This week has been a practice in patience and a lesson in trust. We have been working to enroll children in the new Kuyay Talpuy education center that will open on August 10th. The purpose of the Kuyay Talpuy school is to make education available to children who do not have the economic resources to attend school in Peru, to get them off the streets and out of the fields, and to witness to their families by loving their children. There are LOTS of these children out there (over 25% of children in Peru are in this situation - the percentage is higher in our area). In trying to meet the families and find these children, we have been met with distrust and fears that we didn't expect:
- People who don't trust us to feed their children lunch each day because we might put chemicals in their food and poison them.
- People who are afraid that we are part of a child smuggling scheme and we are just trying to steal their children and send them to other countries.
- People who are afraid that we are just trying to gain entrance into their lives so we can steal their livestock.
- People who are illiterate themselves, and so are very afraid of the forms that they are signing.
- People who are afraid that we are from the government and are trying to find out what they might be doing wrong.
And so we have had to be very patient. And we have had to literally promise not to poison their children, steal their livestock, sell their children, etc. Slowly, step by step, we are gaining some confidence. At first, we only signed up 2 children in one day. Then 2 more on another day. It seemed that we would never fill the classroom! But then we enrolled 7 one day, and 10 the next! And we realized that the children are our focus, but we will also be ministering to their families through the LOVE that we show to them and to their children... step by step, they will see that we are trustworthy and that we aren't to be feared and that we were sent by Christ to love them.