Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Celebrate Good Times

Yesterday was the big end-of-the-year event for the ABC program here in Quiche. It was a real Kool and the Gang moment. Since our program country-wide has grown so much, we all decided to divide up into regions. There is now a big fiesta for the kids from the coastal to capital regions, one for the kids from Pacayalito, Zacapa out east and now for the highlands region.

Sheri has a great post with pictures you should see. http://www.sheriinguate.blogspot.com/

Our team up here has never put on a production quite this big so we were all a little nervous. Thankfully we had experienced friends from the churches helping to plan and organize. Neva and I were in clinic helping Josefina crank out patients so we could all get to the event. When I called Kemmel to see how things were going, he said, "Pretty good so far. Man, there are kids all over the place!." There are 274 children in the program here and they all had their families with them, so it was impressive. The day started with worship in song with Voces Acapella leading singing, and then sending the children to age-specific classes while the parents enjoyed a sermon without distractions. The childrens classes were all taught by volunteers from the churches--men and women and teenagers who put together excellent activities, lessons and interactive learning.

After the lesson time everyone gathered back together to see who won top points. The points are given according to grades, school attendance, church attendance, home behavior (yes, mom and dad assigned the grade), and medical/dental checkup attendance. It is possible for everyone to make "1st place" according to points, but of course the kids are always shocked that so few win. As the bikes, clothes and other goodies were awarded I'm sure many New Year's resolutions were secretly being made!

The day was completed with lunch being served for over 800 people and free-play time in the park. Moms and dads enjoyed just sitting in the park chatting or playing basketball or soccer with the kids and watching to see who would dare to take a wade in the thriving ecosystem of a swimming pool. Luckily, the water wasn't deep there was minimal horseplay. I'm sure we'll have plenty of impetigo cases to get us started in January!

As the churches packed up and headed out in their rented buses and minivans they would stop and tell us all thanks. Even a few individual kids came by to thank us and tell us goodbye. We were worn out at the end of the day but finally got all the equipment back, people back and padlock back on the park gate. It was a good day and we thank God for his blessings on the families here through those of you who support children in ABC!


Sheri said...

What a successful day!!

AuntieAimee said...

Thanks for the update! Sounds like a fun day was had by all. I'm thankful to be a (small) part of such a successful and well-run program that is changing lives!

Mo&We said...

Ditto Sheri and Aimee. Talk about positive reinforcement; it's better than "Santa Claus is coming, and you better watch out." We thank your group for all you do - God bless you. Love, Mama and Daddy