Arrival Two

The team has safely arrived….all 17 of them!  This is an answer to prayer. They made the connection in Miami with a gracious pilot holding for a moment for the last one to take his seat.  Isn’t grace in a moment of need so nice?  I was glad to see them all arrive.

Felipe
Felipe

We have the hospitality of two Guatemalan cooks with us for this time: Felipe and Aurora. Felipe is a regular cook for many teams and this will be our first experience with her. Aurora is the wife of Pastor Felix and a friend.  So we will be eating Guatemalan food cooked the way it would be in any local home. The hope is that our interactions and experiences will teach us more about the people here.  As relationships form, we anticipate discovering what God is doing here and how we can support and join that movement.

Tonight we will have “orientation” and the leaders of the VIM (Volunteers in Mission) of the Metodista Iglesia will speak with the team.  And I suspect we will all fall asleep with thankfulness and a touch of exhaustion. This always makes for a good sleep:)

We had a good visit with Beatriz earlier in the day.  Her family is doing very well. She took us by the John Wesley School and we were able to see the preparations for an upcoming feria (fair/festival) in June.  The teachers and children were making all of their decorations out of recyclable materials…plastic bottles, paper, etc.  Creativity in motion. It was good.  The principal and Beatriz are going to come meet the team next week.

We also received news from Pastor Felix today that his dear friend, and the friend of many in the USA, Andres, died 15 days ago. He was very sick when I was here in March. I am so thankful for that visit, and knew at the time that it would likely be the last.  Andres has been a partner and friend for Pastor Felix in this community as they did many projects together.  The two of them, along with Norris Allen of Dickson, TN,  have led projects that changed communities forever. Andres lived an incredible life; we were all blessed to know him.

There is a part of me that still wants assess the worth of day by the tangible accomplishments of production. I am aware (a little painfully so) that “production” does not always include what Jesus did with his 3 years of ministry. He planted seeds with his teaching. He healed those who were sick. He took time to hear the stories of those who had been forgotten. He made time for prayer and fed the hungry. Pray that we will be able to follow that way of “production”, in whatever ways it comes. And give thanks along with us, for the safe arrival of the team and the privilege of being here. May we be something of the Light and Love that Christ is to us.

5 thoughts on “Arrival Two

  • Dear Vona,

    Please let everyone know in La Toma that, with them, we mourn the loss on Andres here on earth. Indeed, he was a fine man and a gentle spirit. It was certainly a privilege to know him and serve alongside him.

    I’m delighted to hear that Felipe and Aurora are cooking meals for the team. This is the standard practice when I lead teams in mission to Haiti and Mexico, and the food has always been one of the unexpected treats of our time in service. …. Does that mean that all of your meals are in La Toma?

    I hope that Beatriz has tried out some of her new English skills with you! Please give her and Alba my best, as well as all our Guatemalan brothers and sisters in Christ.

    Blessings to you and your team,
    Howard

    • Hi Howard – thank you for reading and writing. I visited the family of Andres and expressed your love and prayers. His son, Eric, was there and we talked quite a while. The team also installed a stove in their home later that day! Eric’s heart was very full of sadness but also thankfulness. Marvin (younger son) was not there but I am sure I will see him next week.

      I also went to the home of Beatriz. She is doing well and studying her English. She showed me one of her books:) They are all moving forward with courage and grace. We walked over to the John Wesley school and ended up agreeing for Beatriz and the principal to visit us at Bambu on Tuesday evening to share about the school and a possible project they want to tell us about. We also plan to visit in the community this afternoon so the new team members can see Manuel, the church and school. So much to share! It’s amazing.

      Howard, you help me so much with you insights, advice and wisdom. Thank you! You will never know how much you have helped me in just the right moment to do something better than before. I am grateful to God for you. Give my love to Sally. Thank you for your prayers.

  • A very encouraging message and one that applies as much to our busy lives in the US as it does in Guatemala. Prayers cover you and the team!

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