I thought I would start writing some of what actually happened in Guatemala this past week, and then wrap it up with my emotions on the trip and what God taught me on it.
we flew. yipee. we had a few delays, but I didn't notice them. I sat next to a mother and daughter on their way to Guatemala City to wait up for the rest of their team coming in Sunday, and then heading 8 hour bus drive north to do medical work in villages. The mother had been to Guatemala and even Antigua before, and was able to calm my fears about the location that we would be staying. Thanks be to God. Our welcoming team of Nathan and Kory (with a K) was waiting for us at the airport, and Guatemala hit us. There were boys waiting, begging right at our van, ready to "help" us with our bags. We hopped in our fifteen passenger van, and rode down to the mission we would be staying in in Antigua. then it was sleep time
Sunday was a blast. We got our first good look at the mission, which was beautiful. It was like the outdoors came inside with open air everywhere except the bedrooms. Nathan picked us up and took us out the the Refuge site for the first time. There he told us his story (more of which I learned later) and the vision God has given him for this land. Hearing the different ways God has moved around Nathan is incredible. We then loaded up for church.
We had church in Antigua, at the satellite location to the church Nathan and his family attend in Guatemala City. While I understood very little of it, I did understand:
Recibe toda la gloria / recibe toda la honra / precioso hijo de dios
It was beautiful to hear the Guatemalans worshipping God. They felt such a passion and fire, there was even a woman walking the aisle with tissues. The sermon was a bit weird to me, mainly because I listened with headsets to the English version being translated immediately, and I couldn't help but laugh at the translation. lo siento.
After church, we headed back to the mission, where we were met with the first of many delicious meals made by Claudia, Nathan's wife. It was magnificent.
It was then off to Paradise, which is not Paradise, a neighborhood in Zone 18 in Guatemala City. The police leave at 4 pm because they are afraid. Paradise reminded me so much of Lima - houses of sheet metal on top of each other, little alley ways providing the roads, beautiful people. Nathan took us around the different houses of people he had ministered with. Seeing the inside of these houses and being welcomed in was humbling. The trail of kids followed us to the soccer stadium that Nathan had worked on years ago. (i think). We just played with the kids, doing bubbles and making picture frames with popsicle sticks. The amount of pride these children took in their crafts was beautiful to see. I knew NO spanish, but picked a little up. The kids were so willing to help each other out as well as help me out.
As we left Paradise we went by 'Doctor' Manuel's house. His mother, Olivia, hugged everyone as we walked into her home. She told us how much we were blessing her by visiting, because people did not make the walk down the hill to come visit. It broke my heart to hear that. She was an incredible woman.
After Paradise, we ran by NAthan's house for him to pick up the gas key and then to Pollo Campero. This was like the best fried chicken ever, and also the location for my first ice cream in a cone. it was a big moment - there are pictures.