The group time seemed fairly comfortable, although a little "religious." I think it's pretty normal for people to spend the first week or two trying to show everyone else how spiritual they already are, but it doesn't necessarily make for a fun night for us. We did 2 groups of about 12 (as recommended) but plan on changing for next week. In a concrete wonderland, I just couldn't hear everyone in the group. Furthermore, people kept breaking up into side conversations. Not good. Our idea for the next week is to have 3 groups of 8 or so- Tim and I leading one each and the other two leaders leading one together. We're also thinking of funneling all the most outspoken "religious" people into one group (Tim's this time!!) to save the others from their sermons. You can start praying for Tim now.
Overshadowing the night for me, unfortunately, was an awkward situation. Somehow we miscommunicated and when we told the Alpha Round 1 graduates that they couldn't attend Alpha Round 2, they took that to mean... well, I'm not sure what exactly, because all but 2 of them showed up last night. As I saw them coming in, my stomach clenched up with anxiety. Confrontation is definitely not where I shine, and when you add in that I don't know what is culturally acceptable, I land in a big mess. We really didn't want a bunch of Alpha graduates at the new Alpha for a whole host of reasons, but how do I communicate to people who have already sat down and are eating that they need to leave?
We managed to convince all but one of them to leave. I guess we'll have to talk to him this week. There's another point for prayer-- that we can resolve this awkwardness clearly and without offending anyone too badly. We're still learning how to communicate in Peruvian (not just the Spanish language but the Peruvian culture as well!) and obviously aren't 100% yet.
In the meantime, it's Saturday, Alpha Recovery Day, and we're trying to lay low. I'm praying for sunshine in the afternoon and the freedom to live today today and not let myself get caught up in last night, next Friday night, or anything else.