Each family received one five-pound bag each of rice, corn, and beans. The families were not expecting the food; the foundation chooses a different colonia every week and no one knows except two or three people which colonia it is until Thursday morning before teams leave to pass out the food. This is part of the incredible gift of discernment we have seen over and over again in Ron and Shelly; unfortunately, this society can be very manipulative and there are often people who do not live in the selected colonia who hear of the location where food will be passed out and go there, hoping for a handout. A different colonia is selected each week and all of them are chosen over the course of the summer.
The entire process is fairly long, starting with the foundation ordering huge sacks of corn, rice, and sometimes beans (because of recent droughts, beans are more expensive than they used to be). When teams arrive at the center, people spend any time between different activities filling small sacks with the appropriate amount of food. The bagging process is actually a little harder than it sounds because you have to make sure you are measuring the exact correct amount, or else at the end you won't have enough to fill all the required bags. And when that happens, you have to go back and re-weigh every single back, and the ones that are even a quarter of a pound have to be cut open, re-weighed to the correct amount, and then re-bagged. Not that we had to do that or anything...
We finished bagging everything yesterday morning. This morning the guys hauled the 100-pounds sack down the stairs and into the back of a truck. Shelly explained that we were to follow the two workers from the center who would be telling us who to give food to. The rules are that we only give food to people who are in their homes unless one of the workers feels God telling him differently. If we gave out food to people in the streets, the truck would be swarmed and everything would be gone within minutes.
|These people were lucky to have enough space outside their house to have a kitchen. Most people have their kitchen inside. Since they cook over an open fire, the heat can be unbearable inside.|
We followed our two workers through the streets, up the mountains, and down the alleys. We worked all morning passing out food, took a lunch break, then came and finished up in about 1.5 hours after lunch. The people were so thankful when they opened their doors and saw the bags of food.
Today was a happy day. The past several have been pretty emotionally taxing, and though there were tough parts to this job, we were part of sharing God's bounty with his children today. How much more could we have been blessed?
But of course, we were blessed more. Since we had a little extra time in the afternoon, we were able to spend time in the streets just playing with and loving on the kiddos. Some people also went to the bilingual school at the foundation and helped the kids practice their English.