Today I go back to stories of the people of Brisas del Mar. Again, every person there touched my heart. Every person has a different story, but unique to helping me have a new perspective.
Jon. Jon was our construction leader. He works for the church in Colombia and travels around to different places. He's originally from Medellín, and he's seen and experienced so much. Jon was incredibly patient in explaining the tasks to our team. He didn't speak English, so he'd give us an overview in the start of the morning, and our translator Paola, would let us know our jobs for the day. Jon worked alongside us, and he was patient in explaining things when he would see we might need redirection. He was great with hand motions and showing when he couldn't tell us in our own language, and I got to know him a little better through trying to bounce around when he'd need some translating and Paola was in a different location. He's seen and experienced so much. He learned his traits of construction by watching others and reading and as a natural talent from God. (I asked him how he knew so much, how he learned to do construction). He was innovative with tools and resources. He made a level out of a tube filled with water (which I got to work closely with him on, and let me just say, it's way more time involved than a level you would buy here, though it does get the same result). He knows how to do things that seem backwards to us as Americans, but for them, everything is a resource, so we trusted his expertise even if we didn't fully understand. Jon works hard, with an easy-going temperament, which I admired greatly because of all the guidance on which our team relied on him. Jon had Zika virus, and we would not have ever known that with how hard he worked through it.
|Jon, our construction site leader|
Pastor Luis, Pastora Nubia- This is a very special couple. They actually came over from Venezuela, but they love the people as their own. They lead the community with their love and service, and it's evident the community embraces them as much as I did. Pastor Luis never stopped. He was always moving, always helping, and always smiling. He was fun and interactive with all those around him. He was so kind, so understanding, and I loved having conversations with him. He never missed a beat, including hearing a door lock at midnight, and coming out in his PJs to unlock it so the team member would not be stuck outside. His love for the Lord shines through his actions and words. Pastora Nubia served the entire time we were there. She was busy preparing food for us, busy serving the ladies of the village, and busy caring for every person around her. She was more reserved in some ways, but when she spoke, everyone listened. Her tears of gratitude moved me to tears on more than one occasion. I felt like I've known her my whole life.
|Pastor Luis and me|
Christina, Merce, Glasoline, Leidi (pronounced Lady)- These young ladies (along with Mileth, who I already wrote about) were amazing. They would serve us all of our meals. We went there to serve them, but they took pleasure in serving us. They brought us our food, cleared our tables, made sure we always had adequate needs met at our meals. These girls helped with the little children at all of our events, helping to rally them and quiet them and break them into organized groups. The girls would go out into the village and spread the word anytime our schedules changed so that the village would know to come to our events. And they laughed with us. I love these girls. Their smiles light up everyone around them, and their kindness in all of our conversations made me feel a part of their community. I miss these girls!
|Merce and Me|
|Merce and Christina|
|The gang. I don't know all the names but in yellow were the core group leaders. in yellow, L-R Edwin, Christian, Leide, Merce, Christina, Mileth|
|Christina, Merce, Glasoline, Mileth|
All the Children- Of course I could not learn every name, but their joy and excitement and eagerness to be around us changed my perspective. We hosted a carnival for them and we had basic games like ring toss, or getting the ping pong ball in the cup or knocking down the tower of cups. They didn't win prizes doing these games (like here in the US) but they didn't care. They laughed and played and returned to the games time after time. Each of us had a game we "directed", but each of us also had some little child come alongside us and essentially help us run the game. I had one little girl picking up my rings and holding them and handing them to the next person. The simplest moments matter. We did facepainting and temporary tattoos there as well, which they loved. They mingled around us all week. They were a beautiful group of kids. Eager to learn, always wanting to take pictures with us, and hungry for fun and good times. The simplest of things to us was phenomenal to them. They taught me less is more.