**Please note: Our internet has been on edge for nearly a week! We are so sorry for the delay in posting updates. Even though the group left on Monday, we still wanted to share more about their week of ministry!
LAST DAY OF CONFERENCE:
Thursday, we began the day with the last day of the women’s conference. We began with singing and then Sharon and I shared messages on the last two attributes of God from the Waymaker song. I spoke on how God loves; I shared about how His love is a jealous love and He longs for relationship with us. I also shared on how His love covers all of our afflictions – that He is enough.
After I spoke, we had a snack of cheese puffs and lemonade, then the women enjoyed visiting with one another for short time. Sharon then spoke on God being a Miracle Worker. She shared how we often use the word miracle to refer to many things that we may be happy have happened or not happened, but true miracles come from God and are His protection over us or His provision. She also told the women at the end that, “What you believe about God shapes everything”. When we believe that God is faithful, loving, a promise-keeper, a Waymaker, and a miracle worker, and light in the darkness – we can trust in His promises and know He is who He says.
After the messages the ladies played a game. We had a replay of the games from the first two days with the cup and the stacking cups game with a balloon. Then the winner of both rounds played a new game. The women were in pairs from four teams and had to be the first to pop the balloon. These games brought much laughter and cheering.
The last thing we did as the women were leaving was to hand out bars of soap to remind the women that God washes us clean from sin. We had over a hundred women come to the conference throughout the week. It was a lot of work and it took all of our team to make it happen. It was such a blessing to be a part of it and I pray that the women felt blessed and encouraged as well.
After lunch, Lily and Tom finished painting the orphanage and the rest of us prepared for the New Years’ Eve celebration. We cracked at least 3000 glowsticks with the help of some of the orphans, and made bundles of helium balloons.
We headed downtown around dinnertime to help with the celebration.
We ate hot dogs from the vendors and after Carly ate hers, she said,” My lips are burning!” What some of us thought was just ketchup may have been hot sauce!
There was a stage area set up with all the prizes and the announcers. There were large wired Christmas decorations on both sides of the stage. On the ground there was a large area set up in a square for all the games and dancing to take place for the evening. Many adults and lots of children came to enjoy the night.
There were six different vendor tables where you could buy food or drinks. We also gave each of the vendors a large box of hats, headbands, necklaces, noisemakers, and horns to distribute as well.
We had 65 professional dancers who drove 6 hours just to perform for this special event. They were really awesome to see. They had some crazy tricks I had never seen before. There were also several dances from the locals, the kids who live on campus, and a few of the Castillo girls as well.
One of the best parts of the night was playing games & winning prizes. The mission passed out 3000 tickets over the course of the month. They called tickets all night long – even after the fireworks went off. The schedule typically went back and forth from 15 minutes dancing to 20 minutes of games.
They usually called 10+ numbers during each round and if you had that number you came up to play the game. Winners of games received many prizes from, dolls, skateboards, scooters, balls, headphones, toys, umbrellas, clothes, toiletries, chargers, phones, backpacks, speakers, tvs, etc. It was a very fun night to be a part of.
We distributed the glow-sticks, verified the ticket winners each round, helped facilitate the games, & did a lot of the filming!
At midnight, there was an awesome display of fireworks. It was big event for the Castillo family and they worked very hard to prepare and be a blessing to the community.