Margie, Monica (two volunteers from Texas and Nevada respectively) and I tried to understand all that was being said during the home visits and at the programs on Friday and Saturday nights, but there was no way. Quechua doesn’t resemble English or Spanish. The only way we could understand anything that was happening was to look at the people’s faces. I noticed the children’s faces from the first moment that Luis, Edwin and Jose dressed as Moses, a child and a bunny, entered the children’s classrooms to invite them to the program that night. There was smiling and laughter and clapping while they were in the classrooms and when they left they actually had children following them. There were over 250 people at the program that night.
The closing pantomime at the program that evening, with faces painted white and in utter gracefulness, was incredibly powerful as each one of us was invited to give our heart to Jesus.
Men from both the Cotani community and the Aguirre community came up to different staff members before the programs were even finished and asked when we could return. Our district coordinator, Daniel, announced in Cotani, before the program was over, before asking if we were in agreement or not, that the Tiu Rancho staff would be returning before Christmas. The director at the Cotani school asked us to inform him when we could return so that he could coordinate with us to plan another outreach of programs for the children.
God was equally faithful to each person on the Tiu Rancho staff as we all shared in our last devotional together before returning to Tiu Rancho, how much God had touched each of our hearts as we reached out to others: in the fields while they were irrigating, along the streams where moms were washing clothes, in the homes where many were invited to share potatoes, with the children as they peaked at us from wherever they were. I still feel very humble at being a part of God’s plan to touch lives in such a beautiful way.
We are called, each one, to listen to all who need to share, to share laughter and songs, to bring God’s good news.
Throughout the three days of visiting and sharing the Good News as we climbed the mountain sides to reach the homes of the people in Cotani and Aguirre, we were reminded of the old testament passage, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, and says to Zion, “The God of Israel Reigns!'” (Isaiah 52:7)