TGIF, from Guatemala!
Today has been a productive day! The Lord blessed us with beautiful but hot weather. We wake at 6:00 every morning to a wonderful breakfast provided my Marta and Maria, two ladies whose cooking has been spoiling us.
After breakfast, it’s off to construction or to pick coffee or etc. We continued to haul dirt out of the construction site today, with a good effort provided by the majority of the youth. The leaders have been diligent to ensure the youth stay well hydrated. The heat coupled with the humidity has been slowly getting worse over the week, although still somewhat tolerable. The ‘summers’ here in Guatemala last 6 months, with March being the peak of the summer months.
VBS culminated with one of the more powerful skits, ‘Set me Free’. As the kids leave VBS, the team makes a human castle with their hands raised over their heads for them to walk under. As they head out of VBS, the kids are handed candy, which they love to receive. This was a bitter sweet time as a lot of the kids kept clinging to some of our youth, realizing that this was their last day, and that the same kind of love will not likely be received in their households. Tears, hugs, pictures and tender moments were shared. Kim Metzger and Logan both happened to catch quite a few pictures capturing these moments.
After all the children left, we ate dinner. Hamburgers. A much welcomed staple to our American stomachs!
During this evening, we had a small scare when a group of young ladies came and asked the church for prayer. A 4 year old girl had not made it home after VBS and was lost. We prayed together as a group, and then the ladies left to search for her. About 30 minutes later, she was found at home. What is amazing is the amount of trust in God these people have to make prayer a priority in that situation. And praise the Lord, he answered their prayer. It was an interesting irony that our very topic for devotions has been prayer.
After the girl was found, we were invited into the church by the pastor and his wife. We played a game where we had to learn the full names of those from the other group. It was funny how some struggled from both sides to properly pronounce each other’s names. Afterwards, three people from Chuajij and three from Alaska were given the floor to express what we had gained from each other this week during VBS. The words were encouraging, thoughtful, and full of praise as to what the Lord had done in the lives of the children and the community.
As a parting gift, each member of the San Pedro and Alaska team were given hand-made bags with their names on it; A gift of love that resonated deeply with each who received.
The night ended with a last trip to the roof of the church for another fireworks display -and for some- a last night to sleep under the stars.
The week ended in Chuajij with labors of love from the kitchen staff preparing our meals, to Pam’s organization and care, to Dr. Luz Elena attending to the needs of those who were sick, to Tom Pargeter focusing his labor in the construction area, to the youth of San Pedro waking early to lead our group in the VBS songs, and so much more. Tomorrow we make our way back to San Pedro on the ‘chicken’ bus,… a bus that looks like a combination of a school bus and a Mack truck that just came out of a Mexican Wrestling event. We’re hoping for good sleep on the way back, and the youth are definitely looking forward to shopping when we get back.
All in all, it is our hope that Chuajij is left seeing and feeling the love of Christ from all our youth, both in the hard work at the construction site and at VBS.
To Christ be the glory!
-The Guatemala mission team.