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Wednesday in Xela!

I can’t believe we have already done two days of service at the Little House of Refuge, and that we only have two days left. The days have gone by so quickly! Today was another productive day in Xela for our team.
We got to the orphanage and immediately started on projects; some of our team focused on continuing to clean out the room that will eventually become the computer lab. Before we got there, it was two rooms full of trash and cobwebs. Now, it is one large room, and it is almost a third of the way plastered so the walls will be smoother. It is going to be beautiful when it is finished.
Another group continued to clear out some other rooms on the near the street that were also filled to the brim with garbage and old bottles of water.
Another group got to work on electrical and plumbing issues at the orphanage. They worked tirelessly to drill a hole through a thick wall in the laundry room so that the new washing machine we were able to get will work more efficiently. (Gloria just told us over dinner that when the caretakers found out about the new washing machine, they couldn’t believe it! It will save them hours spent washing the kid’s clothes). Hopefully when we leave, they will have a fully functioning laundry room, a hot water heater, and water where it is needed on the orphanage campus.
We have a few men working on electrical issues; they discovered today, though, that the electrical situation at the orphanage is quite complex. A lot of things will need to be changed, meaning we won’t be able to fully complete the tasks we originally hoped to. However, the work our electrical team is doing will greatly help future teams to be productive. Not matter how complete the electrical tasks are when we leave, it will be a great help to the orphanage.
We also had a team working on the bakery. Months ago we were told that American pastries and goods sell well in the Xela area, and the older girls would like to learn to make some bakery items that they can sell. Another team was able to set up a beautiful kitchen in a room near the street, however, the keys had been misplaced ever since the last team had been at orphanage, so it has gone unused. It was a big goal to open up the bakery and see what we’re working with.
After cutting through two padlocks and using some elbow grease on an old rusty lock, the rolling door to the bakery kitchen opened, and we were absolutely stunned by what we saw inside; a gorgeous kitchen! Far more than what we had hoped for. Though it was incredibly dusty, we were so grateful for the things we found behind that door; a stainless steel sink area, a commercial oven, tons of cooking pans, utensils, cookie cutters… far more than we expected. We got to work cleaning and sanitizing everything – the entire kitchen was a dust pit.  However at the end of the day, we had almost all of it cleaned and ready to go.  Tomorrow, Madison will be teaching a few of the older girls how to make cakes!  We will get to eat them Friday when we have our Adios! party.  What a blessing behind that garage door!
In the afternoon, we had singing and story time again with the kids. We continued the story about Jesus and explained how Jesus died for each and every person, even every child at the Little House of Refuge. They are always so attentive during story time, and answered questions about the story quickly. They are all so smart! And it was incredible to hear them repeat the message that Jesus died for them.
Today, coloring books and bubbles were a huge hit. We colored for the better part of two hours with the kids. We had a great time learning color names and trying to teach the kids English color names. Playing with the kids seems to have been the highlight for everyone this week – they are so fun and full of life. None of us want to leave when the day is over, no matter how tired we are.
Tomorrow we continue with our projects. We hope to have a very productive day; we’ll leave about an hour earlier for the orphanage so that we can have as much time as possible. Our goal is to complete tasks enough that it does not cause the care takers to do any more work than they already do. So that means getting a lot of projects completed by Friday afternoon. We can do it! Pray that we have strength in every minute that we have to spend working, and that we won’t let exhaustion get the best of us.
We are so excited to start wrapping up projects tomorrow, and to teach the older girls to bake! It will be an eventful day.

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