Guatemala 2016-Day 6

Today was House Dedication Day. Our entire team went back to the house sites where the 12 houses were built this week. We took the gift baskets filled with basic household needs–bowls, cups, a water pitcher, salt, sugar, corn meal, and more–and a Spanish Bible. 
 
Each family was expectantly waiting for our arrival and had their homes decorated with streamers, balloons, and flowers gathered from the area. When we arrived at each home, we talked with them and explained how our obedience to Christ brought us to do this for them, and we shared the gospel. 
 
The team divided up into two groups, with each group going to dedicate six homes as the homes were scattered all around the mountainside. For one group of six, each home had at least one person receive Christ as Savior. The other six families were already Christians, and our group was able to encourage them. One woman told how she had been praying for a home, and this week her prayers were answered. All glory to God! He has done great things, and He has allowed us to be a tiny part of His great works. 
 
House dedications where the gospel was presented, and people were saved.

House dedications where the gospel was presented, and people were saved.

A young husband and father receives the keys to his home and a Bible.

A young husband and father receives the keys to his home and a Bible.

 
One family offered these baskets of granadia to thank us. Their generosity is amazing.

One family offered these baskets of granadia to thank us. Their generosity is overwhelming.

When we were done, the community gathered together. They prayed for us. We prayed for them. And then they again showed their generosity by giving everyone a bottle of juice.

When we were done, the community gathered together. They prayed for us. We prayed for them. And then they again showed their generosity by giving everyone a bottle of juice.

 
This community seems to be mostly single moms. Please pray that they would come to trust God to be the Father to the fatherless.

This community seems to be mostly single moms. Please pray that they would come to trust God to be the Father to the fatherless.

 
A new home owner reading her Bible.

A new home owner reading her Bible.

Rosemary loving on kids in the community.

Rosemary loving on kids in the community.

Please pray for this community and for these families to continue to grow in Christ. Pray that the local pastor will be able to follow up and disciple them for Christ. 
 
Tomorrow is our last full day here. We’ll be attending Cesar’s church (He’s pictured above in the 4th photo from the top.), and then we’ll do a little more shopping and exploring.
 
Please continue to pray for our team to reflect Christ in all that we say and do.
 
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. ~Matthew 5:14
 


Guatemala 2016-Day 5

 
G-Team 2016

G-Team 2016

Today was a “rest day” for the team. We spent the day together at Lake Atitlan and the surrounding towns shopping and relaxing.
 
Driving to the lake

Driving to the lake

 
Evidence of our awesome Creator--the view as we took a boat ride across the lake to explore another town.

Evidence of our awesome Creator–the view as we took a boat ride across the lake to explore another town.

Beautiful craftsmanship

Beautiful craftsmanship

Shopping

Shopping

 
While we waited for our boat ride to go back across the lake, these ladies attempted to sell us many beautiful things. A few of our ladies gave them Spanish gospel tracts. Please pray that God's Word would land on fertile soil.

While we waited for our boat ride to go back across the lake, these ladies attempted to sell us many beautiful things. A few of our ladies gave them Spanish gospel tracts. Please pray that God’s Word would land on fertile soil.

Tomorrow, we'll be dedicating the 12 homes that were built this week. Please pray that the recipients of the homes and these gift baskets understand that God alone is the source of these gifts.

Tomorrow, we’ll be dedicating the 12 homes that were built this week. Please pray that the recipients of the homes and these gift baskets understand that God alone is the source of these gifts.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. ~James 1:17


Guatemala 2016-Day 4

Just to recap…
 
Our team arrived in Guatemala on Monday afternoon. Our work began Tuesday morning. Since then, we have COMPLETED 12 homes, provided food to 300 families, seen 200 people in a free medical clinic, provided about 15 hours of aid to the ESL classes and teachers at the local seminary, given away two suitcases full of clothes and a countless number of toys and candy.
 
Not bad for three days of work. 
 
Today, the construction crew completed the last of the 12 homes we came to build, the medical clinic saw more than 100 patients, and 150 more families received a month supply of basic necessities. All glory to God!
 
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16
 
Today’s Construction Photos:
 
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The family looks on while the guy put on the finishing touches

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Pushing the truck up the hill to the next project

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Construction is about so much more than tin and wood and nails

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Resting and having lunch on the “porch” of a completed house

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Sharing Christ with kids in the community

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Getting her hair “did”

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Piker’s contribution to construction: He was the only one small enough to fit into this space and get the screws into the wall.

 
Investing in what matters: The lives of people

Investing in what matters: The lives of people

 
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let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, ~Hebrews 12:1b

Photos from today’s medical clinic:
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Our medical clinic mascot

 
Mrs. Sheila kept the children busy with coloring pages

Mrs. Sheila kept the children busy with coloring pages. The clinic was held at the local church. The entrance is to the left where the older man is standing, and the line of people waiting to be seen is down the wall of the church and wrapped around to the right under the tent/canopy. 

 
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The pastor praying with a family before they left. We were also able to bless them with clothes.

 
Today’s food distribution:
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Getting ready to bless some families

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It’s about SO much more than food

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Jesus said to them, โ€œI am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. John 6:35 Praying these people find true satisfaction in the Bread of Life.

 
The team will have a “rest day” tomorrow. We’ll do a little sight-seeing and shopping.
 
On Saturday, the 12 homes will be dedicated to the Lord and the gospel will be presented. Please PRAY that hearts are being prepared to hear, receive, understand, and accept the gospel. Pray for the salvation of these people. 
 
For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesusโ€™ sake. ~2 Corinthians 4:5


Guatemala 2015 – Day 7

Today was a very special day.  We had the opportunity to go and worship at Pastor Cesar’s church.  We heard songs we knew, though we may not have known the words they were singing.  We heard Bro. Wayne Moak preach as Cesar translated for his congregation.  Near the end of the service Cesar asked the people seated around us (we split up and sat in different locations) to gather round us an pray for us.  One really unique aspect of prayer here in Guatemala is that even when someone is “leading” the prayer, everyone else is praying at the same time.  They pray more quietly so the leader can be heard, but instead of hearing one prayer, you hear 5 or 10 or 100.  It truly is a part of worship in which they all participate.

A view from the balcony at Pastor Cesar’s church.

 

Bro. Wayne preaching and Cesar translating the sermon for his congregation.

 

The heart of the people here is definitely one of humility and gratitude … even when we might look at them and think they don’t have much to be thankful for.  I hope some of those characteristics have rubbed off on us this week as we’ve served these beautiful people and been served by them.  We sought to love on them, found ourselves in love with them and loved by them in return.  Thank you Lord for a wonderful week!  Pray for our safe travel home tomorrow and more importantly for the continued spiritual growth of the people here and the spread of the Gospel to others.

If you can spend more than a few minutes with the people here (especially the kids) and not fall in love with them, something isn’t right.  It won’t be easy to leave!

 

Not only does Pastor Cesar have an incredibly sweet spirit but he also has impeccable taste in state universities!  ๐Ÿ™‚



Guatemala 2015 – Day 6

We anticipated this being an amazing day but really had no idea just what all God had in store.  To be honest, the day started on a low note.  We’ve had a few team members at less than 100% the past day or two and this morning learned of a few that weren’t going to be able to make the home dedications due to being sick.  Those that were able to go arrived in the village with nervous anticipation.

Another beautiful day on the mountain.

 

At the very first home we got a taste of how the day would go.  The homes were decorated beautifully with a carpet of pine needles, balloons, and streamers.  After our team dedicated the home and Cesar presented the Gospel, the family responded by trusting Christ as their savior.  All the sweat and splinters and money and time were worth those few moments … but God wasn’t done!  During the dedication of that home we heard what sounded like a pretty bad wreck on the highway beside the village.  A few of our team members had stayed with the trucks and quickly radioed up asking that our two ladies that served on the medical team come assist.  They drove to the highway and found a bus that had come around a turn to find a disabled pickup, hit the rock face on one side of the road and then veered across the highway and into a house on the other.  While many of those on board were injured, thank God none of the injuries were life threatening AND that our ladies were available and willing to go wade into a crowd of strangers and care for those on the bus.

Treating injuries from the bus accident.

 

As we progressed through all 10 homes we heard different team members verbally share the good news of Christ with each family.  Through (first and foremost) the Holy Spirit’s work in their hearts, the team’s hard work and loving attitudes, and the testimonies that were shared 8 people from 5 different families began a personal relationship with the God of the universe!  And of the other families, many were already our brothers and sisters in Christ.  It was humbling, exciting, fulfilling, and so much more to do what we were created to do … share the best news anyone could ever hear.  We are so thankful to God for using us as His hands, feet, and mouthpiece this week!

As beautiful as the scenery is here, it doesn’t compare to this sight!

 

This evening we were blessed to have Pastor Max bring his 7 daughters by to sing for us.  It was amazing to hear them!

Pastor Max’s talented daughters and our entire team.

 

This week we’ve built and strengthened many relationships.  With the Guatemalans and also with each other.  We’ve shared laughs, tears (it get’s dusty up there on that mountain at times … at least that’s the excuse the guys use when our get watery from seeing God work), and many memories.  We’ve had a great team and a great time!

Trying to get a group photo with our build team – as the sign says .. “Team #1” ๐Ÿ™‚ – when some goober photobombs us.

 

To those who gave, thank you!

To those who prayed, thank you!

To those who watched over our families in our absence, thank you!

Each and every one of you came on this trip whether physically or in spirit, and each one of you was critical to our success.  Of course God could have done all this without any of us, but I hope you share our gratitude for being a part of such a wonderful working of His hands!