Well, here it is. After a week of growing in our faith and ministering to our brothers and sisters in Christ here, it is our last full day in Guatemala. Because we had plans at night, we debriefed with Kevin and Ginny after breakfast in the morning instead. Over the course of two hours, we all shared our answers to four questions: "What surprised you this week?", "What frustrated you this week?", "What did you learn about yourself this week?", and "Where did you see God this week?". Our responses all alluded to the fact that we really worked together for God's will and grew as a team this week, and even a few tears were shed. It was evident that God's hand was all up in everything throughout our journey this week.
Leftover lunch ensued with the Guatemalan missionaries, and afterwards we prepared for hosting our last faith lessons in the mission house.
The lesson for the smaller children went very well, and the kids were very enthusiastic in their responses. Because there were not as many children as on the other days, we all got to interact with them quite a bit.
This group of young adults was by far the most interactive and ready to share their experiences of christians encouraging each other. After the lesson we talked about our studies and interests and played a very animated game of Uno (or One), until the children had to leave.
We had a very hard goodbye with the Guatemalan missionaries before dinner (all save Cesar, who is sleeping over tonight!), and then had our last supper of pizza and pop on the roof in the impending Guatemalan dusk.
At 7 we left for a youth worship service at Manuel's church, Sendero de la Cruz. We started by singing praise songs in Spanish accompanied by a pair of trumpet players, a keyboardist, a percussion player, and two singers, and complete with some teens going to the front and dancing, shouting, rejoicing, and otherwise worshiping Jesus in a very visible, expressive way. The preacher got up and talked about the book of Romans and the love of Christ in English, and then translated it to Spanish for the rest of the audience. Everyone was so genuinely happy to have us there, and have us as a Christian presence in their country, and we were greeted by many kind words and large smiles, despite just meeting them. It was incredibly inspiring to see so many young people, especially young men, spending their Friday night at church. It gave me hope that the next generation of Guatemalans will be full of strong Christian men leading their families in a Godly manner.
The service lasted two hours, but felt like about 20 minutes, yet we returned to the house to find our pal Cesar waiting to watch a movie with us, and end our mission trip with one last team bonding experience. Tomorrow we leave the house at 11:30 to get on a flight to Miami, then back to Chicago by midnight. It is hard to think of leaving when there is still so much work to be done with the people of Guatemala, yet we know that God's work will continue to be done through the other missionaries with Groundwork Guatemala. And as we return to America, we will carry all that we learned and experienced this week, and continue to spread His love and care throughout all of His creation. Thank you all for your support and prayers over this week. Dios le bendiga! (God bless you!)
Rhonda & Mars