What A Day…Thursday’s Update From Guatemala

Wow. Where do I even begin?! This morning we had to wake up extra early because of a road closure that would cause a major delay. So, breakfast was at 6:30 instead of 7. At about 6:30 this morning, I was standing in my room about to gather my things to leave when all of a sudden I felt the ground beneath my feet start to shake. Then I saw the tv move and noticed things making creaking and clinging sounds around the room. Then the sirens started. Before common sense took over and made me leave the room, I froze. I was so confused at first, never scared, but almost in a state of shock as my thoughts started to gather and I could make sense of them. I was experiencing my very first earthquake! While the building was still shaking, I flew through the door to check on all of the other girls from CFT…Jodi had been caught in evacuations at breakfast, Mom and most of the other girls met me in the hallway, their faces just as shocked as mine. I did happen to look out to the trees and see them moving with the tremors…I have to say, it was so very surreal and almost eerie.

Today at the center we began with worship. It was beautiful. We sang together as a group and then had a short devotion before beginning our jobs for the day. In light of all of the commotion early in the morning, the day at the center was actually quite peaceful! The kids were very sweet today and they gave lots of hugs and kisses. Leaving the center this afternoon was very hard. I know some cried and honestly, I was choking back tears too. I thought three years ago that I might never get to return to this place and today I am so thankful that I had another opportunity to be here. I’m so thankful for all of the ways Jesus has made Himself real to us here this week.

To top it all off, tonight after dinner just before our group time we saw Fuego (remember the active volcano I wrote about earlier in the week?) spewing lava. It was so awesome I struggle to find words to describe it. When we looked out toward the volcano it appeared to be a dark hill in the night and then out of nowhere bright orange bursts began shooting out of the top of it. We are not close enough to be affected by what it was spewing tonight, but we are close enough to actually see detail as it comes out of the top. I’ve been volcano boarding (another story for another time) and seen so many volcanos in all of my travels but tonight was the very first time I’ve ever seen one erupt…and at night! It was a beautiful thing to witness.

So, as I wrap things up I can’t help but be in awe of how God’s hand has carried us through this week…through everything His power and love have been so evident. That’s always the case on the mission field, however. I am so thankful to have been given the opportunity to journey alongside my people…these women that I get to go back home and do life with. We shared today how thankful we are that although we were at the same place we all have so many different experiences and stories to tell. I know that we all will come home with tender hearts for Guatemala and for the Guatemalan people. Wow, God! What a week!


Wednesday Journal Update in Guatemala

Hello from Guatemala! It has been a wonderful, yet rainy, day. We woke up this morning to clear skies. The clearest we’ve had all week, actually! In fact, this morning just after breakfast we were able to see Fuego (that’s the name of the active volcano) puffing it’s smoke into the sky. I think everyone enjoyed the sight. The center was really busy today. We had a lot going on. We have teams that go to an off-site daycare, an elderly day care center, and then the rest of our team stays at the malnutrition center. We have a few helping hands in each of the day care rooms and then some of the guys work on maintenance while a couple of the ladies help in the kitchen to prepare lunch for our team.

The kids were really fun today. We played bingo with them….it was crazy! But they loved it. We also played with Playdoh and told the story of Joseph being sold by his brothers. This afternoon I had the opportunity to return to the elderly day care center. I was there three years ago when I came with Orphan’s Heart. It was a precious time then, but even more so precious today. When I walked in the room, I was busy greeting everyone, but one woman in particular noticed me. She came right up to me and hugged my neck really tight talking just as fast as she could in Spanish. Needless to say, I didn’t understand a word, so Alejandra came over to help. When she interpreted it for me, the woman was actually saying that she recognized me from when I was there three years ago. She reminded me that we had taken a picture together and told me that she looks at it every day and prays for me. I can’t think of any other reason than God’s plan alone that I’m here this week. And I’m confident that He knew exactly who needed to be on the trip and how all of our lives would intersect as we weave in and out of these moments. I’m in awe at how God works and although it shouldn’t surprise me, it does every single time.

Tonight we had a traditional Guatemalan meal complete with a marimba band. It was so delicious and fun. I think our team really enjoyed it and it was a special touch for the trip…like sprinkles on a cupcake!

We have to get to the center early in the morning so I’ll wrap it up for now. Tomorrow is our last day. Please be in prayer for our team and that our eyes, ears, hearts, and minds will be open to what God wants to do in and through us tomorrow.