In the Shadow of Santa Maria

The Santa Maria is one of the massive volcanoes in Gautemala. As I have been moving about for the past couple of days, I am struck by the beauty and strength of its standing.  The volcanoes are all named, while the mountains…which look like foothhills in the shadow of a giant…are simply: “las montañas”.  The road we traveled yesterday is called the Interamerican highway.  The journey is full of hairpin curves, steep hills and a surrounding of mountains (las montañas) that takes your breath away.  Creation is its majesty and splendor.

A view of the lake at the Metodista Camp

Doris (the VIM Coordinator Guatemala) and I left out early at 6am and traveled to the Metodista Camp just north of Chichicastanengo.  The camp is beautiful.  You step onto the land and know immediately that many people have made lifelong memories in this place.

The children from Quiche

We met eleven of the twelve children there that people from our church have sponsored. All of them are from the area of Palqui, Quiche which is very remote. It is near the town of Uspantan. The children traveled 4 hours to get to the camp to meet us.  Many of them walk an hour to get to their school, and an hour, of course, to return home.  They have a great desire to get their education.  We had a great experience getting to know one another and talking about dreams for life. 

Ennis (a father of one of the children and a leader in the church) with Pastor Fabian. Pastor Fabian's dream is for each of these children grow up doing good things for their life.

And they have great dreams: to be a great student; to become a professional that helps others; to be a good teacher; to get a better future; to graduate; to learn other languages…. dreams. 

Celebration! Celebrating dreams. Celebrating hope. Celebrating the opportunity and courage to get an education!

After speaking of dreams and goals and sharing wisdom together, we busted a big piñata and celebrated! We celebrated two things:  first, that these children will be staying in school for an entire year because someone believes in them enough to make it possible.  Their parents believe in them.  A pastor somewhere believes in them. The people of our church believes in them. And God believes in them.  Second, we celebrated what God is doing with all of us!   As we shared our dreams around the circle, I shared one of mine too: that the churches of my country would build a bridge with the churches of Guatemala, and that together we would help each other become all that God created us to be.  We need each other.

The group of seven children we met with at VIM office in Quetzaltenango.

The students I met yesterday are full of courage and hope.  What we are doing is sharing a mutual dream, with each of us investing what we are able to offer.  The students and parents are doing the “work” of getting up every day and doing whatever it takes to get to school, make good grades and finish the course.  

Our friends from the VIM (Volunteers in Mission) Office in Guatemala. Heidy, Doris, Ingrid and Pastor Juan Pablo. Pastor Juan Pablo is also Vice President of the Executive Committee of the Metodista Church of Guatemala. Many thanks to this team for making these days so full of hospitality and the grace of God!

Sponsors, pastors, mentors and others are providing every bit of encouragement and faith possible, to help the students take these steps toward their dreams. We are all taking a risk and a big step forward. God has answered many prayers and arranged for many things to take place over the past 48 hours that seem like miracles to me.   Something big and beautiful keeps happening.  And a little like being in the shadow of the Santa Maria…the more it unfolds the smaller we seem to be.  And like being in the shadow of the Santa Maria, it just feels good to be a tiny part of something amazing God keeps creating.  Let it be.

piñata JOY!


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