Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Learning to Play

When we gather around our table for family meals, we have a rather unusual tradition. We always play a card or board game together as we eat. It started as a way to connect with a moody pre-teen several years ago and has become a daily tradition. A few weeks ago, we sat down to lunch in our home with a friend and invited her to join in a game. She politely refused and then she explained, "I never learned to play." I told her we could find an easy game to learn together. "No," she said. "You don't understand. I mean I never learned to play at all. Ever." Those words have stuck with me ever since. In Honduras, there are generations of people who have had to grow up way too fast and have carried the weight of the world on their shoulders for far too long.

Last week we celebrated Day of the Child here in Honduras. We're told it's the most anticipated day for the year for most children—even more than Christmas morning, if you can believe that. The sounds of kids laughing and singing wafted through our open windows and I couldn't help but smile. The day was filled with parties complete with food, games and colorful piñatas. Steve and I even took a bag of candy to give out at the rec room. While there were a couple of half-hearted protests about being labeled a "child", I did notice that none of the students turned down the candy.

Kids are a blessing. But so is being a kid. This year we learned that Day of the Child is more than an excuse to lavish children with treats. It's a celebration of the gift of childhood. And for all of us in Honduras, it's a chance to learn to play.

Steve and I took Uno over to visit a church celebration in a nearby village.

The church uses the holiday as an opportunity for outreach and invited over 200 local children to join in the fun.

Kids don't usually see adults acting silly. That's why they laughed and cheered when Steve and a few of the parents took part in an egg race. (Steve won!)

Some of the Bible Institute students helped with El Sembrador's celebration. They taught songs and played games with the children of employees who live here on campus.

Academic Director, Cindy, taught the kids how to play a new game.

The highlight of every Day of the Child party is the piñata.

Kids collected the piñata goodies once it finally burst.

He's still a kid at heart. El Sembrador Director, Enoc, put the broken piñata over his head and entertained the kids.

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