Guatemala 2015 – Day 2

(NOTE: Our apologies for the delayed post.  Shortly after supper yesterday – Tuesday – the internet connection at the mission house went down.  It still wasn’t up when we left this morning.  So the post below is actually from Tuesday, Day 2.)

Today was our first day in the field, and what a day it was!  Not only did the two build teams complete a record amount of work (6 houses built except the fronts and #7 laid out with the posts set) but we also sent a team to work with a new ministry for Grace.  That team spent most of the day helping a group of ladies prepare food and activities for children from the very poorest families in Chimaltenango.  The ministry seeks to provide school tutoring, activities, and hot meals for at least one child from these extremely poor and overlooked families.  The kids provide the ministry with an avenue tby which to minister to and share the Gospel with their entire families, and change the lives of the (currently) 35 or so children in the program.  This is a truly unique opportunity and one we hope to watch grow over time.

A few of our team members with the kids in the tutoring program.

 

Doing a little babysitting before getting started for the day.

 

Back in the small village where the build teams worked today God immediately opened a door no one could have foreseen.  The last thing you would probably expect to find in a village where the terrain has next door neighbors separated by 50+ feet of elevation is a girl in a wheelchair … but that’s exactly who God led us to.  A few of our members had the opportunity to speak with the family and help educate both them and the girl on things they can do to help strengthen her crippled legs.

Bringing tools to the first sites.  You can get some indication as to how steep the terrain is in this village.

 

As stated above, the actual home builds went extremely well.  Both teams worked together well and with positive attitudes all around.  Before beginning each build the team would meet the family whose home they would build and pray with the family members who were present.  We got to work alongside some of the new home owners as well as others from the village who wanted to help.  Working in such close proximity allowed us to share laughs, high-fives, and love.  Of course there were also dozens of beautiful children to be found watching us as we worked.

Brother Wayne didn’t have to beg too much to get them to pose for a photo.

 

This is the first time Grace Ministries has worked with this particular village so the people, and the kids especially, didn’t quite what to expect when we arrived.  As such, the children watched from afar more often than not when the day began.  But as the day wore on and they got to see that we cared for them and their families, they quickly warmed up.

A few fashionistas in the making.

 

It’s an amazing and humbling thing to see these children who, quite honestly, live in extreme poverty and often squalid conditions by Western standards … and yet they are so happy and full of life.  The curiosity and wonder with which they look at things like power tools, white skin, and blonde hair brings a smile to your face.  And the smiles they give in return could melt any heart.  It’s no wonder Christ loved children as he did while on Earth, and it’s obvious how important it is that we share His love with them while they still have their whole lives ahead of them.

Bruce had an app that would record your voice and play it back sounding like you’d inhaled a bunch of helium.  I’m not sure who enjoyed it more … Bruce or the kids.

 

I pray God will use even the small gestures and simplest words this week to plant seeds in their hearts that one day will sprout and for which He will send someone else (maybe even you!) to harvest.  Please continue to pray that God will make our work efficient, our lips quick to speak the good news, and our hearts open to His moving.

A few more pictures from the day …

Tillmon provided the muscle for job.

 

One of the build teams installing tin on the house.

 

We’re not the only ones Corey had laughing today.

 

The roof is nearly done and it will soon be time to move on to the next house.

 

Defying gravity as the kids cheered on this jump-roping duo. 

 

A sweet moment with a precious child … one of many such moments this day.