Hello, blogging world! :) After a fun-filled birthday week, I am back to the "normal routine" and blogging again. I want to share with you all the blessings the Lord has poured out on me this week. I am SO thankful for His blessings, and I recognize that all good things come from Him. Here's how the week was:
Firstly, started off Monday with my 20th birthday. When I arrived at the home, the children were waiting for me at the door with many hugs and "happy birthday!" (in english). After lunch, Diana and Kenneth came by the home with a piñata and cake, which the children were SO excited about! We had a great time celebrating (my first piñata was pretty rough, but I'll blame it on the 20 spins... lol). Afterwards, I went to eat with Diana and Kenneth for my birthday, and we got some coffee for dessert... it was such a blessed birthday. **And for the record, I DO have a video of my Spanish birthday song, Annie and Mary... it's just too long to upload. hehe
On Tuesday things were pretty standard. Went to the home in the morning and worked with Miguel as he prepared for his big exams. Then, around 11, my sweet missionary friend Amanda from South Carolina came over to visit with us for the day. It was very nice having another english speaker with me, and the children immediately fell in love with her! We went out on a limb and internet-ordered McDonald's for lunch (which was SUPER fun... lol), and spent the afternoon with the kids. Diana came and picked me up later that evening to stay the night at their house. Tuesday was a very nice day!
On Wednesday morning we woke up and headed on the 2.5 hour drive to Panajachel. Kenneth had to meet with some pastors out there for a team that's coming in the end of July, and he invited me to go with them! We arrived around lunch, and I'm not sure if my eyes have beheld such beauty! Lake Atitlán, with the most blue water I've seen, surrounded by volcanoes and beautiful clear sky... ah! The Heavens really do declare the glory of God, and the sky (and ALL creation) proclaims His handiwork. After visiting Pana and meeting with a pastor, we took a boat across the lake to Santiago Atitlán, a small little town on the other side of the lake. We stayed the night in a bungalow there, and met with another pastor on Thursday morning.
The pastor took us around on Thursday after the meeting, so Kenneth could see where the team would be working. We went to a smaller village outside the town and visited a home that the team will be rebuilding. I've been to Haiti, Peru, Mexico, and I have seen poverty... but it never gets easier to see. Visiting this home reminded me again of the comfort that I am surrounded by... the comfort that I am used to. It also reminded me of my state of depravity before the Lord came to rescue me. So I pray that this family would recognize the Lord's work while the team is building them a home, and that the Lord would receive all the glory due His name. Also, a noteworthy part of our visit with this family is that they are all Mayan... none of them spoke Spanish, but rather an obscure Mayan dialect called K'iche'. So, I was literally only communicating through gestures. And I once again discovered that a smile and a piece of candy are universal signs of love for children. :)
We made it back to the city late Thursday night and woke up early Friday morning to take the children to the water park... and we had SO MUCH FUN! It was a long day, to say the least, but the weather was perfect for the outing, and the children had a blast. We swam, cooked lunch, and then looked through the small zoo. Finally making it back at 5pm, I was POOPED OUT! However, when Amanda called me that evening, I didn't hesitate in the least to agree to go to dinner with her and Jessi and Roblans. :) We had a nice time visiting and eating, and then I stayed the night with her that evening.
Saturday morning Amanda and I woke up and got ready for our day of "freedom." hehe- we took the car, picked up Stephen in Zone 18, almost wrecked heading back to the children's home, and then went to the mall for lunch. It was SUCH a fun day, although a little dangerous with 3 20-year-olds driving the streets of Guatemala, and although we all just met, I felt like I was with some of my best friends. It's amazing the ways that being in the Lord's will connects people. :) Although saddened that day by the loss of our country in the world cup, we were grateful for time spent together and to get OUT. :) However, I will say that unless it's an emergency and I absolutely HAVE to, I will not drive in Guatemala City. lol.
Saturday night I stayed the night with Claudia and Nathan, Diana's sister and brother-in-law. It was nice being with such a beautiful Christian family, and I was blessed to see a real-life missionary family in action. :) They are such sweet people. Sunday morning we went to Nathan's dad's church (who is an IMB missionary here in Guate), and spent the afternoon at their home. What a blessed Sabbath day it was! I came back here, talked briefly with mommy and Daniel, and crashed.
And... that brings me to today! Today has been the first day of the trip that I've done NOTHING. I woke up and got ready, spent some time reading, ate some breakfast, watched Brasil win their game, ate some lunch, and it was STILL pouring down rain. So I decided just to rest for the day and start again tomorrow. It's been a nice day to catch up a little.
(and since I brought up the world cup, I will say that it's SUPER fun watching this tournament in a central american country. I've never heard the word "GOOOOOOOAAAALLLLL" said so often, and I'm enjoying the chances I get to watch some of the matches. Also: VAMOS BRASIL A GANAR!! :)
I can hardly believe I have only 3 more nights in this room... 3 more full days with the children, and only 4 days until my sweet Mommy is here! While I am excited that this part of the trip is nearing, I am also sad, because that means the trip is coming to a close. Being a part of this ministry has been SUCH a blessing, and I'm so thankful to God that I've had the opportunity to work with these children. I look forward to spending these next few days with them, pouring out every ounce of love the Lord has given me. Please continue to pray for them. :)
I will try to update pretty regularly for the remaining time I have here. Thanks for reading.
¡Dios le bendiga!