Today we traveled the imaginary line around the center of the earth, heading westward and just a bit north back to the Americas and landed ourselves in Venezuela. Just over 10 years ago I had the privilege of taking a trip to Caracas with my mom and a dear friend to visit a missionary friend. We spent a good amount of time in the barrio with a wonderful local pastor and some of the people of his church and were welcomed with warm smiles and the joy of the Lord.
I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t an easy place to live, and one evening, after we had returned to the missionary’s home, there was a shooting in the neighborhood, not far from the pastor’s home. Just a short drive away from the dirt-paved streets and homes of the barrios is a developed city with sky-scrapers, thriving businesses and delicious ice-cream shops. I have heard that in Venezuela exists one of the biggest chasms between rich and poor in South America, with virtually no middle class. This great contrast between wealth and poverty does not, however, change the pride the Venezuelan people have to their culture.
As we ventured to this new land (to us) we colored our maps and placed stars on Caracas, we didn’t forget to pray for our sponsor child Angel (whose mother I met years ago).
And, as I have lots of money left over from my visit, I came up with a flag craft using copies of the various bills (explaining to the kids that it is illegal to try and use copied money…with lots of questions from them ).
First, we glued the bills into three sections to represent the three sections of the Venezuelan flag.
Next, using markers, we colored the sections yellow, blue and red.
Finally, we used a dried up marker and some white paint to apply the white stars.
We were so excited about the money, that we also mounted our maps to colored copy pages of the money.
This Week’s Verse
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children,
and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us
and gave himself up for us.