Buenos noches, family and friends! It is Aida’s birthday today and some chaperones set off firecrackers to celebrate, we smashed a piñata and had more birthday cake. We quickly got ready and headed off at 9 a.m. for the Sunday service at La Gloria Que Impacta.
We got to sleep in until 7 which was a gift because usually must wake up at 6:30. We got our much-needed rest, ate breakfast and prepared ourselves to leave for church. When we arrived, we were greeted by the friendly ushers. We worshipped freely without any judgment. The services were filled with a lot of sound and the presence of the Holy Spirit. We cannot express in words how it felt. It was truly a blessing to worship among God’s children here in Guatemala.
After church, we had lunch at a restaurant called “Luna de Miel.” This restaurant specializes in crepes, both savory and sweet. Then we visited a convent in Antigua that was used in the early 1700s. In 1773, however, a massive earthquake hit Guatemala. This earthquake happened during the day, so many were able to flee Antigua, but the city was abandoned for 80 years afterwards because of the significant damage. It was amazing to see where many girls were raised in Guatemala during this time. This convent was very exclusive, and only noble/rich families would send their eldest girls there. The tour guide told us that usually only 80 to 90 girls would live there at a time because of the exclusivity. It was fascinating to see these ruins and seeing them definitely helped us learn more of the history of this beautiful country!
Our final event in town was to visit a Guatemalan market to purchase souvenirs. This was a new experience for many of us. We learned how to bargain for the items being sold. It was a bunch of small shops overloaded with items side by side. When you walk by the shop the owner would come out and try to persuade you to buy their products. It was an eye-opening experience to see these people trying to make a living by selling in these markets. We weren’t able to take many pictures of this, but we hope to go back later this week.
We ended the evening off with Noa and Aida completely smashing a piñata followed by a chimbale (campfire + debrief). Today was a busy, fun day filled with awesome moments. We are so excited to see what God has instore for us tomorrow! Please continue to pray for us!
Rebecca, Noah G and Miriam
[Addendum: We are including a picture of Pastor Manuel and Dorcas Torres from the church we visited yesterday in Puerto San Jose. Please pray for this starting church.]