A Wray of Sunshine

I'm figuring out how to do my "normal" job again this week after two solid weeks of hosting partners & volunteers...including...could it be?...the first bona fide, post-pandemic short-term team in the DR (no disrespect to the 2021 regional conference childcare team or short-term individual volunteer Scott Elliott)!?

Five individuals from Calvary Lutheran Church* in Wray (/ re…™ /), CO, arrived March 19 with eyes, ears, and hearts wide open. 

It was 18 yr. old Makia's senior trip. All along I thought this meant it was a school project, but over gourmet popsicles a week later, I learned her parents would have taken her anywhere, within reason, as a graduation present, and she chose a mission trip! The team's goal was none other than to see, experience, and participate in as many aspects of the DRLM as possible. That started right away on arrival day with dinner in a missionary host home; they'd dine alongside five other missionary families before all was said and done. 

This team had the uncommon but wonderful blessing of being in the DR over two Sundays. On the first, they worshipped at my church, Iglesia Luterana Cordero de Dios. 

Here's where I'll make a division. Every day M-F from 9-10 am, the team led "ESL" at Concordia Lutheran School in Palmar Arriba. This post will focus on that; a subsequent one will detail everything else they did. 

The entire student body started outside on the cancha for a large group opening featuring prayer and song. The group sang "Jesus Loves Me" and "Jesus' Love is Bubblin' Over" with the kids, with actions, obviously. As I (or Caitlin or Erica - THANKS, ladies!) interpreted, I'd walk them through the meaning of the lyrics, line-by-line.

From there, the kids would divide into two groups by age. One group would do the Bible story, the other would do a craft or science activity, and then they'd switch. I interpreted for the craft/activity all week. 

Days 1-3 used the Gospel bracelet colors to a) teach colors in English (which I think most kids already knew); and b) share the message of salvation in Jesus. We made beaded cross necklaces. 

Getting smart after starting with the older kids and quickly divvying up the beads by color so as to give the younger kids one at a time!

The team also taught numbers as we counted to 30 (ten 3x or fifteen 2x) during one of the science experiments and key vocabulary from the Bible stories. 

Like I said, I spent all week in the craft/activity room, but I guess teaching the Bible story was exhausting!

The gold bead represents the crown of life (Revelation 2:10). 

(Yes, we saved all those little triangle punch-outs for a future craft project.)

Days 4 and 5 shifted to Bible stories the group would be teaching in other settings: the Transfiguration and Good Samaritan, respectively. I thought Makia and Pastor Davis's method of having kids hopscotch to the top of the mount of Transfiguration while learning colors and shapes was ingenious!

Part II about how I kept them busy from 10 am on coming soon...

Until next time, blessings in Christ!

*Interestingly, Pastor Davis (2nd from right in the airport photo) accepted a call after the trip was already planned and moved from CO to GA in early February. His new congregation graciously let him join his former congregation, so the trip served as a joyous reunion of shepherd and sheep. As an added bonus, Trinity Lutheran Church in Athens, GA, will also get a taste of the DRLM and may ramp up their involvement in the future in conjunction with or apart from Calvary.