Day two of mission work introduced new relationships with the children that will last throughout the rest of the week. Vacation bible school was more organized and more efficient than the day prior. Getting to know the children was probably the best part in my own personal opinion. However, a challenge with this is the obvious language barrier.
I cannot speak Spanish. Many of my fellow missionaries are fluent but I for one can have the same amount of progress talking to a brick wall. What really stood out to me was the children’s desire to want to communicate with me. When the first grade classes in which I was helping in wanted something, many would attempt to say the English word or phrase or act out what they wanted me to do. One girl even was able to help me organize the chaos that had been created due to the children wanting to use a giant jump rope that Paul and I were operating. It was a delightful surprise how involved the kids wanted to be.
Steven and I taught an entire class the “hip” dance move called “Dabbing” which resulted in a way for the kids to greet me and bond with me. I saw Jesus in these children’s desire to connect with me. Even though we have never met each other and look and sound different, even though we live several countries away from each other, I’ve already established a strong bond with these kids that will hopefully last beyond this week.
While the first graders did show much joy in communicating and interacting with us, nothing stood out more to me than four of the high school boys who asked to play basketball with Steven, Austin, and I. These boys who had never met us welcomed us with kindness and asked to play a friendly game with us. Three of the boys came up to play three on three against us and later one boy had enough courage to approach us by himself to play a game of two on two with us. To me this is the biggest part of the mission trip. Connecting with those all around the world. Today I saw Christ in all the children whom I shared happiness, enthusiasm, and love.
– Griffin Thompson