Matt was really bummed when the immigration guy didn't say, "Welcome home" but he cheesed all the way down the moving walkway of the airport to baggage claim nonetheless. It was a surreal feeling. It still is... different.
Our last weekend, really couldn't have ended better. Saturday afternoon we set up bunk beds for our good friends and neighbors Iris and Miguel, their 4 kids had been sleeping on a king size mattress together. It was a family affair, and I am thankful to the giving that came in to do it.
That evening a group of us went to a local restaurant with live music and salsa. Sunday was a combined baptism service between the first and current church plant. We all met at 7 in the morning and bussed to a water park where 19 people professed their new faith and were baptized. We spent the rest of the afternoon there, and at the end, they surprised Matt and I with a "Despidida" or going away time. They gave us words of encouragement, a huge card with notes and pics and prayed with us and gave us beautiful gifts. I couldn't stop crying for a time. Later that evening, we hosted a surprise birthday party for one of the missionary kids (cake, ice cream, tamarindo, music...).
Monday morning we packed, had breakfast and unloaded a give a way bag of clothes and random stuff with the kids of Iris and Miguel. After, we took pics with the interns in front of the mural and as we were loading the van to head to the airport, we saw " Julito" the #1 gang guy in the community. I walked over to him and I introduced myself. I thanked him for not giving us any issues with the mural, as I know it is his territory. He said it was all good and he thought the mural was pretty cool. One thing lead to the next and we ended up taking a pic together in front of the mural. I shared the message of the mural and when I told him I had experienced the transformed life on the left side and he could too, he teared up. I told him, my husband and I would be praying for him. He said he had been meaning to talk to us, so I put him in touch with Iris and told him he should speak with them, since they are good people and it was our last day.
My heart was so full all the way to the airport. God can do all things, he is the maker, owner and king of all... Julito is nothing hard for him. Pray for him, and that he would give his life to Christ, and that his faith would ripple effect to the youth in the community.
Final Mural Pic
My Ballet Girls
The kids receiving their bunk beds
Baptisms at the Waterpark