing about our experiences sharing at a local Chinese restaurant after which we ended our night exhausted and ready for some sleep.
Please pray for the families we talked to: that our conversations would encourage them to seek out the one true God. Ronnie was so encouraged to see us talking to the neighbors of the church. We really are hoping to be an encouragement to the church and the community.
DAY 4: Tuesday morning we woke up earlier than days past, frantically getting ready for the busy day ahead of us. Skits were being practiced, things were getting packed, and much prayer was taking place as we headed off for Guaicu Presbyterian Elementary School, where we were given the opportunity to put on a program for the children attending there.
Ryan Swisher passionately led some worship for the kids, followed by Ronnie to sang children’s songs including Jesus is a Winner, Man, a personal favorite of mine. We performed King of Hearts and maybe it was just me, but I believe that we all felt the spirit of God strongly in that room as every character and idea was depicted. The children laugh, gasped, and erupted in applause (most graciously, I may add) as we performed and later explained what the skit meant and how God had reached us personally just as he reached the characters in the skit.
Considering the room was enormous and packed tight with various aged children, the attention overall was focused in on us and our message for them. After performing the team was given some time to get to know the kids and simply show them the love Jesus would have us show. Many kids begged for autographs, compared us to Disney characters, and asked if our eyes were real. We could not help but laugh at the silly things they said to us but when we left something in our hearts stirred. We barely knew these kids, but each of us was sincerely sad to go.
After our time at the school we headed out to a work project where a house was being built for a single mother who Ronnie was connected with. I doubt any one of us had ever sweat that much in our entire lives. Every team member worked like crazy digging trenches and priming walls in the heat. It was encouraging to see the progress of our labor as time went on. Our work there is not yet finished, but we plan to return tomorrow to finish painting what was primed today and help assemble the roof for the house. After eating some traditional Trinidadian roti for lunch, we hoped to work even longer on the house, but frequent rain showers prevented us from being able to do any real work, so we took that as God calling us elsewhere. We had some team time back at the house followed by individual and group Quiet Times. Although it rained off and on all evening, nothing could stop us from doing more surveys! Because it was our second time around, conversations seem to run smoothly and go further than they had the day before, and for that we are thankful.
We ended the day with perhaps the most fun activities in the world: eating food and singing karaoke! The restaurant we ate at is called Sound Bites Caf and is owned by a Christian family, who we thoroughly enjoyed spending the evening with. The food was delicious and the company could not have been better. We were encouraged to sit by team members we knew the least and from that grew some real friendships, or rather deepened the friendships that we have already formed. Karaoke also brought us closer together. Anyone willing to put themselves out there for the sake of bonding and fun is worthy of respect. The evening could not have gone better. We rode back to our living areas singing songs with contentment in our hearts; ready for whatever God will have for us tomorrow.
Please pray for our Street meeting tonight! We will be sharing our package and witnessing to those passing on the street from a small parking lot. Pray that Gods message is communicated clearly and that He will be working on hearts to the benefit of His kingdom.