The Last Few Days… by the Girls

Klaire Fisher: Journey to San Pedro

As we drove to San Pedro, we experienced a long, joyful ride through the mountains of Guatemala. We met a young boy who shined shoes for a living. We saw cows and chickens on the side of the road, and we took lots of pictures. After an hour of altitude sickness, we caught our first glimpse of beautiful Lake Atitlán and we were in awe of the sight. There were clear blue skies over the lake and breathtaking volcanoes surrounding it.

When we first drove through San Pablo, we were so excited with taking pictures that we had to be reminded that the people there did not normally see crazy English speaking Americans. Then, finally, the five hour drive was over and we hauled all of our luggage up to our hotel rooms. The view was amazing and we just couldn’t get enough of it. After dinner, we couldn’t wait to go to sleep so we could wake up fresh for our first full day in San Pedro!
Amy F: First Church Service

Our first full day in Guatemala was a Sunday, so of course the team went to church! After dressing up and eating a delicious breakfast, we went to hear the word of God at a local Baptist church.

It was a totally new experience. Of course, it’s Central America, so people speak Spanish. And they sing in Spanish! It was awesome to hear familiar songs in their language, and sing along in English. It’s amazing to know that no matter what language you speak, God understands it all, and it all praises Him.

Our team was asked to come up and introduce ourselves. For many, this was an easy task, but for others it took some effort. The congregation appreciated our efforts to communicate with them, and our willingness to sing for them! We sang two songs and took our seats to listen to the sermon.

Again, they spoke in Spanish. It was hard to concentrate on a language none of us are completely fluent in, but we could follow along in our Bibles and pray while the sermon went on. Everyone was still able to get something out of the service.

After being thanked by many members of the congregation, we were invited outside to hear the kids from Sunday School sing for us! We still have those songs in our heads. We all enjoyed our time, but we still had another service to attend.
Lauren Fortner: Second Church Service
If you’ve ever fallen asleep during a church service, try to stay awake for one that’s in a foreign language. This would be my team… on Sunday night. As we filed into a small church for the night service, we immediately started playing with the kids. This was one of our first encounters with children! We were excited to see what this next service would be like. Their worship was much different than the church we attended in the morning. Even though we had no idea what the lyrics to the songs were, we were clapping and enjoy God’s presence!
Towards the end of the service our team went up to the front and introduced ourselves, sang some songs, and four people performed our drama. I shared my testimony through a translator about how I lived through my car accident, and I shared my miracle verse that my mom read to me after my accident (Psalm 91- Thanks, Mom!)
After the service we were invited to have dessert and hot chocolate with them. So, we went to the back and sat down at the tables outside. They served us these HUGE rolls of sugar bread. I don’t know what else to call them, but it was some type of dessert, and our hot beverage (which definitely was not American hot chocolate). 
Five minutes later, tons and tons of little girls came running over to us wanting our autographs. We passed around a couple pieces of paper for our table to sign until Danielle said, “We’re gonna need A LOT of paper!” We all looked around at all the girls waiting with their hands out. We didn’t have much time, and as Connie was telling us we needed to leave, I quickly ripped up a piece of paper into a bunch of smaller ones and signed each one with my signature and “Jesus te ama” which means Jesus loves you. I handed them out hoping that each girl got one, but I don’t think they all did. When I was walking away, I turned around and saw the biggest smile on each little girl’s face while they were running their fingers over my name. It broke my heart and satisfied it at the same time. I knew I made their day by showing that I cared.
Jamie Berg: Our First Full Day of Ministry

This was our first actual day of ministry in Guatemala. We got on a boat at 7:00 in the morning heading towards Santiago, which was about 20 minutes across Lake Atitlan. The scenery was gorgeous. The tops of the mountains were enveloped in clouds and the water was as blue as could be. First stop in Santiago was at a local café for breakfast. I think we were all quite skeptical of our blue corn pancakes (and yes – they were blue) but they were tasty! We then walked over to a school to do our VBS program. Since we were partnering alongside the one-month Guatemala team, we let them lead us through it. It was wonderful to watch their little faces light up just because we were paying special attention to them. I talked with a lovely girl named Christina and played tag with some of the boys. It was a blast! Once we left the school, we were uncertain of where to go next, but we ended up visiting a pretty incredible place. It was this quaint, hidden village in the middle of Santiago and right when we stepped inside, these two little boys came running to us. And I mean RUNNING. They were so cute! More and more kids came out to greet us, and once we started talking to them, we began to realize they did not understand Spanish at all. They were speaking in a native Mayan language none of us understood, but the pastor of the church was able to translate for us. There were only about 20 kids in all, and all of them were probably under the age of 6. The rest of the children of that village were in school at the time. We did a minimized, more intimate version of our program for them and we were amazingly still able to connect with the kids, even without words. God truly blessed me by sending me to that village. When I was holding little Antonio, I could feel Christ’s love pouring out of me. It was unbelievable. I can’t wait for our next opportunity to reach out to more deserving kids here in Guatemala.

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