Intern assists Mexico ministry
August 21, 2019 at 6:00 AM
Intern Noah Gritters learns some guitar chords alongside children in the School of Values this summer in Jalapa.
(Editor's note: Noah Gritters, a Northwestern College junior from Pella, Iowa, spent part of his summer as an intern at Vida en Abundancia de Mexico in Jalapa. He is a triple-major in mathematics, biology and chemistry.)
Intern assists Mexico ministry
By Noah Gritters
JALAPA, MEXICO—Vida en Abundancia de México (VAM) is a civic organization, whose vision is “to be an organization recognized for honoring God, dignifying human beings, and providing high quality services that positively impact children and society in general.”
The areas VAM focuses on are health, education, nutrition and values.
I was blessed to get to work in each of these areas during my time in Mexico. I worked in health on Monday and Wednesday, education on Tuesday, nutrition on Thursday, and values on Saturday.
My time in health mostly consisted of observation, which gave me valuable insight into the daily life of a general practice doctor at a small hospital in Mexico. I helped by taking vital signs of some of the patients. In the health area, I got more practice taking vital signs; I learned how to treat many of the common ailments in Mexico; and I also learned how to treat every patient with Christlike compassion and love.
In the education area, I prepared an English lesson for the children each week by developing a theme and teaching them 15-20 words relating to this theme. I helped solidify their learning by preparing flashcards for the kids so we could play memory games with the words. After we finished our lessons, I played outside with the kids for the remainder of the day. This involved a lot of running, helicopter twirls and piggyback rides.
In education, I learned how to better love and play with kids, how to teach children and keep them engaged in their learning, and that kids just love to run and play.
The nutrition area involved a few different things for me. For the first couple of Thursdays, I rode along in the VAM truck to deliver food and vegetables to the other two kitchens. After this, I did a lot of work in VAM’s warehouse room where they store all the food. I also worked in the kitchen preparing food for the children one day, and then once they had eaten, I weighed and measured each of them to monitor their growth. I learned all the things that are needed to feed numerous children each day, how blessed I have been to have access to proper nutrition my whole life, and how important it is to keep a detailed inventory when dealing with food on this scale.
Unfortunately, I was only able to attend Saturday School of Values one time, but the time I did go, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I sang a few songs with the kids and then learned how to play a few chords on the guitar. After guitar practice, there was a lesson on obeying God because we love him not because we have to, and then we ate a meal. The values area showed me the beauty of children gathering to sing praises and play instruments for God, taught me how to play some very simple chords on the guitar, and reinforced the idea of love-based obedience to God in my mind.
I am so thankful for all of the memories, experiences, and relationships God gave me during my time in Mexico, and I pray that God continues to bless VAM and all of the wonderful people who run it.
Gritters' summer internship included components of health, nutrition, education and values. (Photos submitted)