By Chase McKnight
Before this trip, I was unsure of how well I would be able to connect with the kids in Collique. However, what I've realized since we've arrived is that children communicate in ways that reach far beyond the language they speak. On the first day of teaching, when we showed them the backpacks they would be decorating, the faces of the children were lit up with joy. They were so excited to take something we gave them and make it their own. Though I couldn't communicate very well with them, I could feel the joy they were radiating.
Tuesday morning we visited Dr. Campos' old high school in Lima. After the morning assembly, we were sent to different classrooms to talk to and connect with the students. Even though they spoke English, I was still nervous because conversation doesn't come naturally to me. However, I was incredibly surprised at how much I had in common with these students. We talked about sports and food and the differences between Houston and Lima. We got into a discussion about historical dramas and how they bring history to life in a way that is fun and entertaining. I was surprised to find out that one of the guys I was talking to was super into a show I watch on Netflix called "The Last Kingdom." I was surprised because it's about Vikings in England. Despite our cultural differences, we both had a curiosity about the history of places we've never even been to. It made me realize that at our core, we are all the same. We just happened to be born in different countries.
I can't say with certainty that I have ever seen or spoken to God, but I feel like being with these kids is about as close as anyone could get to it. It's hard for me to put faith in something I can't see, but the joy we've brought to these children has reminded me of why I believe what I believe.