Monday mornings we have Chapel before school. I have the privilege of leading Chapel, and we are learning about different characteristics of being a good Christian. This week we took a break from the list of characteristics and we dedicated our apartment. We started in the Zaragoza living room as we do normally, singing the Mexican and US national anthems, reciting the pledges to the Bible, Christian flag, Mexican flag, and American flag. Then we took a field trip. When we got to the front of the apartment we stopped to talk for a minute. I used some chalk to write above the door 20+CMB+10. This seemed very unusual to the kids. The 20 and the 10 are for the year 2010. The letters are an abbreviation for a Latin blessing "Christe mansionem benedicat" or "Christ bless this house." After I translated the Latin to English, and Angie translated the English to Spanish, we went inside. The lesson I tried to convey to the kids is that we want to keep the Lord in all we have and do. Jesus has gone ahead of us to prepare a home for us, but we have to live somewhere until we go to live with Him. We dedicated our apartment so that all who live, visit, or stay here will be blessed with the grace, love, wisdom, and peace of Christ.
I guess I said all that to tell you about another activity that happens in our living room. Last week we had our first Sr High youth meeting. Lucy and I had been wanting to find a way to be more connected with the older Zaragoza girls and also help Aaron and Joanna build their relationships with the kids. Angie, Diana, and Martita join us for the evening each Tuesday now. O.K. this is only the second week and Diana wasn't here this week, but it seems to be going pretty well. We play games to help us get to know each other better, talk about a lesson, then eat snacks and play games. It is really fun to see them play Wii games together.
The other kids I have been thinking of are the youngest ones. Cirino's daughter, Berenice, has really brightened up lately. Since we eat meals together, that is when I get to really interact with the youngest kids. Yesterday we "danced" together. She stood on my feet and held onto my hands while we walked and danced around the room after supper. Tonight I read a book with Cirino's son, Bernabe. There are a lot of evenings when Danny comes and finds me to take me for a walk. We usually wander around and see what the other kids are doing or find a toy to play with.
I have spent most of these first six months here working on our apartment. Now I am beginning to look into some of the things that have been waiting for me. I get great satisfaction from working with my hands. However, I get the blessing of great joy when I spend time with the kids.