That flew by so fast.
- On Tuesday Maggie started her first day at SLI (Spanish Language Institute).
- We're having someone watch Patrick 4 days a week for some of the morning hours while Maggie is in school and I am working. Her first day was also on Tuesday, and we love her! Her name is Gina, and she and Patrick get along really well. She has helped out SLI students for 11 years now, and is used to our "strange" customs :)
- On Tuesday we met with the continuing adult leaders of the youth group and talked about things that will stay the same as we take over leadership of the youth group, and things that will change. It was great to spend time with others passionate about seeing the youth group grow deeper spiritually. We have two adult leaders, Melissa and Andres, and then Grace, who just graduated high school is staying on as an intern. Andres grew up going to youth group. He was the interim director, and will continue to help in many facets, including a lot of the administration. Melissa is another ReachGlobal friend who spends about a third of her official time meeting with youth group girls and leading the girls bible study. Grace is helping everywhere from student leadership to worship team to meeting with younger girls, as well as helping in other AMCA ministries.
- Wednesday was great as I got to have coffee with a SLI student who has been in student ministry for 10 years and hear some things he's learned about youth ministry: biggest takeaway, youth ministry involves parents and students. They're not autonomous. Without parental involvement in the student's life, youth ministry is not very effective. They have a son Patrick's age, so we went to their apartment and ate pizza and Patrick got to play in English.
- Thursday I watch Patrick in the mornings--Gina does not come. So we went with one of the highschool guys who hasn't started school yet to the hardware store to pick up some PVC pipe for games. Cheap and versatile, PVC is my favorite material with which to build games. We spent the whole morning sawing and taping the pipes with Zack. Thursday evenings we're off and we are starting date nights! We had our first date in about 3 or 4 months. Note: not a good idea to wait that long!
- Friday I met with the leader of the middleschool guy's bible study. He teaches Bible at a Spanish seminary here, and they only live 5 doors down from us. Convenient!
- I then met with the principal of Sojourn Academy, a bilingual school that meets on the SLI campus, where a lot of MKs go. Maggie and I got permission to join the students for lunches and different extracurricular activities. The principal and vice principal are excited to work with us, as many of the students there go to youth group. I sat in on lunch with some Sojourn students after the meeting.
- Afterwards, I caught a bus to a ride to the student worship team meeting. We discussed the expectations of the worship team, and I got to share some very important things I've learned over 10 years of leading worship. From sincere humility to analyzing a song to see if it will work well to sing as a group. Afterwards, one of the students led us in a half hour of prayer and song.
- Last night was the big US vs Costa Rica World Cup qualifier. When Costa Rica played in the US they lost, and it was a little unfair--they played in Denver in April, and after the US scored it snowed a bunch, but the game was never cancelled. Seeing as it never snows in Costa Rica, it was even more difficult for the Ticos to play in--and both teams were having a hard time. Last night, Costa Rica saw vindication winning 3-1. There was cheering on the streets for 2-3 hours after the game was over. I am not a US soccer fan myself, and unashamedly rooted for Costa Rica. Maggie shushed me once when I yelled after Costa Rica scored... something about a sleeping toddler?...
- This morning we went to the market! We are finally figuring out that we need to stock up on fruits and veggies on Saturday mornings. Supermarket produce here is usually old and beat up and expensive. We're learning to eat more like Latin Americans do--more rice, plantains, and other veggies they have here but not in Ohio or Georgia.
- Tonight we have student leaders meeting, worship practice, and the big youth group meeting. Earlier this afternoon we'll have a Skype conference call with the speaker who is coming down for campout in October. I'll start speaking at youth groups after our October campout so as to focus on the many other areas that involve the transfer of leadership responsibilities!
Patrick is adapting so well. He loves hanging out with students and eating tropical fruit. Although, he was very grateful to have some familiar strawberries this morning. He loves the fresh bread from the plethora of bakeries. He does miss Maggie's folks a lot though, with whom we were living for the last year. He likes talking to both sets of grandparents on Skype, a special treat that we are blessed to have.