This morning we were blessed with some deep devotional time. We talked about Mark chapter 10 and then got into a deep discussion about Jesus life as well as our own faith. We talked about the struggles and the strengths of our walks with Christ. Then we had the pleasure of taking food up into the mountains. It was pretty much an all day trip and one that was really a blessing. As I looked at the people faces I saw such beauty in the women. They were all there ready to get food so they could try to feed their families for a few more weeks. Coffee and Banana trees surrounded us waiting for the people to work them for very little pay all for our pleasure. Looking at these small women some of them obviously not having enough to each made my heart ache. I thought how ungreatful we are for the simple things. We throw food away because we don’t want it anymore or stop eating in order to get thin, but at what cost?! As I looked at the women I not only saw their beauty but I saw hope. I knew that in them could be Jesus the one who could connect me to them forever. I shared this with them and after as Pastor preached I prayed that the words would take root deep in their hearts. I prayed, and ask you to pray, that these people would be blessed in Christ. That the best would come to them for their hard and everything that they gave to the lord would return to them 100 fold. Today I pray that as you read these words you ask God what you can do everyday to make a difference for him. Are you living a selfish life that is absorbed with your desires or are you giving it up to the Lord of all creation?
As day 7 approached, we were all refreshed and ready to go! as usual, we had an early start and arrived at a school to present our dramas. The school was a primary christian school. The students were so well behaved and eager to see what we had to offer. After we were all done we passed out little gifts for the students to take, and one by one they gave us each a hug. The feeling that came over me was undeblievable. The fact that those kids didn’t know us and wanted to hug us like we had just made their day, brought a tear to my eye. We had been dropped off so we needed to find a way back to our contacts school. Like always, our contact had a great idea to take the local taxi service which consisted of a three wheeled cart that could hold no more than five people. So, being the adventerous group we all are, we piled in, and were ready for the ride back. What we thought was going to be a quick ride turned into a detour that led us through the river and down backroads we had never been. Finally we made it safe and sound back to the school. We had breakfast at our usual spot (the hotel down the street) and we sat and chatted for a while. After about an hour of being there we made our way back to the school, where we were off again to another local public school to present our dramas. Like always things went smoothly and we were headed back to our contacts school. It’s always great to present to those kids because there are some that actually are into it and take what we have to say to heart. When we arrived back to the school we touched up on some painting and played with the kids again. From teaching them songs in English to share with their parents, to just spending some time with them talking. The day went by fast, and before we knew it, it was time for dinner. Our contacts took us to this restaraunt (Chacca Chacca) and the food was amazing. needless to say we all left feeling very full. On our way back to the hotel, we all go on top of the van (yes, i said it, ON TOP of the van) and rode back. It was so fun we all had a blast. Tomorrow is our last day at the school in jocotan and I have no doubt that it will be a great day. Adios! -Mac-
Today was Carly’s Birthday! The girls started it by going to the market with our contact to run some errands. On the way to the school, we had some really good girl time! We had to share three characteristics about us that made us, us. It was really good to compliment ourselves in front of each other, even though everyone saw those qualities in us. We also had to share things that our parents told us when we were little that have really shaped us in some way. It made me really think of my parents and how grateful I am for them (I love you Ediger family!). We were able to paint some of the walls at the school that look really good! Later that night, we were able to have a little birthday party for Carly that even included a Dora pinata! We are all loving being here! It’s crazy how fast the trip is going! Continue praying for us! Especially for healthy bodies as something is upsetting our stomachs. Pray that we will really get a lot out of the days we get back.
We love you all!
Tuesday was a day of sharing our tallents. We went to our contacts school and continued working on cleaning out a shed and loading the trash into a truck. If we’re being honest Coach and Mike did most of the dirty work but we tried to help as much as possible. It really made us see things from a new perspective, what we may have thought of as worthless they found valuable enough to carry blocks and blocks away on their very own back. It’s crazy how different people can see things yet still a blessing. A few of us got the opportunity to teach English and very much enjoyed it. The students were really interested and enjoyed our new style of teaching. Family day is coming up at school so we redid one of our skits to be more family oriented and then taught it to the students. They are going to perform it as well as a few songs that we taught them.
One of the best parts of the day was getting to go into another school and perform our skits and share the good news. It was maybe our best day of acting and the students were really interactive with us. We even got a game of basketball going with them (6 vs 50, or so it seemed.) Later that night we retured to the school to play a match of volleyball against the teachers. They said they needed practice before they played another group of teachers, but they failed to mention to us the net was about a foot taller than normal. We still had a good time though and were able to pull out the victory :) Please continue to pray for the ministry of our contacts as well as what they have us do while we are here. Pray for the souls of the students we have talked with and that they will feel Jesus knocking on their hearts. Thanks and Blessings to you!
Today was somewhat of a chill day, but very rewarding. We went back to our contacts school and got to interact with the little kids for the first time. We did our heart skit and then also acted the Good Samaritan story. We just played games with them and loved on them. We then went to another school in the city, that our organization had never gone to. We did three skits and really shared our hearts with them, they seemed to hang on our every word. It was definitely an encouragement to our team. When we went back to our contacts school, we were able to do small tasks for our contacts. We had some good and needed down time where we were able to get to know one another better and love on our contacts children. This evening we had dinner with a couple from the States that have been translating the Bible in Guatemala for almost forty years! They shared testimonies about the work that the Lord has done in their lives and it was such an encouragement to us. Our contacts also shared about how God called them to ministry. I hang on their every word and could listen to them for hours. Guatemala is such a special place. Pray that we cherish every moment here. Pray that we learn what God’s calling is on our lives. Please pray for Makenzie as she has had an upset stomach, and that she will continue to be a champ about it and keep pressing through!
We love you all!
Today we got to experience church Guatemalan style. We have been doing a daily devotion of reading through the book of mark and it was really nice to read all the way through the parables, today we had to read through the mustard seed parable which I really thought about and compared it to my personal life. We went to eat breakfast at the church. When church started it was completely in spanish and it was interesting, when Pastora was speaking she had so much expression in her face that the language barrier didnt even matter. We got to perform our drama “Ragman” right after they sang the song that goes along with that drama. After the service was over we got to spend time with all the people. We “talked” to the kids while Pastor was playing music. Then we got to go up and sing some of the worship songs that Rachel knew how to play. It was such a bonding experience to sing our songs while Rachel was playing piano, Mike was playing the bass, and Pastor was playing the guitar. We didnt have any plans today because on Sunday is the day for rest. So we got in the van to head back to the hotel to swim but then it started raining so we had to go back to the church and take the 50lb bags, that we packed yesterday, down the stairs so they wouldnt get soaked. We went to the grocery store so Pastora could get groceries. It still amazes me how the people look at us everywhere we go. We came back to the hotel and went swimming with the 2 younger kids. We had so much fun trying to figure out how to slide faster because we would stop right in the middle of the slide.
Well now we are waiting to have some dinner and spend more time with our contacts. Please keep praying for team that we can keep working at serving the Lord with whatever we do. Tomorrow we are planning to going to the schools and getting to know the kids better.
After a great night of sleep, we were picked up by our contact and taken to McDonalds for breakfast! (Coach had fried bananas as part of his mcdonalds breakfast platter!) Later in the afternoon, we traveled to the school that our contacts run. It was such a cool place & so different from any school we’re used to. Past the fence in the backyard was an amazing view of some of the many beautiful mountains here in guatemala!
Our day consisted mostly of playing with the children who attented the school, and we also spent pretty much our entire day with our contacts children. Their little girl is so outspoken & spunky & just so much fun. Their oldest boy was a little busy today so we didn’t spend a whole lot of time with him but he’s unbelieveably smart & their younger boy was pretty shy for most of the day, but by the end of the day he was opening up a little. I have a feeling he’ll be just as crazy as his little sister before too long though!
We shared a very special time with our contacts tonight when they shared stories about their marriage and now we understand how & why their marriage has been so successful. They are absolutely amazing & just so in love; we were all hanging on their every word because it was just such a beautiful thing hearing them speak about eachother!
To sum it all up, we are still in awe of the beautiful scenery, we already feel like a part of the family here, and Coach & Rachel know black magic. (blaaaaack maaaaagic)
We got off to an early start leaving Sterling at 3:00. We arrived at Guatemala City around 11:30 Mountain time. We had a funny experience when trying to meet our hosts. There was a lady with two children waving so of course we thought that was our hosts and walked forward happily. We soon realized she was looking past us to a few other people and felt a little silly! Eventually Pastor met us with an intern names Mike. He is from the United States and will be here for three months. It was supposed to be a 3 hour drive to our hotel but ended up being more like 5 or 6 hours do to construction along the way. We are now taking a break at the hotel waiting until we go to supper. Long story short the country is BEAUTIFUL and we can’t wait to get out and start working with the people and to meet the rest of our soon to be FAMILY! :) Thank you for the continuing prayers and support!!
We started our training on Sunday night with a full room of students and staff. We were all ready to begin worship and hear a message that would fire us up for our missions training. They told us to be ready for breakfast at 7:30 the next morning and that we should be ready for drama training. I think all of us were a little sleepy after such a long week but we managed to get out of bed to eat breakfast and spend some time in devotion together. After that we all got together and built a cross. Finally it was time to break into our groups for drama training. Christy did an amazing job giving us four skits that we will be able to use out in the field. Hopefully we can post a live video of them for you at some point :) Tuesday we did the same morning routine wake up, devo time, and then split into groups. Since we are a small group we worked with team Nicaragua and did trust falls. The rest of the day was a lot of team building activities learning how to communicate and trust one another. By the end of the day we worked as one body each using the gifts God has provided us. We are very excited to leave for our missions trip and can’t wait to share more with you!
Mark 10:45 Even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and gave his life as a ransom for many.