April 25, 2010
Happy Hour Rolls On!
Today we achieved a goal that sure felt good to see happen. Something that is very important to us as missionaries, is not to be "Super American" hero people that sweep in and save the day. There are a million reasons for this, and you can read them all by googling missiology and reading the articles that come up about current trends and the move away from this heroism mentality. We refer to it as "equipping the nationals," which basically means that wherever possible, we want to help the Paraguayans themselves minister within their culture, because they can do it WAY better than we foreigners can. So while we minister, we are also aiming to train up other ministers, each one finding his giftings and operating in them.
With that goal in mind, we turned Hora Feliz over to a team of local young people today. We'll still be available as "helpers" until they are fully confident, and they'll come here for planning sessions each week for now. But these guys are on the ball and are taking La Hora Feliz very seriously. If you don't remember La Hora Feliz (Happy Hour) from previous posts, it's the weekly Sunday School sort of meeting for our neighborhood children. The American mission interns have helped us get this started and keep it going, and now after meeting with a few local youth, sharing the vision, and going over the resources, those same youth took the reins today for the first time.
It was a HUGE success! They used the Betty Lukens flannelgraph set, went over a Bible story and its character lesson, played teamwork games, sang songs, and had a blast! The 13 children all participated, and the fact that one of the youth was a young man meant that the older crowd that usually hangs out and "watches," actually jumped in and participated, even in the silly motions to the songs. It was spectacular to hear this group of children singing about worshiping God, and to hear the youth explaining that prayer is simply talking to Him. Thank God for planting the gifts in these teens and giving them the courage to step up to the challenge of Hora Feliz (it is a challenge--you should have seen the wrestling that ensued when the popcorn came out!)