Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Los Rios Christmas Project

After Peru (a topic I need to write a post about) my take away was that as a school we needed to provide more opportunities for our students to serve others.
Enter: The Los Rios Christmas Project 

Student Council helped organize a project that would:
1. Give a toy to every child at the Los Rios orphanage- Huge success
2. Donate clothes for the kids- Big fail
3. Give a gift for the ladies who take care of the kids- totally Mr. President's idea

There are 23 kids at the orphanage and during lunch our students could sign up to 'adopt' one kid and buy them a present that they wished for. They were snatched up all in one 25 min lunch period.
We informed the school's staff and parents  about the project to see if they could help and it always amazes me how this community can come together to make things happen, especially blessing others.
The high school leadership class wrapped presents and made gift tags.

The 2nd grade class made Christmas cards for every child.

Sam's mom made goodie bags for each child.

Mandy bought ornaments for the care takers.
Each care taker got a gift certificate for a manicure.

Total God story- Our kindergarten class accidentally collected toys for another orphanage and didn't need to. We took them with us and there were two new kids at the orphanage that didn't have to be left out.
Every thing just came together. 
The day of, our students went over to the orphanage and set up snacks,
Rodrigo took selfies,
and they loved on kids for about an hour. It was awesome. My favorite was watching some of our high school boys open presents with little girls and play dolls with them. It was the best!
Cute kids! Big and small. :-)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Year Three

Half way through my first year here I knew I wasn't going to be able to leave after the initial two year contract. Last week I made it official. I turned in my commitment form, provided nothing too crazy happens, I should be back for another year at CCA.

Moments that have made me want to stay in Panama:

At one of our first community outreach days last year I'm hanging with the kids and Michael stands next to me and says, "Miss B. will you stay here till I graduate?"

Watching Valerie give her testimony (in public!!!) in Peru about accepting Christ.

Morgan sitting on my lap, "Miss B. when you grow up you're gonna be a good mom."

Getting to 'babysit' Bryanna and the Hales.

My roommate, Katy, praying for me before the first day of school my first year. And every time she has prayed for me.

Sitting outside on the bench having conversations about life with Victoria and Diego and Michael and Logan and anyone else who stops by.

Getting to pray with Elle and Lauren and Trin before they went off to the States for a while.

When Price brought me Peach O's the first week of school.

FaceTiming Gina for two hours about her Freshman year.

A long conversation I had with Avery in the middle of the night while her mom was away.

Pastor Steve- "Esther is one of the teachers that has quickly come in and loved the students and have them love her back."

Bible study at the Pills.

Every family dinner with Mama Pill and Papa Pill.

Thinking about the class of 2015 wearing their black senior polos and how much I am going to cry next year when I see my babies all grown up.

Thinking about all the things I want to accomplish in the next year and a half. All the plans God has laid on my heart. Wanting to pour myself out here in Panama so that if God tells me to leave at the end of next year or any other year I will have had no regrets.