(para leer en español, dele click aquí)
Last Thursday I had the opportunity to visit Sacacoyo, a community in the department of La Libertad. I spent the night with a warm and hospitable family, spending most of the evening with Diana, an energetic and fun loving 6 year old. She showed me around her yard, teaching me about all the plants and trees that the family had on their property. We played a mini soccer game in the kitchen while her mother cooked beans and scrambled eggs for dinner. Diana was very excited about the community celebration on Sunday where she would also be celebrating her 7th birthday. As Diana pranced around the house she was excited to show me her three pets (a small turtle and two dogs) and the fact that she knew how to ride a bike. We ate dinner together in the living room, watching the news and a Soap Opera.
I went back to the community of Sacacoyo that Sunday to participate in the Celebration of the word and give Diana her birthday gift. I took two buses on my own for the first time that day, and met up with Miguel to spend a little time with a new family. I ended up meeting with some members of the CEBEs (Christian Based Communities) and they gave me a lunch of vegetable soup, warm tortillas, and a salad. We ate quickly, and freshened up before leaving for the celebration.
Upon arriving in the celebration I was welcomed with open arms, warm hugs, and kind smiles. During the celebration the community expressed their thoughts about the presence of God. They believed that the Savior walked with the people and is present in their hearts. God is with them in the midst of struggles, suffering, happiness, and pain. He is not only in heaven far from his people acting as a unknown entity but He participates actively in the daily lives of his people.
The conversation got personal, as the community spoke openly about their own strengths, weaknesses, joys, challenges, and hopes for the future. In order for the community to move forward, active participation for organizing events, celebrations and meetings was crucial. The community also agreed that love, support and effort would also be necessary to move the community forward.
Diana had her birthday celebration afterwards and the community celebrated as the children went to town on a blue and pink piñata, ate chicken sandwiches, played games, and enjoyed a large banana cake covered in grapes and strawberry jam.
After the celebration some of us decided to take a short hike up a hill for a beautiful view of lush green rolling hills and valles as a full moon overlooked the beautiful scenery. Diana of course was our tour guide all the way up.