First Christmas Choir and Choreography

This past Sunday was our first “homegrown” Christmas program in Cercadillo, meaning that all the participants were from the village. As the “choir” and the choreography team had one last practice time, the other children made paper chains to decorate the meeting area.

I don’t think there will be any offers for music contracts or videos anytime soon, but the adults enjoyed singing together,

the children in the audience were in awe of the girls performing the choreography, and parents were proud, just like Christmas programs everywhere.

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Peace on Earth

Rosa and Mercedes

Last Friday was a typical day of  “Café y Coser con Cristo” in Cercadillo. After coffee and Bible study it was time to divide into teams for the various activities of the day.

Some of the women moved to the Toyota to get out the sewing tables, sewing machines, supplies and generator.  Others started moving the big tables from our blue building to prepare for cutting fabric.  A third group began cutting out the card stock name tags that are used to identify the finished products the women make. Meanwhile a fourth group divided themselves into twos to work on cutting old t-shirts into strips that will later be made into rugs.

After awhile things were moving along so smoothly that I had a rare moment to take out my camera.  (Thanks again to the Kaeterlies for the new compact camera!)

My favorite picture of the day was this one of Rosa and Mercedes.  They were totally enjoying each other, often laughing loudly, as they cut the t-shirts and rolled the strips into balls.   Others also seemed very content to be working together, but Rosa and Mercedes?

A few months ago we were studying through the book of Mark.  The section of Scripture that day was about divorce.  I was wondering how it could possibly apply to my women, none of whom are legally married.  All l said was, “Today we will see that Jesus cares about relationships.”  Honestly, that was all I said, and Rosa started sobbing and then wailing.

It took a long time for her to be calm enough to tell us what was wrong.  At first she just kept repeating, “Jesus cares about relationships!” and then she’d start crying uncontrollably again.  Finally she got up and went over to Mercedes and said, “Jesus cares about relationships!  I’m sorry!  I’m sorry!”   By this time almost the whole group was crying because they knew the background I didn’t.

I had somehow missed that Rosa and Mercedes never spoke to each other.  In fact, they hadn’t spoken in almost 15 years.  Mercedes’s son is the father of one of Rosa’s boys.  It seems Rosa and Mercedes had an argument over how to care for the boy when he was an infant.  So for almost 15 years they lived in anger and hatred within a mile of each other, neither recognizing the other, and the boy not knowing that Mercedes was his grandmother.

But that all changed one day when Rosa understood that Jesus cares about relationships.  And in one more family, in one little village,  there is a little more peace on earth than there was last year.

“Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.”

How thankful I am to be here, watching The Prince of Peace change lives.

Merry, Merry Christmas!

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