Last day, return to reality

February 23, 2009

Saturday we left the hotel at 9:30 am, went to the airport, and left the beautiful country of Guatemala. It was extremely hard to leave all of the wonderful people we met, the wonderful people so thankful and giving. Our bus driver, David, is also the house father for the boys house. He and his wife are wonderful people, and they have a very big  job! Please pray for him and his family.

We arrived in Madison, SD at 1:30 am, and then the Pierre and Mitchell teams departed to travel on to their homes (another 1 hour for Mitchell and 3 hours for Pierre!). It was difficult to say goodbye to these wonderful team members we had spent the whole week with. We have many new friends and brothers and sisters in Christ!

We hope and pray some day you will be able to take a mission trip, get out of our “bubble” in the US, and see how most of the world really lives. It is an eye opening experience! And what an amazing trip for teens and kids- to help them realize how blessed they are! It really helps change your focus from “ME” to others- switch from materialism to serving others. There is so much need in this world, but if we just do the little part God wants us to do, we will be so blessed!!

Thanks for checking our blog- we had 698 hits on Wednesday alone! It was great to keep all of you with us while we were down there! Until next year- Adios and God Bless!

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Wow! Words can’t describe our day today! We worked hard today, arriving at the orphanage early to make sure we finished the widow’s house and various projects. The clinic was extremely busy today- it seems the villagers decided today they needed medical, dental and eye care! We ate our lunch in the clinic so that we could take all of the people that came. Very good day. At 12:30 we had our party with the kids, they came and we were able to hug on them and love them. Then they sang for us and Ivan told some of their stories. Incredible the pits they have been brought out of and yet they are all so happy. Ivan said it usually takes about 30 days from when they get there to smile, because it takes that long for them to realize no one is going to hurt them or abuse them again! They are all so full of love- it’s great. Then they had a pinata, and then the group traveled to the widow’s house to give her her bed, table and stove. It’s such a testimony how greatful these people are, especially for a house the size of our bedrooms in the states! It was a very moving moment for all of us!

When we came back Lidia (the hotel owner) out-did herself! She had candle-light dinner, lasagna, salad, potato soup, and desert. As we were all eating, a mariache band came and played music for us! It was really neat. Then Lidia got a karaoke machine out and sang for us, as well as Roxy, Chad, Dale, Nathan, and Mark. It was a blast. Then we just discussed our thoughts of the day and week. Most of us decided it is so much to take in- we will be processing it all over the next couple of weeks! I believe we are all looking forward to coming home, and will be coming home changed. These missions trips will do that to a person! We have just all bonded so closely, we are sad to leave each other, but looking forward to our next trip, and hopefully many of you will be able to come too!

Hard work on Day 4

February 20, 2009

Today we have finished the widows house except the door, window, roof, and painting. We made a lot of progress today! Heather, Kathy, Pastor Mark, John N., and Chad worked on the fence line around the new property. It was hot today and it was constantly walking up and down the terrain with fence posts (trees!) and barbed wire (Heather worked on the barbed wire!). What hard work! Brett, Mike and Jon R. worked on getting the tree line out, and cutting up the wood for fire wood. Also hard work on a hot day!

Lots of the team got to help at the widow’s house today. Lots of cement mixed by Wayne, Stu, Steve, Matt, and Nathan! Dale made part of the door and window today. We’ll go to the orphanage early tomorrow to get it finished before the party with the kids around noon. Will be a busy and emotionally exhausting day for all of us! We were going to go out to dinner tomorrow but decided to eat at the hotel and give the money to the orphanage in Guatemala City. It’s been a great week!

Nathan spoke at our devotional tonight, great words to ponder. We had great worship too. We’ll miss the scheduled time to worship every night, and are praying we can get God as our FIRST priority when we get back, rather than last!! We miss you all and are enjoying your comments! Are looking forward to getting home and seeing all of you (when it warms up of course!)!

Praise and Worship in the morning

Praise and Worship in the morning

Today was another greatful day! Prasie and Worship was amazing and devotions by Pastor Mark Worth. Everyone went there ways continuing what they where doing the day before. Trying to complete projects and start new ones. God has really show us how amazing he creations are. Today the team on the Widows house made great progress only have two rows in the back of laying brick and one row of brick in the front.

The medical team, dentist, and eye doctor (and incredible assistant Chad!) went into Mama Carmen’s orphanage in Guatemala City. What an adventure!¬†She is an older lady and her husband who has about 90 kids in a 4 bedroom house. Besides taking care of them she feeds people on the street and the kids that live in the city dump that have been abandoned. This is Mother Teresa number 2! I checked some of their eyes but didn’t have as much time as I would have liked. Came back to see what great progress the team made back at the orphanage!! What a great day!

Then great dinner and devotions again tonight. Wow……we are all changing and growing so¬†much. We always have the plan of changing the Guatemalans but leave more changed ourselves! Thanks to Michelle who has helped load all of the pictures onto the blog!! She’s great!

Please pray for Steve M. who hurt his knee today at the widow’s house. Otherwise we are all doing great! Everyone has mantained just an incredible attitude- what a joy serving together with great attitudes and hearts!

Dale and Kenton with a orphan at Casa Angelina

Dale and Kenton with a orphan at Casa Angelina

Today it was devotions with Ivan and a praise team (which was incredible!) then right to work. We were busy in the medical clinic, dental exams, and eye exams. There was more removal of¬† trees and corn, and burning of course! The widow’s house is coming along, and there was much painting! Also some electical and installing cabinets in one of the houses. Stu did some welding as well. Over all a very productive day!

Our devotional time this evening was great, many thoughts about what God is doing and changing in our lives. Many miracles in peoples’ lives, marriages, healings……God is powerful! Please pray for Jon R. (Pierre)’s 6 month old daughter back home who needs healing. Many of us are struggling with soaking God in here but knowing how challenging it will be when we get back home into the busy schedules! Otherwise, we all seem to be healthy, just tired and sunburnt! Great weather today!

First Baby born in the Casa Angelina Clinic with homemade blanket from South Dakota

First Baby born in the Casa Angelina Clinic with homemade blanket from South Dakota

What an exciting day! A woman in labor came to the clinic and had her baby- the first one ever at the clinic! That was a cool ending to the day!

We started with a great devotional time and then got into our teams and set up. Some went to tear down a fence. Ivan purchased 5 more acres, so they tore down the fence that was a boundary that needed to come down! More land for more houses, more kids saved, and a church for the village!¬† Some tore out the old vegetable garden to prepare for the new planting, some painted, and some went to the widow’s house. The old one was torn down before we got there, today they dug footings and poured cement. Some took pictures and video, and some kept the water and coffee coming for the workers! Overall we had a great, but busy day! We had a great time at devotions sharing everyone’s experiences and worship. Loren isn’t feeling well tonight, we prayed for her, Michelle, Jennie, and John R. Please also pray for their healing!

We are looking forward to tomorrow, and are praying for a restful night’s sleep! Thanks again for all of your comments- keep them coming! Love and miss you all!

The Widows house in Progress

February 17, 2009

The widow (Angelia) by her family
This is the Widow by her house with her family in which we are building a house for.  She is 47 years old and has been a widow for 1 1/2 years. She has five children.
The Whole group at the cross on the hill

The Whole group at the cross on the hill

We started today at the cross on the hill for group photos and enjoying God’s beauty! It’s just breath-taking! Then we went to church, expecting to experience God, but not sure how. When we arrived we found out we would be watching the movie Fireproof after Praise and worship. Most of us were totally wrecked and bawling as we watched the movie in Spanish with English subtitles. What a way to experience God in a new way, and a way we weren’t expecting! We have all been so changed already experiencing this beautiful country and the incredible brothers and sisters in Christ who speak a different language but worship the same Lord with the same spirit!

After church we went for a 2 hour tour at the coffee plantation, which was incredible! We all know more about coffee than we ever thought we would! It was extremely interesting! We had a wonderful dinner then an incredible devotional time together sharing what we heard from God from the day. Dale is feeling better (thanks for all of your prayers!) so we had a great time singing and praising the Lord! The medical team is here now and Randy and Dennis joined us tonight, along with 2 ladies from Arkansas.

We are having an incredibly powerful time already, and we haven’t even made it to the orphanage! Please¬†pray for all of us to be prepared for what God has for us, and to be used as He wills! Also a great night’s sleep. Michelle is struggling with a head cold so please pray for her. We are all enjoying reading your comments, keep them coming!We are all melding into an incredibly strong team, it’s amazing how God takes people from 7 different churches/places and joins their spirits to accomplish His Good!

Volcano day!

February 15, 2009

Team at the bottom of the volcano

Team at the bottom of the volcano

Team by the lava stream

Team by the lava stream

Group  picture at volcano
Group picture at volcano

We had an incredible journey today- about a 2 hour hike up a volcano to see hot lava! It was in incredible view of God’s majesty and power! We had a lot of interaction with the people of Guatemala, especially kids. We did some shopping and are wiped out! We had some praise and worship time together- all of us are really connecting and preparing to do God’s work on Monday! In the morning we’ll go to church and take some more group pictures, so stay tuned.

We miss all of you and prayed for our family and friends back home! Thanks again for your prayers! We need prayer tonight for our sore and tired bodies! And Dale is not feeling well, we prayed for him but more prayer is always appreciated!

In His service! Jodie

We arrived with all of our luggage- including my optometry equipment and autorefractor- which I carried through security by hand and they didn’t even open the box!! Many praise reports on this! We also were supposed to pay for 8 extra suitcases for the supplies for the orphanage ($25 each) and we only paid for 3! God is already working many miracles!!! Hello to all of our families- we miss you all!

Jodie