Thursday was a very long day and I think I need to be very grateful that Chester sticks with my crazy schedule. He has been a champion on this adventure. We are on site for 10 hours today and left after dark. Ricardo is our taxi each day and he laughed at us because we were exhausted on the way home.
Because of the strike we have had a lot of time with the students and their teachers – in small numbers. We focused on 4th-6th grades and the teachers and students all came on their own initiative. Today they presented us with an awesome cake (with Pepsi, of course) and we shared many thoughts and much laughter. It was fun and the friendships have truly sprouted leaves this week.
A poignant part of our day was a home visit with Ezekiel and his family. We met Ezekiel when the team was here last month. He is deaf and does not speak (though I think he will eventually). Thomas Overstreet made a connection with Ezekiel and following our arrival home, he arranged for a Guatemalan Sign Language book to be sent to the school. That book arrived a couple of weeks ago and Ezekiel’s teacher uses it to help him. When we visited on Thursday we learned that Ezekiel was attending sign language school here in Mazatenango but had to stop due to the cost of keeping the older two children in school. His father works a lot but they have 8 children and are trying to work themselves out of debt. To make a long story short – the school is twice/week and is excellent. When Ezekiel attended there he made much progress in his ability to communicate.
So this morning we arranged to meet his mother and we all went to Halo together, the school that helps teach those who are deaf. We registered him back in and he can begin attending classes again. He will go twice per week. The cost is minimal compared to anything we can imagine and I am confident we can keep him in school all year. Maria Magdalena is a beautiful lady and a caring mother. We had her son, Brandon, in class with us this week. He made us an incredible speech of gratitude for our teaching. So very special. Please pray for it to all work for this family. The father works very hard. Ezekiel is well able to communicate if he has good tools.
We spent the late afternoon/early evening teaching the leaders in Felix’s church. They were so gracious and sent warm greetings to our church and friends in Tennessee. They welcome our return. We had a new baby in the mix so a prayer was given for him and several speeches of gratitude on both of our parts. Felix is a kind and compassionate pastor.
It was hard to leave the school yard last night. The darkness helped…just made you want to get “home” because night is not so easy. We packed up our suitcase of supplies which weighs about 47 less pounds now. Our next big thing is for me to preach on Sunday at Manuel’s church. So I am thankful that tomorrow I can rest my brain and let my heart process a little. We are going to Quetzaltenango where Adolfo and Chester live, and where the VIM offices are located. I hope to see mountains, cathedrals and the moon because it is supposed to be very big there. We will see how it all unfolds. I am full of peace and grateful beyond words.