Saturday, March 19, 2011

Guatemala - Day 6 & 7 (Journal Entries)

I hope that by reading this blog that you are moved by God the same way he moved me by the experience I had working with the Pokomchi people of La Campana, Guatemala. He taught me much about Himself, myself and what it means to be on mission for Him. This was written in my journal and is an actual excerpt of what I wrote. God bless you.
3/10/11 AM
-My Pokomchi bath yesterday was one of the most welcome and glorious things ever. The water temp was perfect. Compound that with the fact that I was on day 4 without a shower... Yeah, my hair felt awful. We tried to pay the host Benito (The other Benito) for the water, wood and service, but he adamantly declined, saying it was a gift in return since we had given so much to their village. It is amazing how so little by American standards means so much to the Pokomchi. A month's worth of vitamins and acetaminophen do little, but it gave us opportunities to share the Gospel with 10-25 people per house in 80 homes. In their native language too. It was such a risk, but last night one of the group's guides came to us to thank us and said that the Bible stories helped him a lot - that he learned a lot through them. :-) Our work is not in vain. BUT I do pray that the seed falls on good soil and not rocky ground, where the weeds choke it out. Nevertheless, it is encouraging that the leader's hearts are being stirred by the Spirit. The village looks up to them so they could be a major force for good in La Campana.

-Last night we were fed a traditional Pokomchi meal by some of the families. it was basically a version of chicken and dumplings, just made with turkey instead (and Jeff had to eat the head!). We ate with their homemade tortillas instead of spoons. 
Jeremy with 3 adorable little girls.
Quote of the day: 
Jeremy: "Here's an orthodox for you!"
Me: "Ummm.... I think you mean paradox...."
(And I promise you there was a story here. Ask me about it!)

3/10/11 Late AM
-We went to the schools this morning to do a brief talk on hygiene. My group went to a smaller school off on the mountaintop and talked about teeth brushing, good eating and drinking habits, hand washing and covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough.  We then blew up latex gloves like balloons and then gave them to the kids. The teachers thanked us and truly seemed touched. At the main school the teachers Jose and Sadie told us that nobody had ever done this for La Campana and that the village had really been touched by our presence. He said we were welcome back anytime. :-) Jose and his wife drive an hour on motorcycle every day to teach - which is very dangerous due to the roads and landslides. They are the ones who have been truly making a difference for the past 7 years.
Hannah blowing up a glove balloon
More Pokomchi:
Awamna - heart

A Pokomchi Song:
-Wach curus ré Jesús xitoj ni' cacharik (3X)
(pronounced 'watch coo-ruse, ray Hay-zus. She-toe knee ka-cha-reek')
On the cross Jesus paid for my life.
-Ruum ajre ké suk ni' cux
(pronounced 'roo-oom a-kray, ke sook knee cush')
Therefore I am very happy in my heart.

Prayer List
-The Thomas family
-The Kent family
-Matteo - a burned little boy
-Erma - a badly burned young lady
-Erma's family
-Benito, Ruben and the other leaders
-Jose and Sadie - the school teachers
Jose and Sadie

3/11/11 AM drive
-I feel like something of a jerk. This morning we had breakfast again at Doña Lisette's. Coffee, fruit, french toast and eggs. It was great. When I went up to get my food, however, I set this journal on the table and upon returning found it missing! Alas and alack! I was annoyed but played along for the 1st 10 minutes or so. When  I didn't get the journal back and nobody fessed up, though, I began to get frustrated! Agh! All my thoughts, memories and prayers in here....the thought of not getting them back made me so mad! After going back down to pack up I told our team leader Brady that I had not gotten it back yet and that I did NOT want to know who took it to avoid being a jerk to them. In the moment I let my emotions reign and self-control was beginning to shut off. Right before we left Doña Lisette's I saw it sitting on the counter and snatched it up, still moderately fuming. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that everyone had signed and written a note to me on the back 2 pages! Really kind words to a person who was letting a stupid journal come between him and them - a journal which had been used as a testament to our relationship and unity in Christ.
This is what it's all about... 
-It is funny the things God uses to show us our pride. It was very humbling to realize that no, the journal wasn't taken out of anything other than love. And so now I write to you my teammates - Brady, Anthony, Brian, Jeremy, Max, Jeff, Alfredo, Hannah, Dana, Meagan, Bethani, J.B., Janice and Rhonda - you all have encouraged me so much this week! It is incredible how perfect this team was. God certainly orchestrated everything for our good! Where one of us would have a weakness there was always someone whose strengths fit that hole perfectly. Encouragement when needed. Dedication to the mission. Love for God, the Pokomchi and each other. My hat is off to you. As you pursue the LORD I pray He continues to use you in a mighty way. We all are a part of the body with Christ as the head. We each are used in unique ways to bring glory to the Father through our ministries.
It was a sad thing to leave the village.

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