Guatemala 2015 – Day 5

As one of the team members said to me after supper tonight, it amazing how each day has been better than the last.  Today was a unique day in some ways – not just for this week, but unique compared to previous years as well.  Because all the teams worked so efficiently earlier in the week, there was time and manpower available to do things for the ministry here that wouldn’t have been done – at least not by us – otherwise.  A few of our folks took care of purchasing, picking up, and installing a new dishwasher.  Others worked on a few electrical issues around the mission house and property.  There were also a few plumbing tasks to tackle.  John and the others here at Grace Ministries spend so much of their time serving others.  It was a blessing for us as well as them that God allowed us to serve them for a change.

Also unlike some previous years, we only had need for one small build team to finish up homes today.  Because there wasn’t as much physical labor to be done, the team had a few hours to spare which they used to love on the people in the village.  As Bro. Wayne pointed out in our devotion this morning, all of the hard work we’ve done this week – building the homes and building relationships with the people – is leading up to tomorrow when the homes will be dedicated and the Gospel clearly shared with the families.  We’ve lived out the Gospel in our actions.  We’ve lived out the Gospel in kind words and laughter.  Now we will communicate the reason for all they’ve seen in us this week.

Putting the finishing touches on the homes.

 

Just as on the previous day, we also sent a team to another church in the community to do a medical clinic.  This time with the same two members serving to diagnose and treat the patients and with other members supporting by helping triage, translate, and occupy kids they were able to see 143 patients!  And just like before, all involved fell in love with the people, young and old alike.

Diagnosing patients.

 

A few of the smiling faces around the clinic area today.

 

The same church which hosted the medical clinic today also hosted a food distribution this afternoon.  We handed out what should be enough food to supplement an entire family for a month and did so for 200 families.  It was unique time in that this part of the ministry moreso than any of the others so far allowed us to connect – serve, touch, hug – the adults as well as the children.  To have 200 families arrive at a small church (which at the moment was essentially a large shed) with no issues – no pushing and shoving, nothing – and an expression of gratitude on every face is amazing and certainly a “God thing.”  It’s also very humbling and convicting to see such gratitude for really very little coming from people who have very little.

Here the families are beginning to line up for the food distribution.

 

Handing out food … and smiles!

 

There’s nothing like looking them in the eye and telling them that Jesus loves them while acting out that love in the same moment.

 

For supper we were joined by familiar faces in Pastor Cesar and his family.  Afterward we went upstairs and took some time to encourage them and also share a few gifts which should meet some immediate needs for this sweet family.  As Bro. Ken pointed out later on, because we have a common confession (Christ as our savior) we have a common bond even though we may be separated by thousands of miles and even greater distances in culture.  But despite such separation, I have never felt such a connection with another brother whom I barely know.  It’s something that can only be explained by understanding God’s word and the work of the Spirit.

Cesar and family.  Sweet people if ever there were any.