A Glimpse at SLA’s 2015 Mission Trip (Pt. 2)
The next day was started the same as the rest and everyone loaded up the bus again and went to the work site where they worked for a full day. The participants worked hard and even got a few breaks thanks to the random spouts of rain. Some people took this to their advantage and danced in the rain and enjoyed the view of a beautiful rainbow.
Unfortunately this caused the team working on the foundation for the play set to take a break. This slowed down work quite a bit for the cement grew, but they pulled through and still managed to pull through in the end.
For lunch the crew ate at the site and played with the chickens around the site. The group later discovered that these chickens were sold in order for the compound to pay tithe. After eating the group worked into the evening then returned to the People of Peru Project to prepare for another VBS round.
For the next two days everything carried on the same, and all things went well. There was also a lot of rain just like the first day, which only made the cement crew’s job even more difficult. But when the last day of work came to a close, three girls’ rooms had been painted, the doors restrained, railings had been painted, new screens were up, the fence had been repaired, the trench in the soccer field had been filled in and the drainage improved, and so many other projects had been finished. PAPY’S House looked awesome!
After the site was cleaned up a bit, the crew had a gift for the girls. All of the girls housing there were gathered together and were given little satchels filled with paper, pencils, and other goodies including a stuffed animal that were donated by the Leominster Spanish Church. The girls were so happy and were smiling like crazy. Beautiful pictures were taken of the scene. It was a truly touching moment.
That Thursday evening the group went to host VBS once more where they sang songs, told stories, and sang crafts again. They also sang the Yo-yo song that the kids had been teaching them during the week. The kids enjoyed teaching the crew some songs for a change.
By the end of the week the amount of the kids had doubled, and most of the participants had made connections with the kids. The VBS kids received the goodie bags that evening just like the girls had at PAPY’S House that morning and a group picture was taken.
“I always enjoyed seeing the kid’s excitement every evening,” Ellen DeOlivera, a Junior that attended the trip reflects on VBS.
The next day the group packed up all that they would need to survive for two days. They then headed back into the center of Iquitos where they had done the Red Ticket Dinner and hopped onto a ferry-like boat where they head off into the Amazon. The crew was able to see some pink dolphins swimming at the meeting of the Amazon and one of it’s tributaries.
An hour up the Amazon, the group stopped at the Bora Bora tribe where they were able to dance welcome dances with the tribal people, trade, and buy some really cool items.
After meeting with the Bora Bora the crew traveled two more hours up the river and stopped to stay with the local tribe over night. The group carried their things off the boat and set up camp inside the school there in the village. They set up their tents and then played with children, then, after supper, hosted VBS for the people, following the same format they’d done every night back in Iquitos.
“It was amazing to see our two different cultures come together and worship the same God, that even though we were all so different and sometimes couldn’t communicate, we could still connect through worship,” Sophia Bruso, a Junior at SLA, comments on the VBS of that evening.
After hosting VBS the group tried to sleep. The mosquitos and the sounds of the night kept most people awake – and so did the exhausted talkers that were being hyperactive.
The next morning the team hung out with the kids and played games. They then passed out the remainder of the bags to all the villagers and even had some left over. The group then traveled back to Iquitos, waving good-bye to all their new friends. That night the group hosted their final evening VBS for the kids in Iquitos and would hold their last joint worship service the next morning for church.
For church the group went back to the Modelo Church in Iquitos. Mid-way through the service, Voce members ran off to another location for a performance. After church and their final goodbyes, the group went home for lunch then went to visit an environment rescue facility to see the manatees, monkeys, turtles, and other Amazonian animals. That night the group had their final worship and packed up for their travel back home.
The next morning the group went to the airport and flew an hour to Lima where they met up with a guide to go on a tour for the day. The group visited many interesting locations including the Cathedral de Lima, a market where they could bargain for touristy items, and even the beach!
After their tour the group waited through their layover and finally boarded their plane to Atlanta, Georgia. After the seven hours passed, they boarded their last flight into Boston and finally rode the bus back to SLA where they were greeted by their loving family members.
Have you ever been on a mission trip that caused a drastic change in your perspective? Share your thoughts below!