And you lucky ducks get two guest bloggers! I will talk about my Thursday next week. I love these girls so leave them comments on here or Facebook – I’m don’t mind folks coming here and not commenting on my posts, but show some love for my girls!
First up is Amanda. She attends Providence with her husband and one year old daughter (who is probably the prettiest baby). I’m so grateful that we were on this trip together. Her eagerness to serve, her sense of humor, and honesty make her one of the best people you could ever go on a mission trip with.
Amanda the Blog Bomber here! So excited to be sharing a little bit of our adventure with you (please don’t judge me if I’m not grammatically correct and use way too many exclamation points)!!
It’s Thursday … I wake up and immediately get asked by my bunk mate if I suffer from night seizures?! Hmm, worries of Malaria, Typhoid fever, or some strange bacterial parasite infestation should come to mind, but I just chock it up to a case of Restless Leg Syndrome (it’s real y’all). We hike down the hill of death (shin splints are very real too) and enjoy some quiet time, breakfast, and devotional.
Today, our group is working construction on the house we are building in Pueblo Modelo. When you tell me we are going to build a house in Guatemala, I channel my inner Ty and think of everything I’ve seen on HGTV. I maybe even check out the latest Martha Stewart Living because in just a few short days, we will be chanting “Move that Bus!!!” Well, it’s kind of like that, but not. While there’s not any granite or cabinetry, there is dirt and cement. There are people working together in spite of any language barriers there might be and they are sweating profusely, carrying buckets after buckets of dirt and cement trying to get this house built for a well-deserving family in just one week’s time. These people are layering sunscreen, deet, and cement on their skin that, let’s face it, was already burnt and eaten up … and they are laughing with each other and having fun. The house is small and it takes 2 men about 35 minutes to put the roof on. It is one room, 2 windows … and it is the most BEAUTIFUL house I’ve seen. It really does sparkle in this village, it’s a symbol of God’s work in Pueblo Modelo. The big reveal will come Friday, so stay tuned.
Thursday night at Hope of Life is epic. We enjoy a traditional Guatemalan buffet full of all sort of culinary treasures! Let’s just say that I happen to be a “plain” sort of eater, so I cannot attest to the greatness of this meal, but many said it was their favorite of the week! Now on to the evening’s entertainment … The girls from the orphanage, wearing these bold and brightly colored dresses (I die) move us with their singing and dancing (this sealed the deal on dance recitals in the Siek family’s future, there will be some, end of story). Several church representatives give testimonials of their time in Guatemala that week and how they saw God at work in all they did. The night’s headlining act is a Guatemalan singer’s version of Josh Turner’s country chart topper “Your Man”, yes, you read that right. Un-Believable. Nothing caps the night off like Guatemalan country karaoke. That song will never be the same.
9:30 – Lights out. Here’s to hoping for no more night seizures.
Kelli also sent me a blog entry to share. Which is awesome – because you can really get the sense that we all have hundreds of awesome stories.
Kelli also attends Providence with her new husband, JP. She went to Guatemala last year and helped ease any pre-trip anxiety. She is warm and bright and kind. She got sick on the trip, but still surrendered herself to serving.
This Thursday I’m at work dreaming about what I did last week…
As every morning starts off in the village, you’re immediately surrounded by a group of kids that want to be loved. Your heart falls for one of them and then immediately all of them! Then each morning they find you when you are getting off the bus and you have a friend the rest of the day.With two people who barely speak each other’s language, one smile wins each other’s affection.
We started our journey to the school with each of us holding a child’s hand. We were supposed to teach English that day. School was in session, but the kids with us on our walk weren’t in school. I asked, “No, Escuela?” Then we found out that some of them had to help their mom at home, they didn’t have money, or they just didn’t want to go. I felt my heart fall.
We arrived at school, bombarded with love pokes, hi fives, smiles, “American”, “Griga” (white girl). We played football and soccer. We stood there staring at the overcrowded school that has five classrooms outside because there wasn’t enough room. I admired the teachers. I admired the students eager to learn. We broke our team up and started reviewing English with the kids.
We went back, ate lunch, and gave our leftovers to the kiddos that weren’t in school.
My group went out to prayer walk, and then I headed out with Team 5. Team 5 just developed that day. It consisted of Janice, Chris, Tati, and myself (who was sick). Chris is our Mission Trip Leader and Tati works for him, but lives in Guatemala. We went to meet with a few teen age girls who did a bible study together. We sat and waited for the girls to get out of school. We sat under a structure held up by poles of wood. The girls came and they were overjoyed to see us. They told Chris about their group and how they were reading the bible and praying weekly together. Chris asked them some questions to see if they were struggling in their faith. Some of them were and you could feel the atmosphere change. Chris encouraged them and Janice and I sat there while our hearts ached for them. Chris asked me to share my testimony of how God has changed my life. I thanked God for the joy I saw in them, the eagerness they had, and the opportunity I had to meet them. I prayed that they would be changed by God. I hope they will come to see life differently than how I saw it when I was their age.
I miss them. I want to go back. Yet, just as the child that had the opportunity to go to school but didn’t. God has me here, right where I am. I am called to love the people around me right now just as I was called to love all those beautiful, joyfilled Guatemalans.
I went to serve a village that was poor and came back filled with love because they served me. They may be poor, but they are not poor in the spirit. Joy, love, and faith fills them up. I admire them. I love them.