John Eggen, Board Member and Missions Pastor at Sheridan Lutheran Church in Lincoln, NE, is currently leading a missions trip of folks from his church. John and his wife Michelle have been a part of the Kaya family for years and served as staff members in Bolivia for a time. Below is an entry from Sheridan's Missions blog that John wrote a few days ago. To read more from the Sheridan team please visit http://www.sheridanlutheran.org/missionblog.
Today was special because we spent the entire day with the kids from all three homes. After lunch the group came back to the hotel to pickup our gifts for the kids and I went to a fast food place here called “Pollos Copacabana” to buy food for everyone. Pollos Copacabana is really the only fast food chain in Bolivia that is actually Bolivian. Bolivians are really proud of this and they actually have really good broaster chicken. I went there and had the privilege of ordering 40 combo meals. That took a couple of confirmations for the lady behind the register. Then I also ordered two “family” packs that came with 16 pieces of chicken so the boys (aka black holes for food) could have extra. The total for the group was about $120. Not too bad for feeding 30 teenage boys and 10 adults. We loaded up the minivan with our pile of boxes of combo meals, picked up a 10 liters of soda and headed to the homes. After saying grace the kids attacked the chicken and the staff actually had to tell them to slow down. Needless to say, they enjoyed it.
After we had lunch we took a break to get our ducks in a row. We brought all the shoes that had been donated from Bethany and Sheridan with us to hand out to the boys. So we went into a room and sorted through them and put them into piles according to which home they were in. Once we were ready we gathered the boys together. We started by sharing with them that we are here as representatives of two churches and that we keep them in our prayers and members from our congregations had bought these shoes for them. We (the team) purchased three really nice soccer balls and three basketballs for the homes and we presented these, one set, to each of the homes. Then we started to had the shoes out to each child… it was like Christmas in July.
After we were finished a number of the boys wanted to thank us. They thanked God for giving us and those who purchased the shoes such generous hearts. They said there are few people in the world that will give so much and ask for nothing in return. The boys were very sweet and sincere as they shared their thanks. A few tears were shed.
After the gift giving we headed outside to test our cardiovascular systems by playing some more sports at 13,000 ft. Fortunately for us the game for the day was volleyball. We didn’t do very well at first, but as time went on they put in the younger kids. When it was six of us vs 6 9 year olds we did pretty well! After our first set of volleyball games they wanted to play basketball. We played full court basketball for about 15 minutes and then we all thought we might die, so we took a break and they played a couple of games of soccer. Afterwards we played a few more games of volleyball and actually won! We had lots of fun playing and the kids really got into cheering everyone on at the end.
Tomorrow we spend the day in the Kaya Center as the kids return to school. Hopefully it will be an easier day. I think we have all been ready for bed by 5:00 every evening. Tomorrow night we start street ministry at 8:30 PM, so we will all be up way past our bedtime! Please keep our group in your prayers tomorrow night, most especially for stamina for the day and safety at night.