Stories - Guatemala June 2017 #3


Guatemala June 2017 #3

Jack Baird | Jun 18, 2017

The start of our first full day in Guatemala felt kind of like the first day of a new school year as 6:15 AM alarm clocks blared and a group of tired people loaded into a bus around 7 in the morning. Thankfully, the bus was filled with enthusiasm and a pervasive feeling of excitement for the eventful day and week ahead. The first order of business was the early service at the local church; in Guatemala, early means EARLY. The 8:00 AM start time seemed completely natural for the energetic and wonderful worship team at the church who blew us away with not only their vocals, but also their intense air guitars. In addition, the video-streamed pastor gave an extremely well thought-out and witty sermon about the true meaning of being a father, even though most of the humor was lost in translation. Overall, the church service was a big success and great experience for the group.


Unfortunately, the next part of the day was not as well received. Our school bus was not able to make it up the mountain to our brunch spot with the weight of 40 people inside, so the driver asked us to get out and walk from about half way up. The walk wouldn’t have been bad with proper athletic clothes and shoes, but it wasn’t easy with long pants and dress shoes for boys and dresses or skirts with wedges or flats for girls. Even though the clothes weren’t good for trekking, they were perfect for group and family pictures taken in front of the breathtaking views that we wouldn’t have gotten the chance to see had we ridden the bus the whole way up. It was as if God was reminding us of the tremendous beauty of his creation to prepare us to witness his power even further in the coming days. Thankfully, we were able to make it up the hill with the sole casualty of a split pair of khaki pants (long story). Brunch was a gift from God, full of all you can eat tortillas con queso, fried plantains, and some amazing refried beans.


After we had stuffed ourselves, we hopped back in the bus and headed down the mountain (during which gravity was finally on our side) towards a local children’s home. Our group got to play sports, run around, or simply hang out with the kids there. The kids in Guatemalan children’s homes are much different from those in America; the Guatemalan kids will hug you for simply being there and cuddle with you even though they have never seen you before. All of the members of the group found kids to play with and new friends to make. After an intense hour and a half of hugs and love, we got into the bus to return to the ministry center.


At the ministry center we didn’t serve anyone or do any mission work, but it might end up being the most important time of the week because the group was able to bond far more than we had during any of the pre-mission meetings. Familiarities became friendships, and the Lord prepared us to better serve with each other. A hearty pizza dinner and an early bed time ended a productive first day that made all of us just as tired as we had started. We went to sleep knowing the upcoming days would be tough, but were beyond prepared and eager to meet the challenges that we would inevitably face. Please keep our heath, both spiritual and physical, in your prayers!