Friday, June 29, 2012

Dia 2

Hola! Today we visited one of the neighborhoods of the Ayore people. Some of these young ladies and community leaders who live here will be attending the camp that we are working at starting Sunday. It was a little difficult walking through the camp because of the povery we saw, the trash on the ground, and the trench that lines every walking space where people go to the bathroom/throw trash/etc. I'm ashamed to say that my initial response to this camp was "when are we leaving?" I didn't like the smell. I didn't like that I'm a white girl in the midst of this and can leave and go to a clean house. While we played volleyball with the kids, twice the ball ran away from us and fell into one of the trenches. As it approached all the kids were yelling, but then afterwards merely rinsed it in unfiltered water and resumed playing with the ball. It made our team sad to see the conditions in which these kids lived. What was so evident to me, however, was that God has so placed in my heart a desire to love children. There was a baby sitting on the ground crying, with snot running out of his nose. An older girl next to him was kicking him in an attempt to make him quiet. I wanted to pick them both up, get them clean, wipe their noses, and just hug them until they knew the hope and joy that Jesus has for them. Later tonight, our team leader discussed Luke 18:1-8, and encouraged us that God is good, and desires justice so much more than we do, and is quick to avenge the injustice we see, however it may not seem "quick" to us. This passage in Luke is about the persistent widow, who was rewarded for her persistence when she kept pleading for justice. God says that he is quick to give justice and desires for us to ALWAYS pray and ALWAYS plead. It can be so easy for us to give up. We want to solve all the problems the Ayore people have, but we can't. But we cannot give up helping or trying or praying or loving. We must do all these things and be faithful in what He has put in front of us to be faithful in. Please, friends, pray for the Ayore community. They can be thought of as similar to gypsies, who face discrimination and who can't get jobs and are true outsiders of the community, both because of their past reputation and their minority status. There are only about 5,000 Ayore people, and what we are doing here in Bolivia is assisting the ministries here helping the people get to know Jesus, and physically loving them and helping them as well. What we are NOT doing is telling them they should stop engaging in prostitutation; for most of them, because of the discrimination and oppression of their people group, have no other way of earning money. It would be highly inappropriate and ineffective to try to change their minds about prostitution as a legitimate occupation. Our team is deeply saddened by the thought that anyone would have to prostitute themselves to survive, and it is our desire that one day the Ayore would be self-sufficient in other occupations. The camp we are working at next week is a Christian camp where we will be telling stories out of the bible in an oral "storying" version, as the Ayore people have an oral history, and learn well when told stories. I cannot wait to get started with this and to interact with the girls and pray continually for them. No one deserves to live next to a trench of urine and feces. No one deserves to experience the oppression and hopelessness these girls feel. Please PLEASE pray for the Ayore community. Pray for open hearts, and open minds,and understanding, and that they would experience love, that one day they would have peace. A doctor who works with them said that high blood pressure is extremely common among the Ayore, and she thinks it's because of the intense stress that they feel everyday. Please pray for peace for them. Thanks for reading and praying. It means so much to me. And now, here are 10 of the beautiful gifts God gave me today: 1) delicious breakfast of potatoes, chorizo, and egggs. 2) the green tablecloths on the tables in our guest house that have llamas on them and remind me of Emperor's New Groove. 3) Psalm 34. 4) Hearing out of the bible about God, and just knowing in my heart that what the bible says is so true. 5) Frosted Flakes in spanish are Zucaritas (i think)...we went to a store to get snackies. 6) trying Bolivian candy. 7) hearing Todd say all the different versions of "I said-a-boom-chicka-boom"....por ejemplo, "I say a broom-sweepa-broom." It's pretty funny. 8) Knowing that there is always hope in Christ. He promises to one day make all things new, to restore justice, to lift up the brokenhearted, to make a new earth with new bodies for us. 9) getting hugs from my new Bolivian friends. 10) meeting some of the Ayore women leaders--they are beautiful! Gracias por escucharme. Pray for these weeks and the Ayore. Gracias a Dios por todo. Love, Alexis

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