Their plane was on the ground for less than a hour when Julie and Jay, our newly arrived volunteers, were put to work. They began rehearsal with Larry and Gary to prepare the piano, guitar and vocal music for Vida Abundante’s evening worship service.
This service marked the first use of the wooden platform constructed by Byron, Ray, Hoyt, Gary and Larry. Pastor Mariela and the congregation were so appreciative—both for the music and the construction work.
It was a festive evening that also included performances from children’s groups and presentation of Bibles to new members. The Friends of Cozumel organization also gave the pastor a challis for communion services.
“God’s work is coming through your hands to us,” said Pastor Mariela (as translated by Karen). She had the children hold their hands overhead as they repeated a blessing meant for us.
“Our congregation blesses those who were involved and the congregations of all of your churches,” the pastor said.
“We have already been blessed by this service,” replied LaFonda. “This was a mutual blessing.”
Earlier in the day, work was at a frenetic level to price and organize thousands of donated items for the Gran Bazar. Imagine a huge yard sale with nearly one-half ton (literally) of used and new clothing. People crowded around the gates surrounding the area an hour in advance of our opening time.
Clothes that many of us would discard in the U.S. are like gold here. At times, local families pool their few pesos to purchase an item so that first one child can wear it, then it will handed down on to the next and the next and so on. Nothing goes to waste. And the excess that we take for granted in our own privileged lives is literally unimaginable to a who a woman who may own only one or two changes of clothing and a single pair of rubber flip flops.
Thanks for donation transportation from volunteers like Dave and Jamie who sacrificed a bit of their winter in Nebraska to vacation in Cozumel. We couldn’t do this without the help of so many kind souls. Every person we’ve met is so very appreciative and we pass on that appreciation to all of you.–Phyllis