Day 2 in Guatemala started early, like every other day. We woke up around 6 a.m. and were eating breakfast by 6:30. We got to have a little treat from home; pancakes! There was no Canadian maple syrup on the table, but peanut butter did the job. We walked up the hill and sat in on a chapel. Today, it was with the high school! It was an amazing experience being able to talk with others our age and have them share some of their own stories. We found the language barrier to be a little less as most of the students are learning English as well. We danced, sang and laughed while worshipping God together. “When I first thought about worshipping in a whole new culture with new norms that weren’t like anything I’d ever known, I was nervous,” says Klarissa. She adds, “Worshipping is very personal to me and my life and thinking about that part of me being exposed or challenged was scary, but when I came to Guatemala and met the people and saw how they worshipped I completely fell in love with it. The people here are very transparent and passionate about their love for God and it’s a truly beautiful thing to participate in and to see.” After, we were able to help in multiple areas such as continuing to build the new science building. “I was able to talk to Franklin and learn about his family and life here while helping in the Grade 12 English Class,” says Owen. Later, we went back to work, either preparing for our vacation Bible school session or helping replace a tarp on a large covering in the school yard. Snack was served and everyone enjoyed the gringas (chicken quesadillas). “I had the privilege of going on a house visit to give a food hamper to a family in need. She shared her testimony with us, and we dropped off the hamper with the help of the Global Shore staff. Construction followed as soon as we got back. We were tasked with tying together rebar,” says Owen.
After finishing our last task, everyone quickly climbed down the hill to the casa and had a quick snack as we were already running a little late for our VBS program. “I was expecting maybe 10 children to show up, but over 40 came from the community. I was amazed by the faith the community puts in this organization and how thankful they are for this program,” says Owen. We were able to play games, sing songs, act out the parable of the blind man, learn a memory verse and do a craft all within 2 hours. “It was fast, there was a lot of Spanish, but I felt God moving in us and the children,” Owen adds. Another student notes, “I was nervous. The idea that we had to keep a large group of children entertained for a couple hours was scary, especially because there was a language barrier. The children were so welcoming and warm though and I found myself smiling and laughing along in no time.” We ate “McChicken” sandwiches for dinner (actually just chicken sandwiches) and finished off the night with a “chimbale,” a made-up work for a campfire with worship and sharing. We were able to sing the first English songs since we arrived and were able to share some of our roses and thorns. Roses are the positive ways God is moving in our life and thorns are the things God is challenging us with. We rounded off the night with roasted Guatemalan marshmallows (which are much tastier than the ones back in Canada). We have had an amazing past two days and are thankful for all those at home supporting us and sending their love and prayers while we are away. – Klarissa, Owen and another student