Spanish Lessons

The girls think her name is Angelica, but they aren’t quite sure because she was quiet and a little hard to hear. You can understand that if you can picture the scene. The team from NMSU had been challenged by the local men’s softball team in the neighborhood of Palos Negros to a game today. Yesterday in a pick up game we beat them by one point, so they wanted a little payback. We were all gathered at the local softball field. The loudness of that game, plus the presence of about 30 neighborhood children and 20 other onlookers would make it hard to hear anyone let alone a quiet young girl.

Holly and Jade weren’t playing in the game, and had sat down in the grass to watch. Soon a small crowd of children approached them to play. Angelica was one of those kids. She sat down with them and started a conversation. Her favorite class at school was English. Her handwriting was perfect, and what the girls couldn’t say in Spanish, they would point to things, and Angelica would tell them what it was in Spanish, and then write it down for them. The girls would then write the English word to help Angelica learn more vocabulary as well. She was smart. She helped translate the song, “Jesus Loves Me” into Spanish, and then they all sang it. Most of the other children around wanted to play with any type of ball, and the rest of the non-softball playing ones obliged. We had a kickball, pseudo volleyball, soccer, and American football games going on all around that small group of two American girls and about 6 Nicaraguan kids singing and teaching each other about their lives.

It was hard for the girls to say goodbye to each other because of the connection they had made. Without speaking each other’s language very well, they were still able to connect and build a true affection for each other in the short amount of time a softball game can be played.  As I watched them interact, it showed me the power that the love of Christ has. We prayed that our hearts would be opened to the people of Nicaragua, and he brought to us people like Angelica…and Eddy, Onedia, Armando, Antonio, Anthony, Harry, Justin, and so many others.

Others in our group asked me about the possibility of sponsoring children from our Rivas program. I told them about what that sponsorship money accomplishes. Girls like Angelica can go to school, boys like Harry can have enough to eat, and they will both learn more about the love of Christ. Not a bad deal for $35 a month.

Oh, the score of the game? I lost track of that when I started to see what was happening all around me,but  I think the local team won 22-11.

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