Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Guatemala Day 7: Homeward Bound

Woke up at 4:30AM! Ate some Frosted Flakes then headed out around 5:30AM for the Guatemalan City Airport. Checked-in, went through customs and security. Got a pretty stamp in my passport! Was sandwiched between 2 Guatemalans from Guatemala to Dallas. Got a Mighty Kids Meal and candy with Jessica at the Fort Worth airport. Flew from Dallas to Chicago between Sara and Mitch. Played telephone pictionary and random questions. So fun! Landed in Chi town. Got baggage and took vans back to Purdue. Having Lewis tell stories and sing in the van... priceless. Got extra food for free from Wendy's. Nothing can describe how much this trip moved me. I am excited to see where God is taking me next. Praise God!

Psalm 86:11

Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth, give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart, I will glorify your name forever.

Guatemala Day 6: Day Trip to Antigua

Looking out over Antigua - wearing our TOMS shoes
Breakfast: oatmeal. Left for Antigua after breakfast. It was a bumpy 1hr 45min trip. Played euchre on the way. Got to Antigua. Went to see a lookout spot over Antigua with a cross monument. Could see the volcanoes (1 of them still is active). So cool. Drove down into the heart of Antigua which seemed to me like a combo of Istanbul, Maui and Italy. Broke up into 2 groups. Shopping group and cathedral visiting group. Joined the shopping group which Garrett led.

Went to the market to shop! Bought Dad some Guatemalan coffee (50Q), a bracelet for Mom (30Q), a magnet for my collection (20Q), and a headband (20Q). Had fun! Went to look at 3 different churches. Found ice cream on the way. Hung out in the main square. Took long bumpy bus ride back. Had Guatemalan feast (steak, potatoes, sausage, tortillas, and cookies) for dinner. Had the nightly show and tell. Then packed up to leave. Gave most all of my clothes to the school. Trying not to be so materialistic. Now everytime I think about those clothes, I think of Guatemala. And I think how some little girl is wearing them and it makes me happy :)

Lunch in Antigua
Changes to make:

  • Support a Guatemalan child through Compassion 
  • Less Facebook/computer time wasting
  • Less shopping of random stuff I don't need
  • More deep conversations
  • Spend time outside
  • Read the word more
  • Blog more
  • Talk more to family about God
Antigua (active volcano on the right)

Guatemala was a life-changing adventure. I have a new perspective on the world. I can see God in the eyes of the Guatemalan children and in the beauty of his creation. I need to live out my changes. Always thirsting for more of Him. This is the start of something new. I want to incorporate this into my life. Praise God for His love!

Phillipians 4:5 - Let your gentleness be evident to all. The LORD is near.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Guatemala Day 5: House Dedication

Some of the children from the village that would watch us build each day.
This was the last day on the worksite. We finished the siding, roof, windows and door. For lunch we had tortillas and cookies. The family also made us lunch to thank us for the house. They got all of us our own bottle of Pepsi and made soup. It was so neat just sitting on the side of a gorgeous mountain eating soup that this Guatemalan family made for us. Surrounded by such an awesome Campus House team and the Guatemalan family and their friends. I could just feel the presence of God all around me. In his creation and in the people. It was beautiful.

Starting the roofing
The kids were masters at weaving pine branches into little crowns and bracelets.
About half-way done with the roof - such a beautiful view! 
The family made lunch for us to show their thanks.
The chicken soup that they made for us.
We dedicated the house after lunch. It was incredible! Fifteen family members came to watch, along with plenty of neighbors watching from the mountain side. The family we dedicated the house to sang and played us a song. It was beautiful. The mom cried. I could feel the Lord's presence hovering over us. Looking around at all the beautiful Guatemalan children with their dark brown eyes, black hair and tan skin. Over-looking the mountain side. I sat next to a little Guatemalan girl during the ceremony. We talked in Spanish. She asked what grade I was in. Emily, Carlos and Kyle nailed in a sign above the house with Casas por Cristo on it. It was hard to say "adios" to our new friends. I love them and hope the best for them. I hope they have or will have the Lord as their savior. I hope to meet them all again someday in heaven.

Watching the house dedication with one of the girls from the village.
Finished house after just 4 days!
Dedicating the house to the family.
The family was very thankful for their new house! 
Nailing in a sign above the door that says "Casas por Cristo"
We traveled back to the compound. Went on a walk down the streets of Guatemala by the compound. So cool. Lots of people out. Played euchre for a bit. Paused the game for a basket ball game. Headed about ten minutes away via 2 pickups. Took about 10 people in each truck. Got to the city center of a village nearby. It looked like a carnival was going on. The basketball court we were going to play on was covered up by carnival stuff. We ended up walking around instead. Found a beautiful church. Walked in on a service! Garrett bought chocolate covered marshmellows. They looked really good.

Came back to the compound for dinner. Had show and tell. Got to share my little marble with everyone! Told everyone our favorite parts of building the house -- mine was mixing the cement. Then we all played Mafia -- long game, but fun!

Thoughts: I am glad I made another bold move and came on this trip alone. Tons of new friends and people to go to church with. Praise GOD for this opportunity. Thank you Jesus for the beautiful, kind Guatemalans. I love them and can see God in the children.