We're through a third of the first trimester in the Basic Theology program of the Theological Development Center. Abraham and I instruct four students—Cirilo, Emilia, Paty, and Alfredo—three afternoons a week for an hour and a half. This trimester is an overview of the Old Testament, with a focus on the spiritual disciplines of prayer and study, as well as various techniques for reading comprehension and critical thinking. Megan asks me how class was every time I come home, and my response has been, "Fun." I'm having a blast. More importantly, the students are really engaged, and I think the focused, intensive learning is already making a difference. I was moved to hear Alfredo apply some our first lessons in his speech at the library inauguration. Likewise, Emilia has been immediately sharing her new insights in her weekly small group with Megan and Areli. I thank God for these Christians who are sacrificing time for class and homework in order to become better servants of God's mission.
The flood relief effort has given us just the opportunity we were looking for. By focusing relief on a particular area, we've been able to form more substantial relationships than a less selective approach would have allowed. Abraham in particular has led the effort. The outgrowth of this relationship has been the formation of an action group consisting of mothers from the cluster of neighborhoods where we distributed the relief. We are helping to organize and equip them to mobilize their resources and abilities for community development. If things go well in the next few weeks, we should be celebrating an official agreement between their newly formed organization and CUDA. They have already brainstormed some initial goals, such as the formation of a community daycare or a kitchen for subsidized meals. There are a lot of possible obstacles ahead, so pray for our work in this area.