Alarm clocks rang early this morning, and the team met at CPCC at 4a.  We stuffed our suitcases in the van and headed for the airport.  How wonderful: not much traffic at this time!  While checking in for our flight, we realized that we’d forgotten one suitcase.  Not to worry, we soon learned that Guatemala has WalMarts, too.  As we descended into Guatemala City, we saw the majesty of the mountainous country.

We met Heather, from VisionTrust, an organization who partners with and mentors local missionaries.  Heather introduced us to Rut, who runs VisionTrust Guatemala, and her brother Josh, who also serves on the local team.  Before heading to our accommodations, we stopped for our first authentic Guatemalan meal: Subway!  Guatemala City has many of the same retail stores and restaurants as the United States.

Rut and Josh drove us out of the city and into the mountains, to a rural area about 45 minutes outside the city.  The Lodge, our home base, is a beautiful facility, with gorgeous views.  At the entrance, a sign reads, “Tu palabra es en mi corazon como fuego ardiente que me quema los huesos y no lo puedo resistir mas. –Jeremias 20:9b” / “His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones.  I am weary of holding it in; indeed I cannot.”

We settled in, and talked as a group to prepare ourselves for our time in the community.  We prayed on Pslam 46:10, “He says, ‘Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’”  We were encouraged as we shared with each other about our lives and testimonies.  We talked about our intention to focus on developing relationships with the community, and representing Christ.  We vowed to pray through the week.

Rut and Josh shared with us, as well.  Their father grew up in the village that we are to visit tomorrow.  VillageTrust Guatemala will build a Learning Center to serve the community.  CPCC will be a long-term partner in the project, sending groups regularly.  The Learning Center will provide education, spiritual enrichment, a meal a day, and for medical needs.  Before the Center is built, the team is using a church building.  (Rut and Josh asked about  renting the facility, but the pastor would not accept payment, explaining: “We are all serving God.”)

Supper was a wonderful meal of chicken, rice, and vegetables.  We concluded the day organizing our VBS lessons and activities.

We are excited to be here.  Pre-trip anxieties has become peace.  We are ready to meet the community and be used by God for his glory.