This past Saturday we headed back to Escuela La California for another day of trabajo communal (community service hours). James planned math tutoring, I planned English tutoring, and our P.E. teacher has joined in the effort and organized a game of kickball. We have been doing our best to give the 10th graders opportunities to be leaders and take ownership of the partnership between our schools and James and I walked away this Saturday feeling like we saw a little bit of the fruits of our labor.
This was the students second time to interact with these kids and they were more comfortable in their roles. It was fun to see them recognize each other and want to work with the same kids so that they could get to know them better. As I supervised my group of 10th graders practicing Family vocabulary with the students I wondered how often the 5th graders ever got one-on-one attention from anyone, let alone a good role model. It was a beautiful thing to see.
We ended the day with the story of Jonah and then the 10th graders helped the La California kids to make a fish craft. James asked each of the 10th graders to pray for their buddy before we left for the day. We sat and watched as the 10th graders explained that they were going to pray for the kids and some of them held each other’s hands. It was amazing to see each of these kids being prayed for and cared for. Each one of them felt important in that moment.
As we debriefed the day, one of the 10th graders broke down in tears telling us that one of the students had given her a bracelet as he left…after having only met her once before. She was so overwhelmed by how much giving up 4 hours of her Saturday once a month meant to Older. (Yes, he is the oldest boy in his family.) They are starting to get why it matters. God is good.