This post meets us in a bittersweet moment as it is the last one before we leave Guatemala. After building four houses, providing two full-blown medical clinics, presenting the gospel formally six times, and building countless relationships we find ourselves on our last night. Yesterday we headed up and around many mountains to provide our last medical clinic. It was much smaller than our first one yet rewarding eternally. Much soccer was played, dogs shooed away, and meds passed out but at the end of the day we had delight in knowing our Lord Jesus Christ’s name was honored and glorified. This morning we headed to Antigua for our somewhat “free” day. We walked around the markets, did our best at batering (some better than others), and enjoyed being in the presence of each other and God’s beauty in the form of this city. We had two van scares with each of the vans we were taking yet God was so faithful and we made it to all our destinations safe and sound. After meeting at the most incredible McDonald’s EVER we had the amazing opportunity to rejoin the community of La Reina, which we built houses for, in worship with their Sunday service. Many of us were incredibly moved by the Holy Spirit and the way God’s glory is worshipped through different cultures and generations. Once again tearful goodbyes were incredibly heart breaking but we hold on to the fact that they are in good hands, the hands of the Lord. Praise Jesus!
Everyone is now packing up and showering one last time before we have our last evening of devos. Be in prayer that our cups would be filled up for our return back to the culture many of us are now shocked to have come from. The transition will be a tough one as many of us are not coming back the same.. we ask for you patience, love, and listening ear when we return to understand better where we’ve come from and where we now see ourselves reconciling these two incredibly diverse cultures and lifestyles.
Logistically we will be leaving tomorrow morning at about 3am from the base.. yep, my thoughts exactly.. WAY TOO EARLY. Yet it is what it is. Please please please pray tonight for a safe journey to the airport, on our flights, through customs and immigration, out and about in the airport, and on our bus ride back to Orange City. Muchas gracias para todos los oraciones (Thank you very much for all the prayers)! Be prepared for us to return to the U.S. different from when we left :)
After having an extra hour of sleep, we spent our morning either packing medicine or packing beans and rice. We had the opportunity to have some devo time in the AM instead of at night. We grabbed some lunch and embarked on our journey to the village. The ride there was pretty intense. We drove through two rivers to get there. Read that last sentence again. Upon arrival, we split into 2 groups: one for distributing meds and the other for distributing love to the children. It was great to see some adolesents and young men join in on a soccer game (of which they won). The actual medical clinic lasted about 5 hours. After that, a video was shown of Jesus’ life, ministry, death, and resurrection. It was neato. We had the chance to sing some song, share some testimonies, and pave the way for Hermano Jesus to present the gospel. At the end of his message, he offered the opportunity for the people to come forward and make a committment to follow Jesus. A majority of the crowd came forward. We were blessed to pray with them and distribute Bibles as they began the greatest journey of their lives. It was a long day, filled with emotion, heat, and the love of Jesus. We returned to the base around 11:30 and got a good night’s rest.
We are about to do this all over again today in another village!
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
We thank you so much for the overwhelming prayers these past two days. We have felt and seen the power of prayer here over these two eternally important days. Rest assured, we are safe, sound, yet incredibly tired and drained. Due to the limited time we haven’t been able to update much on this main page however be expecting lots of updates tomorrow. Also look through team member’s pages for updates (and encourage them while you are there). We thank you again and please know you are a part of building this kingdom of God here in Guatemala too!
Hola amigos, Jeremy and Laura here.. below is a wonderful summary of what we did today so we are going to conclude the night with prayer requests that we ask your highest priority for! Thank you.
-Tomorrow is house dedication day and the gospel will be presented to the families we are building for. There names are:
1. Marina (mother), Josue (16), Marinita (21)
2. Marielo (father), Dolores (mother), Jestel (14)
3. Yobani (male, 29)
4. Jairo (single male)
Please pray by name for them! We are counting on your prayers and trust in God’s providence.
-Safety, health, lack of parasites, the usual..
-Holy Spirit’s guidance
-The staff here at Paradise Bound, that they may see the Lord’s fullness and beauty each and everyday and be given hope for the people of Guatemala.
Thank you, we love you.
Thanks everyone for your comments! It is so good to hear from all of you! Day 2 was another amazing day. We woke up at 5:30 and were leaving for the villages again at 6:30. It was such a beautiful day. It seems like the more and more we go back and forth on the same road the more God reveals to me, whether it is through the beautiful scenery or the talks we have in the vans on the way down to the village. Today we sanded the mud on the walls, put up stucco, and added patios to all of the houses. While doing the stucco (a pink color we put on the outside of the house…basically mud and water) we designated half of us to put stucco on the walls and the other half to run it to those who needed it. The one thing that surprised me was the amount of willingness the kids had to help. They were constantly running back and forth bringing stucco and having a blast. After we were done some of the kids and their families that were around had a stucco fight, putting some on each other, and they were so full of joy! So much laughter came through the village today and it blessed me so much! Today there were a lot more kiddos around and now that we had been there a day the faces looked more familiar today and most of us have even developed a relationship with a buddy or two My favorite part of today- when two little girls, about 5, sung for me. We were finishing up lunch when myself and another team member were surrounded by about 4 or 5 girls. The two girls that sang to me were right on my lap and sitting by my feet when they asked if I sang..I sheepishly responded no, but when I asked them they exuberantly answered yes and they started singing! It was so beautiful…I have idea what they were singing about but I could not have been more blessed. It’s amazing the people that God places in your path at a certain time and for a certain reason, and these girls were definitely a blessing to me!
Our food today was the best food I have ever had! Seriously! We had chicken salad or guacamole on tostadas with rice. I could seriously live on that food forever! It was SO good! Tonight we were served the best potato soup ever, and coming from a not-so much soup lover, it was the best! I even had 2nds! haha
Other fun fact for the day–since we are surrounded by volcanos– we got to see them poof out smoke! Definitely sweet! haha
I can’t believe that today is already Wednesday and that we will be leaving once again before we know it. Another team member and I voted that we just stay here, we all love it so much. It has really opened my eyes to how awesome God is and how much power he has and I am constantly reminded how Jesus would have served these people, just by hanging out and loving on them. Even though I will probably not see many or most of these people and children again I could not share enough about how much they have impacted me and blessed me and it’s only the 2nd day.
God is so good!
Again, thank you so much, all of you, for your notes and thoughts and prayers! We can definitely feel your prayers working-definitely.
Well, I hope you all have a good night! I will hopefully be able to share again tomorrow
Shaelee for the team
After getting little sleep, we headed to La Reina (a Mayan village) and began our house building. We spent our time in four separate groups building the frames, drywalling, and cement boarding the outside of the homes. It was hot, but we all drank lots of water! A lot of our time was also spent with the children of the village as we attempted to speak in Spanish. We had plenty requests for candy and reassured them we would bring some tomorrow. :)
The Guatemalan countryside is beautiful with large mountains and volcanoes. The culture is very different and eye-opening at times. We are blessed with so much opportunity in America to live out our dreams while the majority of these people live in cyclical and generational poverty. It’s a blessing to serve them through Paradise Bound by giving them shelter and eventually healthcare this week. We hope to show the love of Christ through all of our work here!
Thanks for prayers and support! We’ll be stucco-ing the homes tomorrow!
We are now safely at the base in Guatemala. Thank you for your prayers. We are all ready for bed and eager to head to La Reina to see the village and the people of Guatemala. We had no problems and little excitement! Until tomorrow…