Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
We spent the entire day in Oak Ridge today. Again we were so inspired by the spirit of the people and every member of the team had amazing stories at the end of the day.
We had an event at the local church that included crafts, a drama, a demonstration from Dr. Rick on how to brush teeth (with his tooth puppet!), and a thrift sale of clothing, shoes, and school supplies. There was a little girl, about six years old, who found a pair of shoes that she loved. She waited patiently as the team got ready for the sale, and then finally she pointed the shoes out to one of our team members, Dave P. He told her that the shoes cost 5 limpiras ($0.25). She spoke no English, but she was able to communicate that she didn’t have any money. Dave let her take the shoes, and she was delighted. About a half hour later, she came back and found Dave and said “thank you for the shoes” in English. She had spent that time learning from someone, how to say that much in English, to show her appreciation.
Another part of our event was a very simple meal. We boiled 200 hot dogs, and served them with ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise, and included a small cookie on the side. The children were swarming around us to get their hotdogs. There were over 200 people there, and we couldn’t get the food out fast enough! When the hot dogs ran out, people were more than happy to accept a hot dog bun with only ketchup, mustard, and mayo. After the meal, most of the 200 people stood in line for dum dum suckers. We were blown away by their appreciation for such a simple meal, and all of them left the event with smiles and gratitude.
The afternoon hours were spent visiting our families in the communities again. We brought them framed pictures that we had taken on Tuesday (the kids at Greenfield decorated the frames), school supplies for those who were in school, Bibles in Spanish, fleece blankets that the team made earlier in the week, and lice kits. Wade and Lisa brought one man a water line to run to his house, and helped another woman hang hooks on her walls. It was such a pleasure to be able to give them a small amount of comfort and encouragement. Robyn’s group had one little girl, about 4 years old, who discovered a small doll in her bag. When she saw it she hugged the bag as if she would never put it down. It was at that time that she and her mother both asked the team to take the little girl back to the U.S. with them. They both assumed she would have a better life there…
Our team prayed for a woman that just happened to be in one of our homes named Cecilia. She was crying because her husband had been having high fevers at night and was going to work sick during the day. They had no way to get him help.
Miracles upon miracles happen every day here. Being with the people of Oak Ridge brings about interactions and realizations about our own lives that are profound. We will return to the U.S. changed, re-evaluating our own lives and priorities. We feel as though we have been blessed far more than we could have imagined. It’s remarkable that we gave to this community, and every one of us feel as if we left there with more than what we gave. It was a day rich in love, miracles, and so much joy!