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Guatemala Mission Team – Day 4

Where does love come from? That was on my mind this morning when I looked
out from our final build spot. The team had split up into three groups to
tackle the remainder of our work in the valley. As the final two houses
were finished a group went out and put the front sections on the houses
that had been concreted the night before. With nearly the entire group
there together for the first time, the work went quickly and the labor
wasn’t as difficult as the day before.

*Several of our group loving on the children*

*Loving on some more children*

*This guy was digging a site for his house out of the side of the mountain.
Viktor helped him for awhile.*

*Cliff playing with some of the kids*

*Maurice loving on a sweet girl*

John, the in-country missionary, challenged us earlier in the week to
really get to know the people we were helping. To ask them their names and
remember their names and use their names when speaking to them. John was
instructing us on how to love the people. Mission accomplished. Today was a
day filled with some work, but with lots of love. And that brings me back
to my question, where does love come from?

*Rosemary putting on a roof*

*Skip and Karla build a window*

*Olivia and Kat helping Katie put up a window*

*Greg and Kat putting up a door*

*Caleb and David putting the front on a house*

*Courtney hanging a door*

*Don and Greg working on a door*

*Anna digging a hole*

I see my love for the Guatemalan people coming from a few different places.
First off, they have some of the most beautiful children in the world. If I
could get through customs, I would try to smuggle twelve of them home in my
carry on. Secondly, they desire our help. They are proud people, but they
know that the help we provide in materials and equipment is something they
can’t do for themselves. They take it a step further by helping us build
the homes. They dig the post holes beside us, they concrete the floor after
we leave, and they are there beside us throughout the entire process.
Thirdly, they love each other. My words can do no justice to how much these
people care about one another. Sisters carrying their siblings on their
backs, siblings sharing candy with each other (without being told),
neighbors working all day to help build a home for a friend or relative.

*Maurice helping a guy cut a board for his house*

*About a 6 year old girl carrying her baby sibling*

*Angela, Katie, and Kat*

*KT sharing her sandwich with the children*

*Playing fútbol*

*While playing fútbol Turner fell in a briar patch. The locals picked him
up and pulled the stickers out for him.*

*Fredo helping put on the roof*

*Kat with a boy who lives in this house we built*

*Mark S. with three of the guys who helped us build several of the houses*

Fredo, Theresa, Enoch, Alex, Chicago (A Jeremy Loy interpretation of a
Guatemalan name), Katie, and Marta are just a few of the people we met and
fell in love with this week. Can a non-Christian come to this remote
valley in the hills outside of Chimaltenango, Guatemala and love these
people? Absolutely. However, the type of love I’ve seen this week, the
“feet washing” type of love as our pastor calls it, that love only comes
from a heart that knows Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I think the
outside world would call what we’ve done “humanizing”, but all we’ve done
is show these people the love of Christ. The challenge for myself and for
all Christians is to love those who aren’t so easy to love. Those who
aren’t as cute as Alex or as funny as Fredo. Those people that we come into
contact with who we think that we don’t care for. I was also blown away by
the power of love. Love is a bridge that spans two languages. You don’t
need to know how to speak Spanish to come on a mission trip to Guatemala.
All you need to be able to do is love and if you don’t know how to do that,
don’t worry, the people of this country will teach you.

*Alex*

*Katie and Theresa*

*Jeremy having an arm wrestling match*

*KT and Angela gave these guys their sweatshirts*

*Some of the ladies making tortillas at one of the house sites*

*All that was in one of the huts beside a house we were building*

*The water they use for everything, including drinking*

*Don loving on Alex and Theresa and their sister*

*Our team with some of the guys that helped them build the house and their
children*

*Karla showing some love*

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his
friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I
call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing;
but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I
have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and
appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should
abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to
you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.” – John
15:13-17

*Today was a shorter day so a few went and played at the mall after we got
back. Turner had fun riding a 4-wheeler*

*Sandra always has to make sure she looks good, even on the side of a
mountain in Guatemala!*



Guatemala Mission Team – Day 3

Today was another awesome day. It was also a very long day. With much to be
done it was decided that we would eat breakfast at 6:00 and leave for the
build site by 6:30. The Medical Team got up and cooked breakfast and the
Build Team was on site by 8:00 AM.

*View from the mission house in the morning*

The day started with another long hike back up the mountain and some of the
brightest smiles you will ever see. There were a few children and teens in
the village that had shoes that were in horrible shape. Toes busting out
the front or seams coming apart all the way around. Shoes were located for
these children from the donations that you sent to Guatemala. I’ll never
forget the look on the face of one little boy when he got a “new” pair of
Nikes. He kicked his old busted shoes off into a creek.

*Boy so excited to get new shoes!*

*Diane having a shoe distribution for the children*

The Build Team made great strides and as of right now they have three
houses completely finished, one house framed up and ready for tin, one
house to be completely built, and seven houses only lacking the front
section/windows and doors. The goal for tomorrow is to finish everything
but the fronts of the last two houses. That’s a big task and it’s going to
be a big chore, so we’re ALL going to the mountain tomorrow. All 29 of us
will make the trip and together we’ll nearly be finished after tomorrow.

*Courtney building a door*

*Some of the children helping Tammy with a door*

*Tillmon marked something off his bucket list – to climb a tree in
Guatemala*

*Skip teaching Turner how to build a house*

*Tyler and Jeremy putting on a roof*

*Diane and KT learned how to build windows and doors and let the kids help
them*

*Tucker helping build a house*

*Diane and KT with their completed window*

The Medical Team completed their final clinic today. They gave out meds at
Pastor Hector’s church. The building of that church was part of the tasks
tackled by one of our earlier missions to Guatemala. The med team got a
pleasant surprise today when they were invited to a nearby orphanage to
play with their children. Those who went were moved to tears by what they
saw. 30 some odd children packed into a meager building and living a bare
existence, but still SO HAPPY! Happy to be played with, happy to be loved,
happy to sing for our people. In the words of Olivia Lewis, “This was one
of the best days of my life.” Why? Because the way the children hugged her.
She said she doesn’t think she’s ever been hugged like that before.

*Anna loving on some kids at the clinic*

*Olivia loving on some kids from the orphanage*

*Olivia and Sandra passing out toys to some of the kids*

*Sandra playing games with one of the girls*

*Allison checking out a patient*

I speak for the entire team when I ask that you pray for our strength to be
renewed in an Isaiah 40:31 type of way tomorrow.



Guatemala Mission Team – Day 2

Today was an awesome day for the Heucks Retreat Guatemala Mission Team. Get
use to hearing that phrase, because I’m fairly sure you’ll see it again.

Monday was a day filled with travel and bouts of waiting. Getting settled
in the Mission House and getting our bearings was the order of the day.
Tuesday was our first chance to see how God would use us on the mission
field.

The morning started a breakfast of eggs, bacon, grits, blackberries, and
pancakes. The pancakes were nearly abandoned after two false starts by
Jeremy Loy and Tillmon Bishop. Luckily, our pastor is not only skilled at
expository preaching, he also makes a mean pancake.

*Jeremy and Tillmon’s failed attempt at pancakes*

Devotion time was led by Brother Ken and he shared a verse from……wait
for it……..JAMES!!!! His favorite “right strawry epistle.” His message of
encouragement was followed by a last bit of advice from our in-country
missionary, John.

After that the medicines were loaded into one van for the medical team and
the tools were loaded into three trucks and one van for the build teams.

The medical team has a great day and saw over 100 patients at the church
they served at. It’s no coincidence that some of the most compassionate
ladies you will ever meet represent our church body in this mission. The
medicine is served with a huge shot of love from our people. Tomorrow the
team will move to another church and will continue to give out medicine and
vitamins and love.

*Courtney helping one of the ladies*

*Olivia with some of the kids at the med site*

*Sandra loving on some kids at the med site*

*Notice Courtney is sock footed in this picture. That’s because she gave
her shoes to a lady with 15 children who needed a new pair of shoes!*

*Allison looking at a boy at the med site*

*Olivia, KT, and Kat having fun with one of the kids at the med site*

*Rosemary helping one of the patients*

The Build Team drove a little over an hour to start their day. As we were
driving I looked at the countryside and noticed the houses we were passing.
I saw people living in houses made of wood, stucco, tin, blocks, and
concrete. I kept thinking, “These people are poor, but they don’t look
destitute. Surely we won’t be helping these people.” I kept wondering,
where are those who we will serve?

We found them in a valley that sat in a curve in the road. They stood
waiting for us with anxious faces. They celebrated our arrival by setting
off fireworks. Seriously, they set off fireworks.

They were eager to help us carry our gear to their village in the hills.
The huge hills. The baby mountain hills. The steep baby mountains. Once we
made it up to the build sites, then we commenced building. Progress went
good. Three homes were finished and are ready for concrete, then
doors/windows, and then dedication. Three more homes are framed up and
ready for tin in the morning. The goal is to build three/four more new
homes tomorrow after finishing the ones we started.

*The locals helping us carry the equipment up the mountain*

*This was a single mom that was brought to tears as we were praying over
the house site before we started*

*Jeremy and Tyler working on a house*

*Tammy and Katie working on building the doors*

*Bro. Ken and some of the locals looking over the ledge at the house
Viktor’s team was building directly below them*

*Turner building a door*

*Jeremy crossing the “bridge” on the way back down to the vehicles*

The stories shared tonight during devotion centered around the love we felt
for these people. The entire team is excited to know that all the homes
we’ll be building will be in this same valley. The people there are so
poor. And they have no idea. They are so happy and so extremely eager to
help us as we build them new homes. Romans 5:6-8 tell us that, “For while
we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one
will scarcely dire for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person
one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we
were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Today we met some VERY good people. So easy to love. I think that as we go
out tomorrow, both groups will focus on conveying our love of Christ to
these people, even with our broken Spanish. We will tell them that Christ
died for them and that is why we are here to give them medicines, to build
them houses, and to tell them the good news of Jesus Christ.



Guatemala Mission Team – Day 1

Praise the Lord! We arrived safe and sound in Guatemala and all of our
luggage made it without any problems.

We started the morning out bright (well dark) and early at the church with
breakfast thanks to the Nations’ family! A couple of our team members even
had to drive through downed power lines from a tornado to make it there –
we weren’t about to let anything stop us!

After breakfast, we loaded up on the bus and headed to Jackson. Once
there, we got all 60 of our bags checked and all of us through security and
boarded on the plane. Thankfully, we were able to fly above the weather
while heading to Atlanta, although it did get a little rocky on a decent to
the Atlanta airport. Our flight left Jackson a little late, which meant we
didn’t land in Atlanta until it was time to board our next flight. But the
Lord was gracious, and we were still able to make it to the gate with
plenty of time to board before our flight to Guatemala took off. Once on
board, it was a long 3 hour flight until we landed in Guatemala.

[image: Before boarding bus to leave]

*Before loading bus to leave for Jackson*

We collected our luggage, rented vehicles, and headed to Grace Mission
Home. After we got settled at the house, we headed back to town for some
food. After getting a little food in our bellies, we headed back to the
house to sort through all the medicine and personal hygiene items we
brought. We might have all been a little like zombies at this point! Once
the sorting was done, it was time to get rested up for the next day!
Looking forward to seeing what all the Lord has in store for us this week!

*In Guatemala trying to collect all our luggage*

*It took a few different carts for all of our luggage*

*Tillmon sorting vitamins*

*Everyone helping to sort all of the items we brought*



Guatemala Mission Team – ¡Adios Amigos!

*”May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his
works” – Psalm 104:31*

Yesterday morning we attended Cesar’s church. It was a wonderful time
worshiping with our Guatemalan brothers and sisters. Tillmon preached and
Diane did her chalk drawing of Jesus on the cross. They also called us all
on stage to thank us for doing the medical mission and food distribution.
Finally, we presented the speaker system to the church. They were very
touched and thankful for the gift. We received many hugs and thanks as we
left. What a wonderful picture of what Heaven will be like.

Well its time to go. We’ve seen God do mighty things this week, but now we
have to get back to our “normal” lives. It’s been said many times this week
for us to not go back to our everyday lives and not be forever changed by
this trip. Pray for us as we go back to work, school, kids, etc. Pray that
what we saw and experienced this week will have a lasting effect on our
lives. That it will move us to good work in the name of our Lord. More
importantly, that it will move us to spread the Gospel when we’re back in
Mississippi. Continue to pray for the new Christians in the “Community of
Blessing” as they have a large mission field all around them. And thank you
for your prayers. They have been felt and we’ve seen the effects. We love
you all. Thank you for supporting and praying for us.