Saturday, June 4, 2011

¿Guat's up?

Warning... this post is longer than usual but rather than post ten times about the same trip I thought I'd sum it all up here. Feel free to return to your Fbook stalking rather than beginning the following, quite lengthy, read.

Needless to say this has been a busy week seeing as how I was on mission in Guatemala.
We started the week in an all girls orphanage with a day of VBS. There were three groups in all including one of all special needs girls (about 200 girls in all). I was kissed on the face about 50 times that day... and so began the need to get overcome any issue I may have had with lack of personal space. Because we were only there one day we jumped to our "salvation" day material and shared the plan of salvation with these girls via salvation bead bracelets, John 3:16 bookmarks, and of course the story of Zacchaeus. Okay so that last part didn't really makes sense but luckily my all-talented sister was able to tie it together and give a great example for those doing it later in the week. We chalked the sidewalks, jump-roped, and blew bubbles till our hands were white, tired, and sticky, then loaded up and headed back to the hotel.
Day 2-5 we did VBS in two communities located quite literally on the side of this mountain under a bridge.
(please note my amazing photoshop abilities... and by photoshop I mean paint... also click on it to see the bigger version)

The first community was called El Cerrito and consisted of about... a lot of kids (forgive my lack of estimating abilities). This took place in a community center building and a basketball court we used for rec.
The second half of each day took place down the hill in the community called Santa Rita.

(Photo compliments of Juliana Mize as I stole it from her facebook without permission because I was too lazy to take out my camera most of the trip)
So... not so bad going down.... a bit harder going up. Also men were carrying six cinder-blocks at a time on their backs up hills like this. I could barely carry an empty backpack.
Kayla=huge wimp.
We had maybe a few less kids there but it didn't seem like it as it all took place in a room the size of my family room at home. It was a little hectic but fun none the less.

Tip: need to entertain 50 or so Guatemalan children? bust out the beach balls... hilarious.

So we did four days of VBS in both of those places.
On the last day we took an hour drive to Guatemala's second capital Antigua (Guatemala City is the third and current capital... if this is wrong, insert correct statistic). It was replaced as capital after being destroyed by a volcano in the 1500s.

Taken at Cerro de la Cruz (Hill of the Cross) overlooking Antigua. (note aforementioned volcano in background)

Antigua is a very old and beautiful city and they have passed laws to keep it that way (it was rebuilt after the volcano destroyed it). For example: houses cannot be built up past one story, no signs may extend from any building, and cars are prohibited from honking. Needless to say it is peaceful compared to Guatemala City. There we hit the market and and haggled with the natives over souvenirs that were likely all made in China. Having been there before I steered away from the unnecessary brightly colored woven goods and went straight for a t-shirt for myself. Not wanting to spoil the gifts for family, I will not list them here.... but Erin, yours is the prettiest of all, and Tyler...... just get ready.
Mom got sick in Antigua and sat out the shopping but everyone else had a nice time. Saturday morning we woke up at 5:30 and loaded the bus at 6 to catch our 8 AM flight. Now I'm obvi back in the good ole U.S. of A. and I'm plugged back in to the techno world. Domo.... Domo.

Did you really think I was gonna write a whole post about a mission trip and not mention God? Well...... God did some really amazing work this week. He was as present as ever and struck down barriers left and right--Matthew 18:20. It could not have been a smoother week especially since the rain that was forcasted for the entire week was held at bay after much prayer--James 5:17. The language was a non-issue as God provided us with amazing translators that each had a heart for him and the kids we served-- Daniel 7:13-14. Just as he fed the 5,000, he provided enough materials for craft each day which seemed an impossible feat--Philippians 4:19. Every night we went to bed exhausted and rose feeling renewed (after a little coffee perhaps)-- Psalm 3:5. The best part is that Christ was there before we arrived and will not ever abandon Guatemala, so our leaving was not guilt-ridden.

My main prayer now is that I would remember that even though the people we served this week have so much less than I, and I have been beyond blessed, that I need God just as much as they do. This is hard for me because I almost feel like I don't deserve to need God. These families rely on him daily to provide what they need to survive. I have been given so much already that I feel I could not possibly be considered in need. It is impossible to wrap my head around the omnipotence that is God. I want him to love and help and provide for those I deem "in need" and I forget that he can provide for all people at any time, anywhere, no matter their needs. What I forget is that there are different types of poverty and though I don't suffer from material poverty, I do suffer from a poverty of being, as do all who have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. My broken relationship with God is only repaired through his saving grace. It does not matter how much I physically possess if I don't have salvation through Christ. I am just as in need of God as everybody else.... must repeat this till my brain accepts it.

If you stuck with this post I am beyond proud of you. As a reward I have posted below a video of everybody on the trips' new fav song. We made the kids sing it so many times they were begging for a new song. :) (this is just one I found on youtube so it's a bit different but... you get the idea)

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