Tuesday, 01/22/13

We awoke to another beautiful day in Guatemala.  Unfortunately, two of the team are staying in bed today with stomach sickness.  We are sad for our friends, and are hoping for a quick recovery.

On the way to the church building, we stopped at the site of the future permanent Learning Center.  It is on the main road, with a cinder block fence and gate that opens to the wooded plot of land.  Like many areas, it overlooks a valley, with mountainous views.  We can picture the building, teachers, and kids here.

Today, we taught the story of Jonah, the repercussions of his disobedience, and his ultimate obedience.  Activities included: graham crackers with blue frosting (the sea) and goldfish, paper Jonah inside a balloon whale, homemade play dough, and Simon Dice.  We had a great day with the kids.

Pastor Alfredo invited the team to his house for dinner: an amazing experience.  One of his daughters greeted us at the door, seated us, and served us water with tangerine juice.  When Alfredo’s wife finished preparations, we moved to the kitchen/dining room.  She presented us with a beautiful meal of steak, mixed vegetables, broccoli, mashed potatoes, and tortillas.  We had learned to say “I am full”, but still finished the pastry dessert and a hot milk-based drink.

Over dinner, we chatted with Pastor, with Rut and Josh translating.  He told us his story: drinking at age 12, dealing drugs by 20, shot three times.  Finally, after again escaping the police, he dropped to his knees and confessed his need for Christ.  A year later, he started his ministry.  He is in his 21st year of service, and has planted many churches across Central America.

Alfredo and his wife re-defined generosity for us.  His wife took the day off her work as a maid to prepare the elaborate meal for us.   Alfredo accepted our thanks, offering, “Everything is from God, and we share all.”  He spoke to us about how he has seen many different cultures, but that all people share commonalities and connection, especially Christians.  We concluded our time at their home by praying for his family, and then he prayed for us, an overwhelming experience.

From dinner, we prepared to show The Jesus Film at a field in the middle of the community. Members of the church transported a movie screen and audio / visual equipment.  At a neighboring house, we prepared 20 gallons of hot chocolate over open-flame. Kids played pick-up soccer as we finished readying for the film. About 250 members of the community came for the film, many of whom we had met at house visits or at The Learning Center. At the conclusion, Rut and Josh’s brother Chris spoke and invited attendees to accept Christ.

It was a full, unforgettable day.