As I write this, I am sitting on the porch of the conference center at Escuela El Sembrador. It has been raining, but the sun has just come out. I am watching little Denis Yoel trim the hedges. I spent most of the morning consoling him while he cried.
Denis was one of CT's first friends at El Sembrador and he spends a lot of time at our house when he's not working or studying. Little Denis is a sweet kid. He's got a lot of energy and I hear he can be quite a handful in class. When he's not at school, he lives with his grandmother. He has been a Christian for as long as he can remember. He doesn't know his parents. He knows that they live in the United States, but he doesn't know where. If you ask him how you can pray for him, he will ask to you to pray for his them. Little Denis hugs me every time I pass him on the road or at the tienda. He loves to be outside and he always sits in the front row at church.
This week was special for little Denis. A work team was visiting the school and it included a family with three boys. He spent all week with an entourage of gringo boys following him around while he worked. Even though they don't speak the same language, Denis managed to make friends and I watched them working together and laughing together throughout the week. Then, on Wednesday, the boys' parents made the decision to sponsor Denis at the school. They will provide a full scholarship for him to continue his education here. More importantly, they committed themselves to writing to and praying for little Denis. They will continue to build on the relationship they have started with him. Little Denis was overjoyed and spent every moment possible getting to know them as best he could.
I have already learned that the hardest thing about being a missionary is always having to say goodbye. I hadn't thought how hard it must be for the boys to say goodbye. This morning the work team left to return to the United States. Little Denis lingered as long as he could and waved as the van pulled away. Then he cried.