We’ve made it safely to the Arkansas House! We left Jocotan this morning and had an easy drive in to Guatemala City. We weren’t able to do any shopping or tourist type of things due to Holy Week- the country is pretty shut down. We’ll be headed to the airport around 11:00 tomorrow to make our voyage home.
Today was our last day on the mountain in Chonco. It’s also Holy Week, so today in Guatemala was a day or rest. Most families were home spending time together, so apart from prior invites from families we didn’t do much visiting. We stopped by some of the homes to say goodbye and pray with them, and made a few visits if we were invited in. We still had quite a few kids come for VBS, which we were not prepared for, so we quickly threw together a lesson filled with story time, games, and music! We finished off our time atop the mountain near the community center which is high on the top of the mountain. We prayed over the village of Chonco and for the people of Guatemala.
We arrived back at our hotel and spent some time exploring the city of Jocatan, where our hotel is located. The streets are busy with holy week activities, so a lot of the shops were closed. Tomorrow we will head to Guatemala City to the Arkansas House.
[We went to two houses today and they were all having meetings and gathering for Holy Week so they didn’t let us in. We went to one house and they invited us in- and offered us tamalis and tamalindo! We had fun with their kids because we couldn’t roll our R’s and they kept laughing at us. After lunch we were invited in to another home and they gave us chocolate covered bananas!]
[My day was filled with expectations I didn’t consider. I have been to Guatemala previously but never have experienced their Semana Santa (Holy Week). This weeek is filled with traditoins that I’ve never experienced in the states. In the villages, I think it was a way for Satan to hinder us from presenting the gosepl. Homes were not really wanting to receive us due to holy week, so we decided to prayer walk. We ended up at one home and we were invited in and were able to ask questions about the week. It was a blessing to build relationships by talking about their traditions, even without presenting the gospel.]
[Throughout the week I got to know a group of girls in Chonco by painting their nails, braiding hair, & teaching each other spanish and english words. Today was out last day in the village, and the girls brought some of us gifts! They brought drawings and sweets and wrote letters. It was just so touching.]
Today was a day filled with the joy of the Lord! We got to do some home visits this morning, a soccer game this afternoon, and a surprise blessing of a local hot spring visit this evening. During half time of the soccer game, we were able to share the story of Jesus with the Chancó soccer team and all the children watching the game. We even got to do a little cheer-leading with some of them! Miguel, a Chancó native and fellow believer, was able to join us for dinner tonight at our hotel with his father. It was wonderful to break bread with a brother!
[We only got to go to two homes today, and the first one we didn’t get to spend any time with. They said that they had to get everything in their home ready, like cooking and cleaning, because of Holy Week. It’s considered a sin for them to do any work on Thursday or Friday so they had to get ready today. In the second home there were only three kids home. We read them the creation story from the children’s bible and then we gave it to them. It was so cute because as soon as we gave it to them they took it in to a room and all huddled around it.
I got to make tamales today, and we had fresh bananas- they were so good and way better than anything I’ve had in the states. The soccer game was really fun to watch and take pictures of. It was cool to see than even though we don’t speak the same language that we can do the same things and enjoy time together. We lost 7-4. ]
[Our group got to go to a house where the parents weren’t home, just a 16 year old girl named Sarah. We were excited she was the only one there because she was able to speak more freely than if her parents had been home. She told us she believed in Jesus, but when we asked her if she was going to Heaven she said “Only God knows.” We shared scripture with her and talked to her for a while and then asked her the same question, and she said she is going to Heaven!]
[Today I enjoyed the house visits and the soccer game. I was part of the group that visited with the 16 year old girl Sarah, and I think it was a great experience not just for her but for us too. The soccer game was fun, and I enjoyed hanging out with Cruz, the in country missionary’s son.
Also, I got a pretty snazzy haircut.]
Cheering on our teams!
This post is coming to you live from the dining room in The Hotel Ramirez. We just feasted on a delicious meal consisting of mashed potatoes, grilled vegetables, barbeque ribs and mangos (which we picked ourselves)!
Today was a day full of firsts. Teams learned a variety of things native to the Chanco people- making corn tortillas, washing clothes at the local well, playing soccer, riding horses, how to pick/throw rocks at mangos and many other things.
Our teams have enjoyed dividing and conquering the village of Chancó. Today my team had a conversation with two young women at the local well. We were able to share the true story of the woman at the well in the bible. It was really cool to be able to relate to them directly and let them know how important they are in the eyes of Christ. We were able to share the gospel and pray for them. They were very recieving and seemed to take away more information about Jesus and the gospel. We pray that seeds have been planted in these young hearts and that fruit will come to bear soon.
Our hearts are so full as we leave the village each day knowing that the people of Chancó and receving the truth of Scripture and willing to offer hospitality to our teams. We pray bodly for their hearts to change and be smitten with the gospel but trust the Lord’s will in His timing.
Adios Church Family!]
[Hola Amigos! Yesterday was the first day we visited homes in the village of Chancó, and to be honest it was a little awkward. Today was much better; conversations flowed more smooth. Today it was easier to connect to the people in Chancó. It was really cool because we met with a family of believers today and seeing how they live and how they are truly living for the Lord and we got to encourage them to continue living that way.
The last house we met with we were talking to them and they really seem to know the gospel. They were telling us about how they didn’t really like the Catholic church and there was a lot they disagreed with. That was really cool and really encouraging to see because we thought there was only one family of believers in the village- so it was nice to see another family that said they pray to Jesus and not to the Saints. We encouraged them to press on and consider starting a Bible study in their home. I thought it was awesome that we got to talk to two families today who acknowledge Jesus.
Also, soccer was awesome. I wasn’t very good, but I tried my best.]
[Today we got to go back to the house of the little 10 year old we shared Jesus with yesterday…we told you about him on the blog. His name is Evbin. His whole family was there and we got to talk to them and that was really cool. They seem to undersatnd what we were talking about and seemed interested in what we were saying. We shared the same story with them as we did Evbin and they were really open to it.]
[The ride was unexpectedly bumpy, it’s not something we would ever be used to. Once we got there it was crazy to see how they lived and what their houses were like… it’s so different. They’re so nice. They always said hello and they greet us so nicely and invited us into their homes and they don’t even know us.
Prayer walking was really special because we got to see all the beauty of His creation and I really just praised Him for letting me come on the trip. Getting to meet the people and seeing all their hospitality… how willing they were to let us help even though they hadn’t met us before. It’s just really different from our culture.
Making tortillas was interesting, it was fun but harder than it looks! ]
[We went to a house and only a little 10 year old boy was home; his family was out for the day. We were talking to him about church and he said he went to church but he had never heard of Jesus before. We explained the story of how Jesus died on the cross and he said he had never heard that story. We were able to read from the bible to him, and we shared stories like how Jesus fed the 5000 and calmed the storm.
Later, we prayed for a lady at the village well. She was washing her family’s clothes and she told us it would take her two hours to wash them all. We talked to her a while and asked her what she thought would get you in to heaven. She said doing more good than bad. We were able to share verses in Ephesians 2 with her, and we prayed with her. While we were praying someone was yelling her name, which we thought was just to get her attention. But when we looked up, there were cows running toward the well! Her friend was trying to warn her. They were coming right at us! It was very funny!]
[What stood out to me most was the generosity of the people and the sense of community in the village. There’s a feeling of family and everyone looks out for each other.]
Today we woke to the sound of roosters and rain. We had a lovely breakfast and a wonderful time together in the Word before heading up the mountain. When we arrived in Chancó, we were met with the smiles and waves of the locals and the breathtaking views only Guatemala can provide.
We began our time in the village with prayer walking, and we invited all the children to join us for VBS as we crossed their paths. Later in the day we played some games with them before visiting around the village and kicking off VBS. Check in later tonight for more stories of the day!