We have been learning so much and having so much fun in El Tizate, Guatemala! We have been so impacted by God over the last few days and feel so blessed to have this amazing opportunity to travel to a whole other country and see God through a different lens, through a different culture. It has been a jam-packed day, but these are the main highlights!
Michael: This morning we continued to work with Mario (mi major amigo) and his team with the construction of the new science lab and multi-purpose rooms for Global Shores School. We continued to work with the rebar and cement, although today we extended our tasks to include moving cinder blocks. Today’s challenge was to move two massive stacks of cinder blocks from the story above, to the other side of the construction site. First by sliding the blocks down the shoot, then passing them down the human assembly line to the person who was stacking the blocks on the other side. Overall, construction today was very successful, and the team continues to exceed expectations.
Miriam: Before lunch, Kiera, Micaela, two leaders, and I drove to the home of one of the families who send their kids to the school and brought a food hamper to them. This is one of the ways the school blesses new families or families who are in difficult times. When we arrived at this house, little did we know… they own a beautiful restaurant that serves traditional Guatemalan food, burgers and chili dogs. We sat down at a table in the restaurant and the grandmother/main provider of their family shared her testimony with us. She explained that she was born in Nicaragua, then moved to Guatemala. She lived in this country with no parents, no connections and little to no money. It was very hard for her to live in this isolated situation. She then talked about how her daughter decided to earn money through prostitution, to help the financial stability of their family. The grandmother (aka the mother of this daughter) struggled because she had become a Christian when she moved to Guatemala. Eventually, trough the love of God flowing from her mom, this daughter stopped. After a while, the family became stable through a job the grandmother had gotten. However, she prayerfully decided to quit her job because she did not have enough time in her day to spend with the Lord. Even though she knew she would be tight on money, the grandmother trusted that God would provide for her. The daughter contemplated going back into prostitution at this time, however, because God had touched her heart, she did not. The whole family relied on God for their needs. And He provided, like He does every time. The grandmother had an idea to open a restaurant, and to do so, she sacrificed the comfort of a couch in her home. She sold her couch, to gain enough money to start. It began with 3 tables, then 5, and now, they get approximately 25 customers per day! Praise God! They opened the restaurant 2 years ago—it’s crazy how fast He can work! He pulled this family out of a desperate state and instead of turning to measures that were not of God, they trusted God with all their hearts that He would provide. I was amazed by her testimony and the amount of faith she has in our Lord. He truly blessed this family. Now, the daughter has 2 daughters, the eldest is in kindergarten and attends the school. It is so marvelous to see God working in the lives of those who need Him. When we are weak, He truly is strong. Through this experience, Kiera, Micaela, and I have learned that we cannot live without Christ. We cannot rely on our own understanding to pull us out of difficult situations, because we will never be able to. Only God can make the hard times lighter and love us when it feels that no one else loves us. He is always there for us, lifting us up with His victorious right hand, and that we can do all things through Christ. He is our strength when there is no hope, just as He has been for this family.
Kiera: Later, at 3 p.m., at La Casa De Luz, we opened our doors for day 2 of vacation Bible school. We started off with an opening activity using a kindergarten parachute. Once all kids arrived, we kicked off VBS with a short worship song in Spanish led by our students. Afterwards, another group of students acted out the passage from Matthew 14:13-21, where Jesus fed the 5,000—the crowd absolutely loved it! Then we split the chicos (kids) into two groups, one learning a new Bible verse and the other doing a craft related to Jesus feeding the 5,000. After a great day of VBS, having lots of fun with our new friends, we headed back down to our headquarters for a delicious dinner prepared by Bennis, the chef, and his helpers Miriam and Rebecca. Then, we spent the rest of the night playing games and having a chill night.
Now we are off to bed. Tomorrow, we will be visiting a port on the Pacific and a local church. Tune for more tomorrow!