Monday, July 9, 2012

A full day

Today was our first full day with the boys here and we began the summer program.  This year, not only did we have the boys from Dar El Awlad, but we have a few kids joining us from the school.  We began the day with a short morning bible story followed by study time where we helped the kids with English and math lessons.  Then we had a morning worship service where the kids learned a few songs and heard a Bible story from Hannah.  I had been looking forward to our first worship service with the boys since we got here, especially since I missed Bible Club this year.  It was so fun seeing all the boys sing the songs and learn the motions.  For a moment when the music came on for move my groovy feet and all the kids started dancing and singing, I forgot that I was in another country.  Luckily, I’m reminded that I am actually in Lebanon every time we sit to eat a delicious meal. 
After morning worship service and lunch, we had afternoon activities with the kids where they made crafts and played a variety of games.  I’ve heard Tim say it time and time again as we prepared to come on this trip but the statement remains true, “boys are boys, and kids are kids anywhere.”  The children here come from a variety of backgrounds.  Some come as refugees from Syria or the Sudan, others are here at Dar El Awlad for family reasons, but all are children like the ones I meet in Waco.  They enjoy having people around them who care about them.  They may get into a little bit of mischief from time to time, but they like to feel loved and enthusiastically offer love to those they encounter.  It honestly reminds a little of Kevon running to hug everyone at the church. 
There are a few boys that I have especially connected with already who have invited me up to their unit the past few nights.  One set of brothers were dropped off by their mother who said anyone could adopt them if they wanted them because she wasn’t sure what to do with them.  Each one of them reminds me that God made it possible for me to be here for a reason.  Not to see Lebanon; not to help any of the kids with English or math, or even to lead worship services and tell a Bible story.  I am here because there is so much to receive from them.  I am here to see the welcoming nature and hospitality of the culture.  I am here to receive the enthusiastic love freely given by the boys and I am here to experience the awesome God that brings us all together.
~Josh Caballero
Singing and dancing and worshiping together.

 Bible study time with Hannah leading.

 Playing outside and enjoying one another.

 Schoolwork time. 

 The team enjoyed a picnic dinner on the ruins of an old Byzantine church and visiting a beautiful lookout point over the Mediterranean at sunset.

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