Escuela Dominical & Questions of Ethics

It is the first official day of “Escuela Dominical” and I feel that I might have already been to rough with one of the kids that attended the breakfast time.

There are two boys. They are brothers. I do not recall the older brother’s name, however, he has a younger brother who’s name is Pancho. People call him Panchillo. The brother neadlessly beats up Pancho. I hear the thumping of the body every 20 seconds becuase Pancho did something wrong according to his older brother who instigates most of Pancho’s mal behavior.

They fought through the prayer for breakfast. They also fought through breakfast till I decided I should perhaps step in. They served rolls with orange juice.

So I did the best I could for the first few incidents of beating and than decided to sit between them, Pancho was to my right and his older brother to my left. I asked
for the older brother’s name a few times, but he would not tell me, so It is hard for me to remember. I asked the older brother for his younger brother’s name and I then discovered that his name was pancho.

With me in between, they were fighting with words and being rough to each other with me in between. With their wild movements, I could tell that the drink was going to spill. Pancho spilled his drink. At this moment, I was in a sort of panic because the juice was starting to spread on the table and waterfall down to the seat and to the floor. We both got up. I jestured to him. Let’s clean this up.

Luckily I believe both of us were not affected by the juice, however, for some reason he looked at me and then took his nearly empty cup and jestured as if he was going to throw the rest on me.
I dodged it thinking that he was going to throw it at me but he stopped short, none the less, due to the momentum of the cup, the rest of the juice came out and luckily the majority 99% of the juice landed on the seat before it hit me.

I looked at him with disbelief. I asked him again. Let’s go. Vamos. I said to him again. Vamos. I said it the third time. Vamos and jestured the cleaning. All three times, he defiantly said no and stood his ground. At that moment, I decided, “maybe this kid will listen if I get serious”, so i put on my seious face and in a booming voice said “VAMOS”. . . and quietly said “por favor?” Yet nothing. It got the attention of others, but Pancho still stood his ground. Then I said to his brother. “Ayudame”. He was like “Que?”. I said again “Ayudame” . . . again he said “QUE?”. Then I separated the syllabals, “Ayu Da Me”. At thta moment, he understood saying “ahhh”. He then proceeded to grab his brother as Pancho resisted. I walked over to David who watched the whole sitation and I asked him where the rag was. David took me over to the faucet and showed me.

At this time, the two brothers were gone and I went back to the seat to clean it up. Christian came up to me to ask what was going on, so did David. They were concerned. I’m sure others were concerned as well. I wonder if I have over-reaceted, or if it is beyond the duties of this culture to act a certain way towards a child. I am not sure. I will have to ask.

Afterwards, we went into worship and sat near them. We conversed a little before worship began. It seems that they were ok with me. Perhaps they didn’t know how to react after the situation. As soon as the praise began, they left. I guess they wern’t interested.

I wonder what their background is. I wonder what the dynamics of their relation to each other and their parents are like. I felt more sad than anything else while I thought about the two brothers. I feel the most sad about Pancho who gets beat up by his brother all the time. It seems I have added myself to his paridigm of “older brother” or “authority figure”. I hope I see them again next week to see how they are doing.

I also had an interesting dilemma on the first day of Escuela Dominical. After the breakfast we all went upstairs for service. I usually sit with the kids either by choice or because they find me. During the first two weeks I didn’t give offering during children’s service because I give it during adult service. But I realized it might be a better example for kids to see adults giving offering. So I took out a small coin worth 100 cien. That’s only 2 cents in US but about 10 cents here.

The little girl next to me saw my wallet and started asked me to give her money. She asked and pleaded sweetly several times. I felt bad but I said no several times. But inside, I didn’t know what to do. God calls us to be generous, but this didn’t feel right, either. At the same time, maybe Jesus would have given away everything in his pocket. I don’t know. I was confused. So I stood my ground and said no, it’s for offering. I also prayed for guidance.

Then, I got an answer that could only have come from God- I asked her if she wanted to give the offering for me. She said yes. She asked if her cousin could put it in too. I said yes. Then I watched and waited to see if they would be faithful. She held onto it, looked at it, and guarded it until the basket came. Then her cousin dropped it in. I gave the girls a pat on the back for making the right decision. And I thanked God for helping me make the right decision.

After service the new Sunday school teachers took charge of their classes.

Here’s Michelle, she’s a teacher’s aide, with one of her students:

I’m also a helper for the 14-15 year olds.

2 thoughts on “Escuela Dominical & Questions of Ethics

  1. Ceana

    Poor Pancho, reminds me of Daniel’s little sister, but I guess he has the beating part worse. I guess childhood rebellion is kind of similar in the US as it is in Paraguay, I am just not sure about the environmental factors there. What a wierd experience for a first day. Annie your experience reminds me of a lot of experiences my family had while traveling. One time we went to this church in a very rural area and my mom wanted to freshen her breath with gum before praying for other people, as courtesy, then all these kids saw it and they all started swarming towards me and my mom. A little girl wanted one and my mom said okay, then later she came back for another stick and said her cousin would love one too becuase she doesnt have gum, only once in a while. We looked at her in disbelief, it was gum! We thought she was lying but later we found out she wasnt. Your situation was a little bit more wierd, but yea, I think God helped you to do the right thing.

  2. terrin

    thats like me and my brother
    but we wouldnt try to pour anything on you
    and we would listen to what you said

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