|Matt and Carlos|
|Thelma and Cindy|
|The new playground|
They came to Capernaum. When he was safe at home, he asked them, “What were you discussing on the road?” The silence was deafening—they had been arguing with one another over who among them was greatest. He sat down and summoned the Twelve. “So you want first place? Then take the last place. Be the servant of all.” He put a child in the middle of the room. Then, cradling the little one in his arms, he said, “Whoever embraces one of these children as I do embraces me, and far more than me—God who sent me.” Mark 9:33-37 (The Message)
The second day at the center was full of different activities for me and my body feels it. Because I am not confined to one room sitting on the floor loving on babies, but instead am working to help keep things running and people on task, I am on my feet much more. My ankles are swollen, and my hands cramped. But, I am happy. I start out the day in the Chicks banos (bathroom) where they are all sitting on potties or getting their bath. By American standards, it is crazy to even think of potty training a child who can barely walk, but that is what they do here in Guatemala. And not only do they do it at an early age, but the child must sit on the potty until they go. Sometimes, they have little round rings on their fannies from sitting so long. While the other members of the chicks’ team dry, diaper and dress the little pollos, I scrub potties. These are not fancy American potty chairs, but the real thing. Pots just big enough for a toddler to sit upon. Some, not happily as they cry or mess with each other the whole time they are there. I started to lift one off the potty, but was told to put him back down as he had not done enough. I teased our interpreter that she was a meanie and laughingly said that the soft hearted Americans would say, “That poor baby forced to sit on the potty.” She knew I was teasing and then, teased me right back when he proved her right and left me a big deposit in his potty. After everyone was clean and dry, I got out toys for the children and prepared a place for them to play outside. Then, I left the team to care for play the babies while I prepared gifts for the workers. We brought shoes and socks for each staff member as well as eighteen pounds of chocolate which had to be mixed and divided up among their gift bags. Then, I prepared the supplies for a time where some of our team gave the nannies and kitchen helpers manicures, organized a dedication of the playground which our church had helped installed and took photographs of all the team members and many of the children. All the while, I kept circling back to my chicks, helping with snack, playtime and potty time. When you see a group like this working all in different ways, but with one purpose, it is amazing. It makes me wonder what the world would be like if we all acted this way when we return home. No bickering, not wanting to be in charge. No me first attitudes. All servant’s hearts. I think we could change the world if we put our mind to it. We are changing one life at a time. Please pray for Carlos whose mother brought him to the center today. He is about seven and cried for several hours until one of our team, a fourth grade teacher named Matt sat and held him until he fell asleep. I know the coming days will be rough on Carlos, but with Matt’s help, perhaps, they will not be quite as bad.