A team of six American women from Crossroads Community Church recently held the first women's outreach event at the Training Center in Sebaco. In-country project leader Ana Julia Orozco welcomed the team who spoke and spent the afternoon with more than 30 women from 4 of the 12 villages being served by the training center. The women came from Albellanas, Mojon, Bacacan, and Cerro Grande.
One of the highlights of the day was hearing from Lilliam Orozco who teaches at one-room school in the village of Albellanas. She gave her testimony about how hard she has worked to complete school and become a teacher and how hard her mother has always worked to support her (her mother was there too which was so sweet!). She was very emotional. She also spoke very seriously to the mothers that it was important for them to make sure their kids came to school EVERY day and that they needed to help them with their homework EVERY day. A great Mom from Albellanas - a single Mom with four kids who is only 22 herself - said that even though she can't read or write she sits with her kids every day to make sure they are doing their work. And Lilliam confirmed that this Mom is doing it and she held her up as an example for making such a sacrifice for her kids. The Maryland gals enjoyed helping serve lunch to the women and their kids - what a feast! Afterward the team set out supplies for them to make posters with their children's names and a note that they loved being their Mothers to put up in their homes so their children would always know that their mothers loved them. The team shared encouragement about how even though Jesus' mother Mary was a poor, young, girl in a small village she gave Jesus the greatest gifts anyone could give a child - the gifts of love, acceptance, and schooling. The women had a blast making posters and glitter was everywhere!
Before the women left to board buses for the 1.5 hour drive and then 2+ hour walk home, Ana Julia called each woman up to give her a bag of "canasta basica" items - a bar of soap, 5 pounds of rice, 5 pounds of beans, a liter of oil, and several pounds of tomatoes, onions, peppers, and some other vegetables. As soon as the women left the skies opened and we experienced a torrential downpour - which was very welcome as the rainy season had been late in coming!
We look forward to another team coming to serve at the Training Center in August. A group of men and women from Cedar Run Community Church in Oak Hill, Virginia will be doing some construction work on the center and working with men, women and children coming in from the 12 remote villages we are targeting. Look for another update after that!
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