Last Day in Guatemala

Today we got to sleep in until 8:00 AM. What a treat! After breakfast we had a powerful time at group devotions celebrating all that happened yesterday during home dedications. We are thankful for God’s presence and blessings experienced all week long.

After devotions, we traveled to Antigua to visit the market there. Antigua is a beautiful city with many historic buildings and cobblestone streets. The shopping was great. So was the ice cream at McDonald’s.

We have our final group devotions in just a few minutes. We have really grown to love each other. It will be hard to face the reality that this week has come to an end. But the relationships formed this week will last forever.

We will leave for the airport tomorrow at 8:00 AM to begin the journey home. Thanks for all your prayers.

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Dedication Day

Today was the last day of building. we finished up the houses by putting up the roofs, painting the insides, and adding delightful details such as: flowers, trees, bible verses etc. When the houses were all finished, we went from house to house to tell the families who live there about Jesus. The families and the people who built the house were inside while the rest of the team prayed and sang songs outside the house. Though there were many distractions, we were still able to focuss on God and what he was doing within the homes. The amazing thing is, all five families accepted or rededicated their lives to Christ. There was much joy and many tears when the day came to a close. It rained on and off most of the day. All in all it was an absoloustly amazing trip, all of our lives have been changed, we will never forget this experience. Thank you all that have been praying for both us and the families who live here.

Jill, Landen, Ethan, Abbi, Shane, and Julie

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Stucco Day

It was another early morning waking up at five thirty to get to the worksite at a good time.  Today’s mission was to put on the outside layer of the house (stucco) and add the porches to the front of the houses.  We did one house at a time with all 30 of us, with the stucco but moved very quickly from house to house.  It was a VERY messy job; everybody was smothered with stucco by the end.  Blasting out Julies stucco helmet was peachy, but we let her keep it for the ride home so she would stay safe, haha. 
On a side note, it has been a blessing that the rain has held off for us for two days.  That is pretty unusual in Guatemala.  (In fact it constitutes Guatemala’s third longest drought in fifty years. -Doc. Nate DeCook)
After the stucco was done, God blessed us with the opportunity to interact with the children and play with them.  They are very excited to get toys and candy. If we move towards or backpacks there’s always one or two following close behind.

The volcano erupted today, ( the village we are working at is at the base of the volcano) so we made a white/Guatemalans  parade down the street to an opening to take pictures.  We could see lots of smoke/steam from the volcano but could not see the top 😦

Back at base the cleaning began… Julie’s hair was so full of stucco she had to scrub outside for a half an hour before she could shower. The rest of the team had lots of scrubbing as well. Now with team cleaned and fed ( pizza ) just hanging out til devo time.

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Build Day-1

Tired!  But a great day…

We knew that today would be a long day of hard work, but the blessings were there throughout.  First, we had a wonderful drive with fog filling the valleys far below us and a shorter drive (~80 minutes) to La Reigna.  We also saw some great examples of God’s creation as we passed towering volcanoes on our way down toward that village.

La Reigna is nearer to the coast and much lower in elevation, so while we were glad that it did not rain, the sun kept us all sweating all day (lots of water and gatorade kept us hydrated!)  Lots of surprises for those of us who have never been here, like the the little ice cream truck that drove around village, annoying music and all.  The five teams got to work right away on our houses and everyone gelled together really well.  It was very special to meet the families that were going to live in the houses we were building.  Everyone commented on how hospitable the people of La Reigna are–the kids were very friendly, and soaked up all the attention that we could hand out.  After a whirlwind morning which saw the walls, drywall and outside walls finished, we gathered in the center of the village for lunch (beans, rice and tortillas prepared by the villagers–with purified water we were assured).  It only took us a few hours to finish for the day, so we were able to get on the road by three.

One incident stuck out to me and put an exclamation point on why we were there.  While we were building, I was looking for some help from Dan.  I noticed he was talking to a little village girl about age 10–he listened and spoke to her for a long time with great care.  Afterwards, he told me that he knew her from a previous visit and she was telling him about all of the trouble that was happening in her family.  “There are all sorts of problems here in a village that doesn’t have Christ” was his explanation.  Suddenly, I remembered that the house-building was only part of the reason we were there.

Thanks for all your prayers…keep praying for the people of La Reigna, for Paradise Bound, and for us.  We are all worn out, and need to refresh for building day #2 with lots left to do.

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Med clinic day 2

Today began with a beautiful sunrise, even though it rained during the night. Our trip to the clinic brought us through a different type of community than we had seen before.
There were many great needs medically in the village, which was amazing to see God working through his servants. The children were very respectful and a ton of fun to play with. Our team had a fun game of soccer versus the people in the village. The children enjoyed getting nails painted, playing with toy cars, yo-yos, slinkys, and balls. I believe all the females had their nails painted, including the elderly women. The people of this village were very receptive to us.
Their attention was focused on the Jesus film and many men joined and sat with their families. Following the film, we gave praises to God and our team members gave their testimonies. God was truly in control and the Holy Spirit was present as Nate, Brook, Shane, and Alyn gave their amazing testomonies.
When Pastor Hermano Jesus was done preaching, and his words were translated into Mayan, he invited them to Christ. The men came forward first (which is not typical) and it would be safe to say that all those that were there accepted Christ as their savior. After we handed out the Bibles, the team walked a short walk to a woman’s house. She is 53 years old and is conflicted with tumors on her head and her side. Please pray that she will find joy in her situation as she is feeling really down. She is a Christian, so that may give her hope.
Our ride back to the base was basically uneventful. Dan pulled aside to lift a drunk off the road to protect him. God clearly was at work as it was very dark and he would have been run over if not moved.
Thank you VERY MUCH for the prayers! We are doing well and to God give the glory!
(written by Terri)

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Day 1: Med Clinic

Well, we had a crazy trip through the mountains for two and a half hours to get into a village that only spoke spanish and Mayan. But, we had the opportunity to supply them with important meds and got to play with the kids. We gave them many toys and lots of dulces (candy) and had fun trying not to get swarmed everytime we brought out a new toy. Some of us gave our testimony and we all had the privilage to the people, though it needed to be translated from english to Spanish to Mayan, we did have an interested crowd. It rained, which was scary because we needed to get back down the mountain’s curvy, gravel, and pothole-filled paths. We had to drive through a mud-slide and many other detours, such as stray dogs and little children in the streets. We did get home safetly, though it was truely a result of our prayers. -Sophia, building team 5

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We have arrived!!

We have arrived safely (even with all our luggage) at the Paradise Bound building in Guatemala. Thanks for all your prayers!! Please continue to keep us lifted up in prayer, as we jump right into ministry at the medical clinics tomorrow.

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