I think I can safely declare that this is my favorite time of the year in Lima—especially this year. Besides the fact that its sunny-make-you-want-to-dive-into-any-body-of-water weather and that we have a fabulous little city garden throwing down roots in the ministry center backyard, its also
What's that you ask? It can be loosely translated as
"Back to School" Educational Assistance Time! (the seasons are reversed this side of the equator if you do recall).
I just love hearing about the successes these children have had in the previous school year, to see the proud joy on their mothers' faces as they tell us how well their little girl is counting or how her son finished first grade with all "A+"s. Its not easy for these women and their children. Many of them are on their own trying to raise their family and pay the bills as an essentially single parent, but when they choose to stand up anyway and say my child WILL have a good education and they commit themselves to it, well, that's one of the most beautiful things I've ever had the privilege of witnessing. To sit with them and to help them evaluate their needs to see how WMF Peru can help and then hear them say "I will work hard so that my child can meet his/her educational goals", especially knowing many of the hardships & often poor access to education they themselves experienced, its hopeful and incredible. The icing on the cake is getting to send the ladies home with fresh parsley, basil, mint, chives and cucumbers (some friendly, albeit ravenous, worms included) from our very own garden. Makes me giddy from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. Can't wait till all those gorgeous green tomatoes start glowing vibrant summer red. Its possible I'll lose it altogether from joy but its a risk I'm willing to take...
Watching both mother and child grow in responsibility and liveliness respectively has been a gift stretched out across these 5 years that I have been here. I am so thankful for the people who came before me and did all the hard work of establishing and promoting this program. I know for a fact that those first interviews were some of the most difficult and I am so grateful for their commitment and perseverance [ahem, Langleys, Sarsah, Jose Luis...:)].
And of course THANK YOU to all the people who have said prayers for these families and donated from their resources—you are an integral part of this team. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
If you think of it, say a prayer for them—if you'd like to chip in click HERE and designate your gift to "Peru Educational Assistance".