It was Independence Day here in Mexico so in honor of Mexico’s independence, we played war games. It was a long evening, we had too many games, but it was a lot of fun! We had 8 new students join the game, now there are 36 in total. I am amazed at how the students are able to relate this to their every day life. The devotional I gave at the beginning dealt with the Spiritual Warfare we are in as Christians. We read in Ephesians chapter 6 that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” I encouraged them to remember that our struggle is not against people, but against Satan and all of his demons. That helps put things into a different perspective when people offend us or do things to us that we don’t especially like. To keep the “Philippians” theme, we finished with Philippians 4:13, “I can do everything through him (Christ) who gives me strength.” So, when struggles come and when we feel discouraged, we can know that Christ is with us and he’ll give us strength.
We call the games “Challenges” because that’s what they are. The first challenge for them was to paint their face. For some, I’m sure it was a challenge and a little embarrassing, however, they did it and I was proud of them. The other challenges included a “Shout” (something traditional here in Mexico is that on September 15 at mid-night, they have what they call a “Grito” or Shout). So each team shouted and we measured the noise level with the computer to see who won. There were water balloon launching games, egg fights (with flour in them), Kangaroo wrestling and a rendition of “Gladiators” with water balloons—which turned out to be the hit challenge. We had obstacles set up at the speed soccer court and the whole team had to try and make it to the finish while another team was throwing water balloons at them. It was a lot of fun to watch! The final challenge was tug-of-war in the mud.
I met with the student leaders for dinner after all the games and talked to them about how their teams are doing. They all are encouraged and are giving it all they’ve got. One of the leaders is new because the leader of his team wasn’t able to be there this past weekend. He did a great job leading and I’m fully confident that he will continue to be a great leader in the future and even get better at it. It was neat to see how they could relate the day’s theme with their group. We sometimes have challenges when we are leading. Julio, the one who has been learning how to deal with “stinkers,” did a great job this weekend and his team had a big change of attitude because of his leadership. I was impressed with him. I am excited about the impact this game is having on our students. They are learning how to be leaders, encouragers, participants, and how to reach out to others. It is encouraging to watch. Another great thing also is that we have such a great staff that is helping. Not just the missionary staff, but staff for the game, they are locals from the church body who have been helping with the details and doing all they can to make this a success for the youth and so that God will be glorified.
I want to thank all of you who support us financially. When you give, you give to events like this that make an impact in the lives of the students. Thank you!