Urgent prayer request: We planned financially for 3,000 eggs total for the entire week. We had to purchase 2,000 eggs already for the first day. We are anticipating a need for 8,500 eggs total. We could have up to 3,000 children tomorrow and 3,500+ on Friday. The request goes without saying -- WE NEED MORE EGGS! Pray that God will provide the eggs in the way he's provided for so many other needs on this trip so far.
Today was a momentous day. We were awe-struck by the number of children who showed up this morning. As I stated in a previous post, we were expecting around 1,100 children today. We wound up with 2,300. It was awesome, and by God's grace alone we were able to accommodate all of the children. The day began with recreation outside, where we divided up in stations of different games, including the parachute game, relay races, chalk, soccer, and a hybrid game of volleyball. It was so much fun, and the children had an absolute blast.
From there, we corralled all of the children inside the cathedral. They filled every seat and then some. The children were led in song by Pastor Samuel, a large man with a booming voice. The Americans then taught the children how to sing a host of other songs, which geared everyone up for what came next.
A very special banana (Rachel Meis) told the story of Adam and Eve. The children were captivated and learned that they are a part of God's very special creation and that they are made in his image. After the banana's presentation, we divided all 2,300 children into 21 groups of IPCers and Rwandan translators for an object lesson, craft time, and egg-eating. This part of the morning was nothing short of a miracle. There were children everywhere, and we somehow managed to include every child in our activities despite our lack of supplies. In the image lesson, we had the children look into a mirror and explain to them that they were made in God's image. We then had them play a mirror-imaging game, teaching the children to imitate God even though it is very hard to do. Next, we had the children draw their own faces on paper plates using crayons. This was a lot of fun because we talked about how each child was created perfectly by God who gave them eyes to see, ears to hear, noses to smell, and mouths with which to smile.
Miraculously, almost every child received an egg before they went home. It is so urgent that you pray that God will provide the means to feed every child who comes through VBS. We also pray that the Lord stretches our supplies to meet the need, as we expect a growing number of children. We are ill-equipped, but God is the great Provider, Sustainer, Author, and Physician, and He will continue to show up in a very big way. So please, we implore you, let this be your prayer. Also, pray that each child learned today that he/she is a beautiful creation of God's and that He loves them so deeply.
On a special note, our Rwandan volunteers have been hugely helpful. Their ability to translate for us (i.e. Charles and his impressive ability to translate Rachel's message today) has been unspeakably powerful -- we simply could not do this without them. We are trying to teach the volunteers to lead the individual classes so that they will be equipped to teach once we have left. Most have done an incredible job at this, and still others have displayed some timidity, so please pray that God moves them to be great teachers of His Gospel.
We look forward to updating you tomorrow, and check back later today for pictures. A special thanks goes to Liberty's friend who has graciously stepped up to post pictures from the U.S. Thank you, thank you, thank you!