Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Perseverance, Love, Hope, and the Electric Slide

I would like to start off by apologizing for not posting daily. The reason for this is that we don’t have access to wifi very often and when we do its for a short period of time. So mom and dad, I’m okay! Now back to festive blog things!

Today started a little bit like yesterday but the duration of the day brought new and exciting experiences. Our first destination was the Beacon of Hope School where we attended their prayer service. We were greeted by glistening smiles and open arms by students and staff alike. We received the word of the Lord from 2 pastors sprinkled with times for praise and worship.  I really enjoyed the praise and worship time because it was a time for the students to express themselves through singing and dancing. One of the students really stuck out to me because he was really getting it and I wouldn’t mind getting some dance lessons from him.

Towards the end of the service, I was asked to speak a few words of encouragement to the students. Students of all ages were there. Even students my age. I was trying to think what to say to them because these students have been through so much. Most of the students at this school were once a part of the Lord’s Resistance Army. Many of these students were forced to kill those who were close to them. I was beyond nervous trying to think of what to say to them.  By the time I knew it, the pastor was calling me up to speak. I stood at the podium looking into their eyes. Their eyes were full of hope despite everything they’ve seen. Through everything they’ve been forced to do. I just decided to speak from the heart. My message revolved around perseverance, love, and hope. I just hope that my words were able to touch at least one student…

On a lighter note, after the service we were free to interact with the students and what better way to interact than to dance. Praise and worship continued once the service ended. Elaine and I decided to dance with the students and they were happy to have us. They had about 10 choreographed 8 count dances that weren’t the easiest for those of us who aren’t the greatest dancers. Fortunately, the student that was amazing at dancing during the service introduced himself as Joab and then taught me how to do the dances. After about 15 minutes I picked up about half of the dances and I couldn’t tell whether me or Joab was happier. Once Joab realized that it would be fairly difficult for me to pick up the last few dances in such a short time so he asked me to teach him an American dance. I thought for a little bit. What dance should I teach him? The wobble? Forgot how to do it. The Cupid Shuffle? Only really works with the original song. The Booty Call? Kind of inappropriate. I finally settled on the Electric Slide because it’s pretty simple and I had done it so much at family cookouts that it was second nature to me. While the rest of the group did praise and worship dances, Joab and I went off to the side and I showed him how to do the Electric Slide. I was sure to jazz it up a bit for him so I added a snap on the front step that almost touched the ground and exaggerated the step on the turn. He thought it was coolest thing and after about 10 times he picked it up and was doing it better than me. Soon 3 or 4 other kids joined in while others just looked on. I just found the cultural exchange to be so fulfilling for the both of us while finding a new dance partner in the process. Shout out to Joab!


1 comment:

  1. Tyler, what a lovely post. I am amazed at what you all are experiencing. Those children have been through so much. I am sure you touched more than one hopeful student that day. You all are so inspiring to your friends and family.

    Also, the next time you need someone to lead a line dance, remind Elaine that she macarena'd her way through kindergarten!

    Love, Juliet (Elaine's mom)