Perseverance, Dance, and Memories

Memories are special. I wrote this in August, the week I prepared a party for me students at Hope of Life to perform their dances. In the craziness of changing plane tickets and suddenly having to leave sooner than planned I never posted it. Now over 3 moths later I find myself thinking about my dance students everyday. I miss them. I decided to post this now because it is a special memory to me. 

Shrieks filled the air as I watched my dance students jump up and down with joy. I tried hard not to fall over as I was bombarded by a mob of hugs. All this joy over the simple statement: “I am planning a party so you can perform your dances!”

Everyday since I told my dance students we would be having performance. They have asked me, “what should we wear, what is our uniform?” I don’t have the ability right now during the quarantine to go out and buy matching shirts or outfits for them. So I’m sewing them each a matching hair bow. Some people might think that’s silly. But it’s one of the ways I can show these kids I care about what’s important to them; a way I can help make this day something special for them. Honestly I’ve had a lot fun being creative and sewing again.

This week during dance class we have been learning about perseverance. After practicing a dance one time through I offer some encouragement for sections well done and some correction for sections that need improvement. Then I say, “Let’s do it again!” Usually I am met with several “No’s!” “No not again!” and some of the kids refuse to continue rehearsing. 

In life we must often do hard things, things we don’t want to do in order to be successful. When we live for Jesus we definitely have to do hard and uncomfortable things knowing that in the end it will be worth it. So I asked my students, (with the best Spanish I have)

“Do you think it was easy for Jesus to die on the cross in order to save us? No. it was very hard and painful. But he chose to do it anyway, because he loves God and he loves you. School for example might be hard, but you must persevere and study hard so that you can get a good job when you grow up. Then you will be able to provide for your family, you won’t have to be hungry. So as we prepare to perform this dance, you must be willing to practice the dance over and over again even if you don’t want to. This dance is a place where you have the opportunity to praise the Lord. Let’s persevere and do our best because we love the Lord.” 

Perseverance is a character quality that is an important part of life and walking by faith. I am grateful for the opportunity to teach these kids an important character quality during a fun activity like dance. In the midst of all this joy and excitement for the dance performance my heart also grieves that these precious kids don’t have parents or loved ones to watch and cheer them on, to celebrate and tell them good job.

Pray for me as I strive to share with them a glimpse of the unconditional love God has for each one of them. I feel so unqualified. But I serve a mighty God who can do things that often appear impossible. A God who loves and cares about each of these kids. A God who hears our prayers. 

All dressed up and excited to perform!
The Girls were so excited for a reason to wear make up. They all looked absolutely beautiful. Their smiles just radiated as I told them how beautiful they looked.
Look at those hair bows! The Kids loved them more than I expected. I praised the Lord that I learned to sew when I was young… it’s amazing how the little skills we don’t think much about can be really handy.

I smile at the thought of being  greeted with a bombardment of hugs and shrieks of joy. I look forward to the day we return to Guatemala and I can begin teaching dance again. But for now, I remain in prayer for each of these kids’ hearts that desperately need Jesus. Please pray with me. 

Dancing in the rain!
Learning to skip!

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