As we begin our last two weeks of work here in Guatemala, our team has a lot to be thankful for. Sure we’ve had a few bumps in the road – waiting at the airport to get picked up because Nuevo Rito thought we were coming the next day, having our peanut butter seized by the TSA, running out of water and propane right before cooking meals, a few boots falling apart, rainstorms in the middle of pouring concrete, trouble exchanging money because the bills weren’t perfect (and I mean PERFECT!), waking up in the middle of the night to the sounds of cows and roosters and cats and trucks and all-night prayer meetings at the church across the street (they sure can pray – LOUD), a broken postal system that hasn’t delivered us any mail (we haven’t been able to send any home either), and the craziness of doing it all with 28 teenagers! But through it all God has been faithful.
On the worksite, we have been able to accomplish a lot. We have been working on the upper half of the walls for the dorm rooms and have completed the walls surrounding the stairs up to the start of the second story. Today we built new scaffolding out of old pallets (it doesn’t look like much, but it’ll hold!) that will help us reach the high spots. The sidewalk surrounding Phase 2 will be done today or tomorrow and most of the painting at phase 1 is finished. The team has been working hard and they are tired but have been keeping focused on the fact that every block that we lay is an investment in the lives of the kids that will find a home and family here at Nuevo Reto.
This weekend we had the opportunity to visit another local neighborhood and share the Gospel with the kids and families who live there. We set up in the courtyard of an elementary school and sang songs and played games with the kids. Zina shared her testimony and three of the kids accepted the Lord for the first time. The team was particularly touched by a five year old blind girl named Astrud who invited Jesus into her heart.
Saturday night we took a bus into the heart of Guatemala City. We’ve learned during our time here that a person should never be a hurry to get anywhere. The 14 mile trip took almost 2 hours! The roads are either in terrible condition or overcrowded. The bus drove us past the largest garbage dump in Guatemala where hundreds of people live in terrible conditions on what they can scavenge, the largest cemetery in the city, a police headquarters where many atrocities took place during the Guatemalan civil war, the presidential palace, and Santa Iglesia Cathedral. We had the opportunity to shop at the Estación Mercado Central and get a much needed snack at McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts.
On Sunday we worshipped with Templo de la Gloria. We shared special music and Pastor Jacob shared with us a challenging message about the blessing, task, and privilege of reconciliation with Christ. During the afternoon we did Bible quizzing and relaxed at a local park.
We are thankful that God has kept us safe and healthy. The Lord is working through us to touch the lives of the kids here at Nuevo Reto and changing us in the process. We are continuing to trust God for two more amazing weeks here in Guatemala!
The Guatemala Team
Thank you families and friends for your prayers. I miss you all and looking forward to seeing you. I am having so much fun working and playing with the kids!! Tsion
Hey everyone! It’s so awesome to be back in my birth place. It is is so beautiful here! I love it so much, it’s going to be hard to leave. Oh hey mom and dad! We had a soup I remembered eating in the orphanage. Well I miss you all and love you all! Thank you for all of your prayers!!! Hannah