Every Sunday we go out on outreach right before Sunday school. We have a big speaker we mount on top of the car and a recording of a Sunday school song that blasts as we drive. It has become our trademark song - kids come running out of their houses as we drive through the streets handing out candy and invitations to church and Sunday school.
Within the past couple of months, we've started picking up some new kids. They've come before on and off, but we've been making a concentrated effort to drive by and see them. They come out in droves, hands outstretched for candy. They are such a pitiful bunch - well below what I'd consider to be an "average" poverty level in Mexico. They can also be pretty blunt - give them one piece of candy and they will most likely respond with, "Give me one more!" You can't hold it against them though. They are just poor kids, never taught manners, and starving for any sort of attention.
The new development with this group is that their moms have started giving us permission to take them to Sunday school. This means that as we drive by on outreach, we stop and load them into the van. They always have something funny to say! The observations they make - it's like looking at the world through new eyes.
|This is Paulina!|
They hop in and start messing with the seatbelts, rolling down windows, pulling things out of compartments and cup holders. "What's this?" "Can I have this?" They over-exaggeratedly shiver and exclaim about the coooold air blowing out of the vents. After dropping them off one Sunday after Sunday school, one of the little girls insisted that I go around to the trunk because she'd found a piece of candy she wanted. It turned out to be a tube of colorful zip-ties.
|In the back - Miguel, Tania, and Maria. Nicole and I in the front with Ana.|
|She knowwws how to pull on your heartstrings!|
I take them back home after Sunday school, and they are careful to make sure I have my purse and phone before leaving the church. They argue over who gets to carry what.
|This is the look Ana gets on her face when she's begging for something. "Aaaandale!" (C'monnn!)|
I love this picture. It is a perfect example of what goes on during our drives. Pure craziness!
Playing with air conditioning vents, switching seats, fighting for the front seat....as I drive....
Yes...I'm going to insist on seat belts from now on.
|Please don't spill that ice cream :D|
Right as I was going up to the piano to start Sunday school, this one lifted her arms up to me and whispered "Cargame!" (Hold me!)
I sat her beside the sound system while I played, all the while she's hollering at me, "WHAT ARE THESE BUTTONS FOR??" I'm like, "Please don't touch...hahaha!"
|In church she whispered to me "Right you are Tania's friend?" When I told her that yes, I was Tania's friend she got that look on her face of "See, I knew I was right." Haha!|
So...now for the latest development. After Sunday school this past weekend, we loaded up in the van to take them back home.
|Got one in a seatbelt back there! Score!|
I pull up to their house and one says, "Where are you going now?" I said "Church..."
They reply, "We want to go with you!!"
Okey dokey then!
I told them that they'd have to get permission from their parents so they ran in to ask. I figured I should verify this exchange and it'd also be a good chance to also invite their mom so I followed Paulina in. A lot of houses here do not have doors, just curtains so you have to yell "Tan, tan, tan!" in lieu of knocking.
Their mom came to the door and I introduced myself. I told her that her kids wanted to go to church and invited her to accompany us. She said she was busy, and her kids had to bathe. This sent Paulina into that universal begging dance that consists of a lot of jumping up and down and rapid "Please, please, please, please, please!"
Me: "I'll bring them right back afterwards!"
Mom: *big sigh* "When will they be back?"
Me: *cringe* "In a couple of hours."
Mom: *deep breathe* "Ok."
As everyone piled back into the car, they got a talking-to. They are fascinated with the bathrooms at church - the liquid pump soap, running water, toilets that flush, the paper towel dispenser...
The bathroom is the first place they go when they arrive, and if we let them, there are numerous trips during Sunday school. I explained that we'd all use the restroom when we got to church, but there would be no trips after that. They'd have to be on their best behavior, no rough-housing, no acting up. They all agreed...while adjusting the air vents and wiggling around entirely too much.
We sat towards the back of the church. I had to play and Nicole had to sing so we couldn't sit with them through the song service, but mom agreed to sit at one end of their row and Sis. Elvira sat at the other. After song service I went to sit in the middle of them. As I got to my seat, a bunch of them flocked to me and started in on a chorus of "She hit me, he called me that, tell her to blah blah blah...!!!"
I felt a little bad for the people sitting behind us, but justified it with the fact that most of the people on the back row don't pay attention anyways. WHOOPS.
The kids got antsy within the first few minutes of the preaching. One claimed that she was about to pee her pants, but when I started pulling things out of my purse, that took a backseat.
I had not planned on having to keep a slew of little kids quiet in church, therefore did not have very interesting things in my purse.
I hoped that my solar phone charger could act as an equivalent of Whit's Boredom Buster - the only difference being that the main entertaining thing about this block of plastic is that it has four tiny blue lights that flash when you press the button at the top. That's it.
It worked for a while, but soon everyone else wanted something out of my purse. They all got up at one point to crowd around and ask if they could have a turn playing with the solar charger.
I'm pushing them back towards their chairs while gritting my teeth and whispering "GO SIT DOWNNNN!"
|"What does this dooooo??"|
|My scarf became a great source of quiet entertainment..|
|"I'll trade you this solar charger for your calculator!"|
What I thought to be a brilliant idea -
I personally would never wipe my face down with an *antibacterial* wipe, but these kids did. I figured if they could smash their fingers in the door and not cry, they probably wouldn't break out in hives over a measly wet wipe.
|I had to stifle my laughter. |
They took this to the extreme...Started out washing their arms and faces...
|...Then moved on to their legs and even beneath their socks.|