Antigua 2010-Day Three

Monday morning. A wonderful cup of coffee on the porch bright and early. Another beautiful morning. Saw several cruise ships headed for the dock which is only a few blocks from the church. We loaded up in the van and headed for our first of many wonderful experiences in the schools of Antigua. First Stop. Princess Margaret School. We waited by the front office while the students flooded the campus. Fun to see so many friendly faces.
This was a middle school age campus. We held a devo in their auditorium. That in itself is amazing. God is regularly talked about in the schools. They quote scripture in their classes, they pray, they sing songs...quite different than what happens in our country! We sang a few songs and Justin shared a few thoughts with them. We were all on the stage and they were PACKED into the auditorium. When Collin, our song leader of the group, got up to lead us in song, the girls all went crazy. Seems they thought he was a member of the Jonas Brother Band! Ha. So, when he started singing the girls all started screaming! It was so funny. The quickly joined in and started singing but it was a funny start to our devo! The students are well behaved and so sweet!
We left the school and drove to a nursing home to sing and visit with the residents. The condition of most of the residents was heartbreaking. I think it was a shock to see the condition of their facility. It was clean but very old buildings and it appeared that they were understaffed compared to what we are accustom to in our country. The residents were precious and so appreciative! Those that could, sang along with us and you could tell it was a big treat for them. It took our student a bit to start really interacting with the residents but before long, they were giving hugs and talking away! Two things I want to share. John Ferguson, one of our students, mention to Larry he had not worked with the elderly much and you could tell he was having a hard time knowing what to do. THEN, he saw two men sitting at a table playing domino's. John, found a chair, walked over and asked them if he could join them in their game...you should have seen those two men's faces light up! It was priceless!

The other sweet moment, was my encounter with one of the residents. I saw a man sitting alone on an old wooden bench, so I went over and sat down by him and started visiting with him. I explained where we were from and introduced myself as Mary Kay. He looked me right in the eye, shook my hand and said "My name is Auckland". My parents named me after the capital of New Zealand. Then he proceeded to say, "My full name is Auckland Knight, K.N.I.G.H.T". I just started laughing, and told him my full name was Mary Kay Knight! He looked up at me as if I was lying and I said, "No, really, my last name is K.N.I.G.H.T! It was priceless. He had the biggest smile. I called Larry over and introduced him to Larry Knight. We sat down and visited and Larry said "Auckland, it is very nice to meet you! Do you suppose we are cousins?" Auckland laughed and said "Well, if we are, it happened a long time ago!"! Below is a picture of us with our new friend, Auckland Knight.
Each day at noon, we ate our lunch at the church building. I cannot describe how amazing the lunches were each day. The women of the church, took turns fixing us lunch. They would fix TONS of food for us! We were completely overwhelmed with the love they showed us through their cooking, serving and tending to our needs! Each day, the food was fresh out of their gardens and all home cooked dishes! Amazing! After lunch, we went to the Hotel, changed into our painting clothes and headed back to Princess Margaret School. It is hard to imagine the condition of these schools. The school was built in 1955 and honestly looks like nothing has been done on the inside's of the classrooms. There will be a very old chalkboard at the front and dingy dirty walls. There are not bulletin boards, nothing. It certainly makes me keenly aware of how nice our schools are in Texas! However, the students are incredibly well behaved! The schools had asked us to paint two classrooms and one storage/office area. I think the condition of this room shocked us all. There were vulgarities written all over the walls. Below is a before and after picture. It felt so good to give these students a fresh "new" classroom. I would have loved to have been there when they returned to class the next morning. Our whole group worked extremely hard for a few hours then most of them left to go set up and hold our first Youth Rally at the church. Larry, John, Grady and myself stayed at the school and kept painting, along with one of the Villa members, Thomas, who has a painting business in Antigua. It was so hot, little air moving, humid and yet it was the most rewarding work ever! :)

I love this kind of work. Exhausting but so fun to see such amazing results! The group who held the Youth Rally came back in the Van to pick us up after they were finished and we were just putting the furniture back into the rooms. It was so cool to see the transformation, though I didn't get many pictures! We drove back to the Hotel and I have never enjoyed a shower as much as I did that night! Everyone ate in their own rooms so Larry and I went easy and fixed ourself a sandwich. After supper, Justin and Kari came down to our room for coffee and pie! Yummy. John and Grady joined us and we all sat in the room and laughed and talked about the funny moments of the trip thus far. It was the best medicine ever! Larry and I had returned that evening completely exhausted but by bedtime we were revived from the stories of the day!

1 comment:

annalee said...

i love that y'all were a part of such an incredible trip and i'm loving reading all about it day by day.