Las chicas disfrutando.

I get really, really horrible stomachaches every time I consume a McDonald’s ice cream cone. Clearly it does not happen often enough though for me to remember the painful fact on the rare occasion I find myself in said establishment, ordering a vanilla-dulce de leche swirl. Oy.

This morning after OANSA, we packed our star students, their invitados, and a handful of my leaders into the car for an ice cream reward on an extremely hot day (summer’s back in Paraguay already? Say it ain’t so…). OANSA kids can earn points each week for attendance, bringing their Bibles, reciting memory verses, and/or inviting friends. Although no one has yet to receive all four points in a given week, T and S have been far and away the point leaders of the entire Primero de Marzo pack. It wasn’t surprising that they were the first to redeem on the promise of ice cream and playtime.

Which they never seem to outgrow. Despite even the tiny section of the play structure that indicated it being a three and under zone, our chums, even the older (and frankly, too old and too large) ones wore out every last inch of the slides, hoppers, rolly thingies, and still begged for more time as we prepared to leave. Life is so much about the little things.

The first-class pupils.

Lapping it up.

Leaderererers.

Hopefully just one small fruit of her labor.

I really think S has the markings of a future pastor.

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We usually teach a Bible lesson as well as a social lesson every Saturday at OANSA. Once a month, I try to get the kids to put the social stuff in action. Last week, we participated in some trash pick-up outside of Primero de Marzo. It was a little dismal that we filled thirty trash bags full within minutes and meters of our site, but it was great to see the kids involved in caring for their own neighborhood.

Heading out to get our hands dirty.

Pink ladies stick together.

Mining the sewer moat. Blech.

M setting an example.

Fanning out.

Closing in.

A glimpse of Primero de Marzo.

Little chums learning to care about the environment.

Psalm 27.

July 15, 2012

The Lord is my light and my salvation —
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life —
    of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked advance against me
    to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
    who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
    my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
    even then I will be confident.

One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
    he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
    and set me high upon a rock.

Then my head will be exalted
    above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
    I will sing and make music to the Lord.

Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
    be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, “Seek his face! ”
    Your face, Lord, I will seek.
Do not hide your face from me,
    do not turn your servant away in anger;
    you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
    God my Savior.
Though my father and mother forsake me,
    the Lord will receive me.
Teach me your way, Lord;
    lead me in a straight path
    because of my oppressors.
Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
    for false witnesses rise up against me,
    spouting malicious accusations.

I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.