We did however cut everyone a small break last night and took them out to eat at a restaurant in Zone 15 (much nicer part of town) with a breathtaking view of the city. It was a great time to just “come apart and rest awhile.” We had Jose and his team, Pastors Troy and Penny, and Francisco and Carol. This was many of Guatemalan ministry team’s first time at a restaurant like this. They loved it and the place was buzzing with intense conversation and laughter.
So, since so much has gone on over the last day or so, here are some highlights for you. I promise to put pictures and video with the posts when I can. We have a ton between all of us. Until then, here you go:
1. We didn’t know that Olan Carder had such artistic skills. Two murals on the wall of the ministry center…free hand. You are a man of many talents. It’s looks great. Props to Mallory for her attention to detail on the painting. Josh and Amy colored within the lines too! Your work will attention to the Word of God for years to come.
2. Larry Ziner has been demolition master has he has help us fulfill one of our promises to Jose to tear down the dividing wall in the ministry center. The place has really opened up and is much cooler. With the new tables we are sending down on the shipping container, Jose will be able to feed twice as many kids. Larry’s actually a pretty tough Soccer coach and ref too!
3. When I thought about going to Guatemala in the past, I thought, “Lord, why Guatemala, why us, why now”? God spoke to me and told me that we would be a catalyst to build momentum for the ministry. I didn’t understand what that meant exactly, but I went with it. Now we have over a dozen local churches helping with the event, we were able to spotlight Jose and the ministry on national TV and radio, we have more volunteers calling in and wanting to be a help and last but not lease…. One of the main leaders of a huge Guatemalan mega church, Casa de Dios, saw us on TV and asked for a meeting. He is now wanting to back Jose and the ministry, his daughter is coming Monday to volunteer in Zone 18 (most people wouldn’t step foot here), and he has told us that we have full use of resort style accomodations for Jose’s ministry teams complete with a chef when they come to work at the mission! Now that’s some momentum and we haven’t even made it to Saturday yet!
4. At our prayer meeting this morning, our Guatemalan translators shared their heart. Not a dry eye in the place. They encouraged our team by saying that they had all been deeply impacted by us. They also reminded us that they were impacted by missionaries as children and the course of their familes was forever altered by their work. If that’s not a case of modern missions….
5. During a recent home visitation, our team was asked to name a baby that had just been born. What an honor. They chose to name him Lazarus (see above picture). Is God speaking something about this place?
6. We finished the last day of the soccer camp. My hats off to George Burton and his team. They did an excellent job and because of their hard work, most if not all of the teenagers at the camp raised their hand and prayed to receive Jesus. Again, there was weeping and hugs. These guys are going to dehydrate from loss of tears! Megan Smith led her team to overall victory. Her team showed her love by dumping a bucket of cold water on her. All of the kids at the camp received a pizza lunch, cokes, a trophy, and a camp t-shirt. They were on cloud 9!
8. A part of the team was able to visit the orphanage run by Carol’s mom. If they could have tucked a few babies away in their pockets, they would have. Even Pastor Penny was getting the itch. No wonder Pastor Troy stayed back at the mission with us!
7. Pastor Troy and Penny said their good byes tonight because they are heading back to Charlotte on Friday to get ready for our annual Easter blow-out! I hope to have been working on praying over your “5” and deciding who in the neighborhood you are going to invite Sunday. Just because the Pastors are away, doesn’t mean that you can slack! 😉
8. We capped off tonight with a medical clinic pill packing party. If you would have walked in on us, you would have thought we were running an illegal drug ring! Plastic gloves, baggies, and thousands of pills. We are preparing these packages for the medical doctors and dentists who will be ministering to the people for free at the festival. This thing is going to be huge!
Most of us have nice tans and have grown alot in grace since we last saw you all. We can’t wait to see you when we get back. We also can’t wait to see our beds!