Everyone at the Groundwork Guatemala house this morning was awoken by Deaconess Betsy. She awoke the guys in an interesting manner; by using lines from a movie "Good Morning Guatemala!!"(Vietnam)
Next we departed for our 2 hour drive to Buena Vista and picked up Chochi. We also had a perfect view of the three major volcanoes; Fuego, Acatenango, and Agua of which is dormant. Kevin warned us that the weather would be quite different and he was right...it was hot and humid. Main street was a rocky dirt road that began with the "home" tree that was remnicent from the movie, "Avatar." The first child and really first person to greet the team was Minor who was one of the five deaf children in the village. Upon arrival, Minor opened the front door of which "McBrian" was sitting and gave him a welcoming, embracing hug.
The team then set up the medical tent, tables, and necessary equipment for the day and prepared to sing with adults and children. This event was very moving for most to see everyone so interactive with the songs and memory verse. We split up into three groups during our house visits: Julian, Oscar, and Cesar were the group leaders. All groups had similar experiences with the Guatemalan people of Buena Vista. In the group Cesar was leading we were discouraged to find empty houses for our first four attempts, but the last house we were able to talk to the woman who was at home. One of the womens children had died of a fever a year ago of a fever. One of the members of our group shared a personal intimate detail of their life relating to the womens sadness. She was very receptive to what Cesar had to say. She had met groundwork people before but it had been a long time since she had any visitors. Cesar apparently knew her relative who lived down the stream. As we all continued our way back to the fellowship area, we encountered rubber trees on our visit which was interesting since some of us never realized that rubber was made from the sap from the trees.
In the group Julian was leading (now featuring Mars!), we were again shown how gentle and caring he is with his fellow Guatemalans. At the first house we visited the woman who lived there was not present, and it was apparent that Julian was very disappointed that we were unable to minister to her. However, when we did manage to connect with someone, it was a very touching experience. Her mother, Maria, was suffering from liver problems and asked us to pray for her. We also encouraged her to bring her family to the Bible studies that Groundwork hosts every Wednesday. At the end of our visit, Minor (who was following along with our group) instructed us to all put our arms around each other for our prayer without having to speak. It was awesome to see how much joy and happiness he has even though he has never been able to communicate through intelligable language. Next, we visited Doña Josepha, who invited us into her house to pray over her, asking God to provide for her and her family, and thanking Him for all the blessings that He has provided for her. One of the biggest culture shocks in Guatemala comes during prayer, when everyone prays out loud at the same time, often extremely emotionally and always extremely genuinely. Josepha was a great example of this, as she poured out her heart to the Lord in thanks and supplication.
In my group lead my Oscar (Hello world this is Paige!!) we visited three different houses today. In my group was Brain Muldowney, Alyssa Mayfield, Emily August, and Saul who is a young man from the village. Brain did a great job at helping us translate everything. The first house had three older women and about five little children. The women who we primarly talked to had just lost a loved one and was very upset by it. We were able to read scripture to her about how Christ is always here for you even in hard and hopeless times. We also told her that she should hold on to the hope of being reunited with her loved one some day in heaven. The second house visit we made was to a group of women. There were four women total, and I would say about ten very young children between the four women. This visit was most likely one of my favorite house visits so far, because it was so different from the previous ones. Two women stated that they believed in God, while the other two women told us they did not. To the two women who said they believed, we said that they should continue encouraging one another since we are all family in Christ (Hebrews 3:13).
After that we prayed for them, for their children's health, and for encouragement to one another in the name of Christ. Then Oscar took us to the end of the village to an abandoned railroad track that was a bridge over a river. There we played in the water and learned that this is where the villagers would come and get water to drink and wash clothes. After that we headed back to eat lunch, but on the way we had one more home visit. A women invited us into her yard. We talked to her for a little bit, and she said that she was having trouble with family, and a few other things. She said that she needed prayers for strength and peace. At that home visit I actually got to pray for the women and her family! The group was awesome and did a great job at helping one another translate and encourage each other when we were feeling discouraged.
(Back to Brian & Phil here!) Finally a much needed lunch break came, but it was difficult to eat in front of the children. Then it was back to singing songs, faith lessons, and craft activities with the children, which is always a blast to witness the passion of everyone involved.
After playing a game of tag with the children, we were off on our way back to the Groundwork Guatemala house. We wrapped up the day with dinner, Ginny's "market", and a relaxing devotion filled with laughter.
Dear God please bless this group with the abilities and skills to reach out and teach others of your great goodness. Amen.