We spent most of our morning preparing for tonight´s VBS, but during their down time, some of our boys went to the plaza in front of Catholic church across street to play Frisbee with Richard, one of the AU students working at the Amigo´s church. There they met man who told them his life story of abuse and addiction. They invited him to come to the meeting. He said OK, but wanted to clean up first. They ran back to the church to get soap and a clean shirt for him. He asked for a Bible, too. Ryan had just bought one this morning at the conference office, so he had one to give him.
The man came to the church before the meeting started, but we were at VBS. He told the AU students he wanted to be sure to see our skit. However, just as the meeting was to start, he had a major seizure and fell down. Although police came and were going to take him to the hospital, he seemed to have recovered and he left before we got back to the Amigos church. Josué and Adonías had made a special connection with him during the time they spent in the park with him and were especially devastated by this turn of events. We had special prayer for him and I told them that seizures often make people want to sleep. [Update: the guys were able to find him a couple days later at the park, so they know he is OK.]
During the afternoon we went with AU students to pass out leaflets in park, inviting people to meeting. It was actually pretty easy to engage strangers in conversation and we enjoyed meeting people on the street.
VBS—we had about 54 children today. We think we will not hit the 100 we prepared for. It is raining here quite a bit and we are told people won’t go out when it is raining, as most have to walk to church.
Our skit for tonight, “I would love to follow you,” was a monologue I had found online. After seeing the enthusiastic response to our skits, however, we knew it was too dry and we needed to make it more dynamic. I rewrote it, keeping the plot line: a man (Ryan) goes through various stages of life, Jesus knocks at the door, but the man always has a reason why this is not the right time to follow Him. But instead of a monologue, our dramatic duo of Adoniah and Josué embraced the role of the man´s children, which added some comic relief and Mariela was convincing as the nursing home aide. When we presented the skit at the Central Church, we ended it much as the original did—the protagonist´s life ended without responding to Christ´s invitation. Sitting in the front pew, I realized we had created a real downer. Oops! I hopped up, grabbed a mic and gave a passable moral to the story and got a few amens.
As we walked to the Amigos church, we debriefed and I suggested a different ending. I read Revelation 3:20 (“I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him and he with me.”) Instead of the sad ending, we ended with a positive, hopeful reminder that no matter what the stage of our lives, Jesus is knocking and we can choose to open the door. We appreciate having Central church as our guinea pig audience before presenting to our peers. Well, that is, my students´ peers.