Week One

Luis and amiga providing construction site entertainment with the make-shift monkey bars

Our first week is complete.  There are so many stories and little time to tell but there will be many days of sharing to come.  Today part of the team travels to Chichicastatenango to experience the market and others remain here at Bambu. All of  us will be resting so we can work hard next week.   The time flies by.  Hard to imagine but the logistics of food, clean up, carrying tools & supplies, etc. daily for 23 people keeps everyone busy.

This morning as I was walking back to my room I heard the voices of Sarah and Todd saying the prayers of the prayer team back at home.  It was the 6:30am time…when the daily prayer team is in the sanctuary at home saying those same prayers. Their voices were beautiful to me and they sounded like a chorus. It must have been the angels, I’m not sure, but it is good.

The back decking is finished on 2 of the three classrooms. Every team has a role for the construction; ours is the roof.

Our progress on construction is going well.  We are still decking the roof with the back side almost complete (one classroom left) and the front coming along just fine. I love being on the roof but I welcome today’s break from the sun and hammer!

Vacation Bible School continued with Sarah and her team in the young classrooms yesterday.  They love the story of the lepers and the songs are received with much joy. Their smiles are unending. Their hands reaching out to grab one of ours.  No one will forget these moments.

Joe Holmes with amigos walking out at day's end

These are hands and voices joined in Hope…joined in Love…shared Joy.  What will their memory be? What will our memory be?  Hearts and lives are transformed in this sharing.

Kristina, Julia, and Randy. This is Randy’s first time in Guatemala. He is retired from the military and is a local pastor with the UMC. Randy’s wife, Deborah is a counselor in our school at home. Julia is our translator from VIM. She is also a lawyer with her own practice here in Guatemala. Kristina, is one of the great teachers in the school at La Toma.

Randy Odom and I, along with our translator, Julia, taught in the 6th grade classroom yesterday.  With the help of Ana and Kristina, La Toma teachers, we talked about wisdom (Sabiduria) for life. Where does it come from? How do we get it? What happens once we get it? And for what??? So we can be salt of the earth; light of the world for God’s glory.  We engage the children with their thoughts and then connect them with scripture and truth they can apply to the specific situations of daily life.  It was a good time and so nice to be with Ana and Kristina again.

I don't think Sarah Neal is having any fun....:) One day Jack was a bit overheated so this is the crew nursing him and keeping him "down" to cool off. They were providing entertainment, I think. Joy!

For every day here I need about 4 hours of writing time and a bit more for reflection.  I find myself writing lessons, learning and notes on the bus as I try to keep up with all that God is showing me.  I am grateful beyond words.  The roof is hot and I love being up there. Hard labor and sweat is good for the soul. Today, however, I welcome the break from the sun, I anticipate the cold air of Chichicastaengango and more than a moment for my spirit to listen closely to what is being given. Let it be.

10 thoughts on “Week One

  • Thank you for helping us be a part of your mission trip as you share your pictures, heart and soul. We are keeping your team, which includes our son-in-law Todd, in our prayers

    • Thank you so much for reading and praying for us! Todd is being a great help, leader and disciple. We are thankful he is with us. And your daughter, Amy, is an amazing lady!

  • Hello Vona
    I’m forwarding your posts to team 6 members. Looks like all is going well. Can you tell me how many teachers there are at the La Toma school?

    • Great–thanks for getting back to me. I’m enjoying seeing the progress in real time. Seems as though all is progressing muy bien. Praying your second week is safe and a blessing for all. Sandi

  • Hi, Vona. Are there any photos of the construction progress? How “decks” are related to roofing I can’t quite envision. I appreciate the close-ups of everyone helping build the classrooms, but does someone there have a more distanced picture, a “big picture” of the school in progress? Thanks, Christine

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