Catching up…

Posted on April 18, 2011

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I’m finally home and I’m finally getting a chance to sit down and reflect a little about the past three and a half months that I have been in Guatemala. The past month or so has been pretty eventful; so, this week has been an awesome chance to get some rest and catch up on where I’ve been. Sorry for the lack of posts, I’m hoping the next few months will allow me better chances to write posts onto this blog. In this post, I’m going to try and bring you up to speed on some of the major stuff that’s gone on this past month or so. I also am going to try and get some pictures uploaded here into another blog later this week, as well as a devotional blog on what I’ve been learning. Here it goes.

  • We have taken two trips out into the mountains in the past month and a half. It is seriously incredible out in the mountains, the view is amazing. I enjoy being around the village culture, the people there are  generally just nice people. That’s not to say it is a pretty situation, because their living conditions are not close to pretty; but nonetheless, it’s been good to get a taste of the way these people live day in and day out. Our first trip was a short three day work trip. We drove into the mountains early on a Thursday morning and left the following Sunday morning. During that trip, we worked on completing some tasks on a new church we’re building there. The first day we finished pouring parts of the brick wall, which had been built by another short-term team from Waterloo, Indiana a few weeks before.  The next two days were dedicated to getting trusses and the roof put up. We worked all day, from sun up to sun down and were able to get a lot done. Next week (starting April 25th), we’re heading back to this same church to begin pouring the floor and build a platform. We will be there for five days as we will also be showing the Jesus film in different villages during the night, hopefully getting the chance to minister to a lot of people through the showing of those films. I’m excited for what’s to come on this trip, it will be a good week!
  • The second trip into the mountains was a week-long backpack trip, which ended a little more than just a week ago. We drove out into the mountains and met Pastor Santos, who was going to guide us through mountains throughout the week. We loaded up all of our tents, sleeping bags, and water unto the mules, and all of clothes and food in our backpacks and started walking for the villages. We usually walked from about 8am until 2-3pm, until we arrived at the village. Then, we set up camp, played soccer and spent time with the kids in the village, did a lesson with the kids, called together all of the adults, and, finally, ministered to the adults. We got back to camp around 7 to eat, rest, and wake up to do it all over again. It was an awesome week. We visited five different villages throughout the week and many people responded to the Gospel while we were there. I, myself, also learned a lot as God spoke to me through His creation and through the entire ministry experience.
  • We’ve also done a lot of class work the past few months. We have had  four teachers from the states teaching us on topics like the Holy Spirit, Nehemiah’s leadership, prayer, cultural ministry, and Joshua’s leadership. Those are just a few of the courses I can remember right now. But, by the sounds of it, we have some interesting courses coming up in the next few months as we head into more doctrinal studies.
  • We’ve done plenty of other ministries over the past few months. We do both our homeless ministry and children’s feeding center once or twice a month.  Over a month ago, we did a week-long VBS with kids in one of the poorer parts of the city. Also, we’ve painted the walls in a new church building an hour or so outside of Guatemala City. Right now in the furniture factory, we’re in the process of building two communion tables for two different churches. We’re also building beds, which we’ve already had the chance to distribute to almost 30 different families over the past few months.
  • My Spanish is continuing to progress. I translated a sermon in one of our bible studies awhile back when our translator wasn’t available and I have also been able to have a couple of conversations with some nationals when we’ve been in the mountains doing ministry. I’m still figuring out how to be fully grammatically correct, but as time goes on I’m understanding more and talking more.
  • These past few months have been extra busy because it has been my turn in the rotation to be on the cooking team. Which means waking up at 5:30 to get ready to make breakfast. Mireya (one of the students) and myself are also in charge of making all of lunches and dinners for the team, as well as cleaning up after every meal. That is to say there is not a lot of free time when classes and other service ministries get thrown into the mix. Though it’s been busy, I’ve learned plenty through working in the kitchen. I’ve got a few dishes I can make now, which is more than I knew before. I’m going to try and impress the family with a dish or two while I’m here, we’ll see how that goes.  Coming up here in a couple of weeks, we’ll rotate out of the kitchen and back onto the cleaning team.
  • I head back on the 23rd, which is this coming Saturday, so let me know if you would like to catch up between now and then.

That’s all I have right now, I’ll try to roll out a couple more blogs before I head back. Thanks for your support and prayers!

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