The project is going well. We have completed the foundation and three courses of blocks. We have also poured concrete into six columns. We will be adding a second steel reinforced concrete layer and then start adding as much block as we are able in the time we have left. We would like to get at least 6 courses done after this second reinforced concrete layer. This building will be housing for a full time, on-site adult/couple and their family, providing for ’round the clock supervision for this second phase of Nuevo Reto. We have handed out tracts to some of the orphans and to several of the business people in the area. We also took, and passed out tracts on our shopping trips to Antigua and to the Central Market in Guatemala City.
Weather continues mostly hot and sunny most of the time, though this morning is cloudy. Pastor Jacob says the forecast is for dry weather for most of the rest of our stay.
Mariah Raines reported, when she did team devotions last night, that she has fully committed her heart and life to the Lord.
Our outstanding experience since the last report is having been invited to attend the church’s regular “family breakfast”. This is something they do every second Sunday of the month, and the ladies of the church prepared a wonderful meal. A second outstanding experience was our “Birthday Bash” – on Saturday, July 12 at supper. We had pizza, two kinds of chips, pop (soda), and, of course, birthday cake (chocolate) and popsicles. I think everyone had a great time and enjoyed “junking out”. Those who have had/will have birthdays between June 2 and July 29 were honored, got to be first in line, and we had candles and sang to them and they blew out the candles.
Team Member Testimonies:
Kevin Detomasso writes: “The people here are very friendly. The work here is pretty good, too! Its rainbows, sunshine & rain here most of the day (ed. note: NOT every day, and not for several days now). We are starting to lay a foundation on the property. I love the kids, they are always so happy! This place is awesome.”
Chase Osborne writes: “After I had just started getting used to Boot Camp, we left for Guatemala. Unfortunately I was expecting the worst for when we would arrive at the orphanage. When we stepped inside the door to the orphanage, I was very surprised. The kids there ran up to us with open arms adn open smiles which immediately put a smile on my face. The living conditions here are great and we have a beautiful, beautiful view. This place has not only opened up my mind but also my heart. So far this experience has been tremendous and really eye opening. I can honestly say that I will not look at things the same after this experience. I am blessed to be here and so thankful I had the opportunity to come. I cannot wait to share my experiences with everyone when I get home.”
Courtlyn Wesolowski writes: “Guatty’s been amazIng! I’ve definitely enjoyed getting close to my team mates and spending time with the children. I’m growing a little homesick, but I know it’s going to be so hard to say goodbye.”
Ethan Seevers writes: “This trip has been really fun. I”ve learned a lot and made many friends. The work has been hard and fun. I love the weather and the scenery. Can’t wait to tell my stories.”
Josh Stiffler writes: “When I first arrived here in Guatemala I really struggled to bond with the kids and to find the heart to work. After a few days of work, I begain to get into a routine. I still had a hard time connecting with the kids til I met 9 year old Gabriele. I am now connecting with all the kids, growing closer to God and loving work.”
Aly Nothum writes: “Being here in Guatemala and serving the Lord is a great experience for me. Since I came here I’ve got to know my team mates even better. I love the kids over here, they such a sweethearts. Guatemala reminds me of Ukraine, I kind of like the feeling of being reminded where I’m from. My leaders are amazing. I love all of them.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: These testimonies are typed in EXACTLY as the kids write them (though on occassion I may add a short “ed. note” to explain something more. Otherwise, they are EXACTLY what the team members are writing.