Thursday, July 19, 2012
Tuesday the team did a medical clinic in Embaulada. Everyone always loves spending time there because of many relationships that have been built there over the years. We saw about 50 people, the majority of them being children. It is always great to see familiar faces, and I think the people there feel the same way because some of the kids even remember our names. God has used Due West United Methodist in such an amazing way there and it is awesome to see how much a church body can do when it is serving the Lord. Today, Wednesday, was the team’s free day and we went to Picaya. It is a volcano that is still active and erupted a few years ago. It’s about a 2 mile hike to the top, and the terrain is very difficult to navigate because of the volcanic rock. Cindi, Olivia, Melanie, Carolyn, and Lyndy rode horses to the top, but the rest of the group hiked the entire way. Needless to say we were all pretty exhausted when we finally reached the top, especially because we were at such a high elevation. The way down was a little bit easier but the volcanic dust made it hard to keep sure footing. All in all we made it back to the mission house in one piece, but a few of us were completely covered in black volcanic ash. Once we returned to the mission house, Dale began to prepare for the skype call between Boy Scout Troop 444 in Marietta and the Boy Scout Troop 7 in Guatemala. Because internet connection in Guatemala can be scarce, Dale drove to Embaulada to pick up the boy scouts and bring them to the mission house, where chairs and a projector were set up. The Guatemalan boy scouts filed in quietly and sat in their chairs patiently awaiting the video skype. It was such a neat experience to see two very different groups of kids come together for a common cause. Dale worked very hard to set this meeting up and I’m sure the whole team would agree that it was a great success. The boys in Guatemala then watched some videos of themselves that Ken had made from last year. They really enjoyed seeing themselves. After the skype call, everyone dressed in their Sunday best and got ready for Wednesday night church. Tonight we preformed Noah’s Arc and made necklaces. Keeping children’s attention for more than five minutes can be very difficult, but Olivia, Taylor, Jen, Jordyn, Bobby, Hunter, Jay, and Ken did an amazing job of keeping all of the kids interested in the story. The craft came next and it was a little harder to coordinate, but we managed. Since it was the last night we will be in Embualada, there were many sad goodbyes. It’s tough because we spend the most time there and we get to see the same kids so Wednesday night is always our final goodbye. The people in Embualada, like majority of people in Guatemala, are so full of love and our group is always so blessed by the love that we feel in Embaulada. After returning from Embaulada where we also found out that Cheryl Leigh (daughter of Tom and Elizabeth) is coming back to the states with us on Saturday to spend 2 weeks with us. We are very excited. We had a very special devotion via skype from Chris Moss who we all miss very much here in Guatemala and at home.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Our men had quite the experience with the boy scouts on Saturday. Though we had mapped the day out during the previous night’s planning session, our activities always seemed to run their course more quickly than anticipated, and the team suddenly faced a rather daunting challenge. Yet despite having only a single Spanish-speaker in our ranks and over 40 kids to care for and entertain, the team rose to the challenge, leading our scouts through many activities such as fire-building, singing camp songs, picking up trash throughout the community, and an impromptu game of futbol all while making sure they learned important lessons of the scouts like the salute and motto. Although it was challenging, all the team members agree that it was a worthwhile endeavor that definitely made an impact on the kids and the team, as evidenced by our “reunion” after the church service with many of the children. Truly, our trust in God helped create an amazing opportunity out of a potentially crazy situation. Sunday’s are always a very interesting day because we go to church and get to spend the day in Antigua. Because the majority of the team members this year are veterans, many of us don’t think twice about the Guatemala church service that we attend. However, it is a very different experience, and it is hard to prepare for what happens during the hour and half worship service. The Guatemalan people come to church with the expectation of seeing God, and they don’t hold back. Since the entire service is conducted in Spanish, the group usually leaves with the children for children’s church. This year we re-enacted David and Goliath. Our acting may not be the best, but it was fun seeing Hunter throw bean bags at Dale. After the skit, the kids colored their own mini Goliaths and threw little rubber balls at them, like David threw pebbles at the real Goliath. These kinds of activities never take as long planned so the last half of children’s church was spent running around and chasing kids. The second half of Sunday was spent shopping and sightseeing in Antigua. Many of us bartered for things in the market like quilts and purses, and of course many of the guys bought knives. After shopping, everyone met up for dinner. On Monday, we did a medical clinic in Gorion, some of the boy scouts and church staff live here. We saw upwards of 80 people and Kathy saw 23. Carolyn also got the hair salon up and running, and the boy scouts help do lice washes and braiding. We are currently preparing for a clinic in Embaulada and we are excited to see how God will work today.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
After traveling for seven hours, the whole group, minus Olivia's luggage, made it saftely to the Hearts for the Children Ministry house in Guatemala. Friday was a day of planning, as we prepared for medical clinics and the boy scout campout. That night everyone went to sleep pretty early to get ready for the week ahead. On Saturday, the team hit the ground running with a medical clinic in Barcenas and a Boy Scout Jamboree and Campout in Embaulada. Many of you may not know that Barcenas is the town of our beloved bus driver, Mochilon, who was shot in January. We are happy to report that he is doing well, and was extremely supportive of our teams efforts today. Although our team has less than perfect spanish, we were able to see 105 people with the help of Pastor Tom and translators. Olivia, Carolyn, and Jordyn worked the triage table and were at the frontline of patient care. After triage, the people were able to see our wonderful doctors Cindy, Tom, and Jon. These three worked very hard to see every person that came to the clinic, and they made sure that no one was turned away. The pharmacy was the final step after seeing the doctors, and Melanie and Lyndy ensured that everyone got the medicine that they were prescribed. I know your thinking that the pharmacy is surely the end of the line as far as the clinic is concerned, but there is no way that our clinic would be complete with out Kathy, our dental hygenist. With the help of her assistant Jennifer, she cleaned the teeth of 25 kids. Over all the medical clinic was a huge success and went very smoothly, even though all of the man power was at the boy scout camp. Although in the past our team has concetrated its efforts on the medical clinics, last year we started a boy scout troup in Embaulada. This year the guys in the group continued their efforts to establish the pack. Today they gathered all of the boys in Embolada and taught them how to start a fire and they learned all of the ways of the scouts. They are currently spending the night in the basement of the church and we won't have a full report util tomorrow. However, Dale, Ken, and Jay came back the mission house to get to sleeping bags and they seemed pretty worn out. I'm sure they would welcome your prayers because you know how men can get when they been around kids all day. We have already been so blessed by all of the people in Guatemala and we are excited to see how God will work this year! None of this would be possible without the support that we have received from all of you at home, and we continue to ask for your prayers while we're here. Also, Pastor Tom has become very sick and he needs your prayers. We know that God is the great physician and we are praying and believing in that power.