Monday, August 11, 2008

Glorious Guatemala!!!

This was truly an inspiring and rewarding trip. Clyde is carrying one of the young students from the elementary school we ministered at. We handed out school supplies, candy and scriptures to every single class and student.
I was incredibly proud of my fifteen year old daughter, as she prayed for the students in the middle school. It was such a delight to see her loving on the students and embracing them across the language barrier, especially since it was her very first mission trip.

I challenged the students to give me the location of a specific verse in the Bible so that they could earn a $20.00 bill. A young lady won the challenge and wide-eyed, came forward to receive her prize. Considering that the Guatamelan Quetzal exchanges for 7.5 Quetzales to $1.00, she made more than enough money to go shopping for some new shoes and clothes.
Giddy middle school girls are the same from one continent to another. These young ladies were so pleasant, and eager to find out all about American culture. Claudia, our childrens pastor (who is from Guatemala) was happy to answer all their questions.
The penultimate night of our trip was spent at a beautiful resort over 14,000 feet in the mountains, called Las Cumbres. It's a resort built on a natural warm springs, so their steam sauna's were incredibly therapeutic and refreshing. The view from my room made nonsense of the theory of evolution, as only a loving and creative God could have made such beauty and splendor.

This is a photo of Karen, my daughter Bimi, and I. Karen is the only woman whose underwear I have ever washed (including my wife). Karen is an abuse victim that lives at the battered women's shelter where we ministered on our first day in Quetzaltenango. A mere seventeen years old, Karen has a baby that she has refused to bond with (we speculate that she was the victim of incest or rape). Suspicious of men, we finally persuaded Karen to allow Bimi and I to do her entire load of laundry for both herself and her baby son. We cleaned, washed, cooked, swept, mopped and served the women and children at the shelter, while providing a supply of milk for the children, along with clothes and shoes, and of course, 'tons' of candy. Karen turned out to be the sweetest little girl. It was truly difficult for me to accept that she was literally two years older than my daughter, yet had been exposed to such a vile and sordid life. It was a privilege to serve and love on these women and their children.
These two photos (above and beneath) were taken at the elementary school where we did a special drama presentation which really inspired the kids to think about their choices, and understand how freeing God's love is. Over the next few days I'll be posting a few more photos with some really inspiring stories.


Ash said...

OH WOW...This looks wonderful! Sign me up for one! No, seriously...Nigeria perhaps? Wink.

I can imagine that you touched every person you came in contact with. These pictures speak thousands of words and I'm glad you guys went to help out and bring Jesus to people who needed to see Him.


Anonymous said...

Awesome photos! You brought tears to my eyes talking about Karen. And your daughter has such a beautiful, warm smile!

Joseph said...

Ashley, pack your bags, we leave for Nigeria on Monday next week!

Kamsin, I did more crying than I thought was possible, so welcome to the club. Thanks for the compliment about Bimi, I'm sure she'll be thrilled to hear that.