I will not lie to you. Today was exhilarating. It was long & hot. It was full of wonderful conversations, rides in the back of trucks, & playing with children. Today we walked on mountains our parents would probably not even attempt with people whom most of us do not understand. There were smiles, red faces, and heavy breathing to do all of us struggling in the fitness arena. But it was wonderful and we will do it again, loving it more and more each day.
We started the day with food as most people do, but I would bet you my breakfast was more delicious than yours. We had what I call mashed black beans, watermelon, plums, tortillas, eggs, and delicious juice. Then we packed into the bed of a truck and headed up the mountain after discussing what we would do today. We working in Nearar today; we will do this every Monday and Thursday. The other days we will spend in a village called Chanco!
The cool part about today was that we not only got to work with our Guatemalan translators, Pablo and Miguel, but also got to work with a team of nationals from a church who are partnered in Nearar. Their names are David, Cynthia, and Clara. It is always amazing to see people living out their faith!
Upon arrival in Nearar we split into two groups and did house to house visits. My group got to meet with four different family units. Though all of them were impactful, I have chosen one to tell you about. We met with a woman named Petronila. She told us that she grew up going to the local Catholic church, but they told her she could not come back when she stopped coming for a little while. Petronila shared with us that she loves to participate in church and will participate in the local evangelical church on occasion, but she will not make a decision to follow Christ even though she wants to. This is due to the culture; here, married couples are bonded so much that she is not willing to make a decision without her husband wanting to do so as well. So, she prays for him and listens to testimonies on the radio. At first her husband was not open to even hearing these things, but she says he is more open now. Please pray for Petronila and her husband Eliseo. Pray for his heart to be opened to the Gospel and for her boldness to be willing to make a decision for Christ, choosing to put Christ first, even before her husband. Please pray earnestly.
After house to house visits we had RAMEN NOODLES! The food of champions for every college student in America. They were delicious, especially after working up a sweat after scaling some of these rocky terrain mountains.
We then got to spend some time working with the believers in Nearar as well as their children, most of us spent more time with the children. It was really cool to just be apart of the work that is already happening in Nearar. We played games with the kids and participated as Clara and Cynthia led worship and gave a lesson to the children.
Then we scaled the mountain back to the top to await our transportation. I will tell you that the walk up was naturally harder, but felt a lot less alarming.
When we got back to the hotel we treated ourselves to ICE CREAM! It was delicious; I chose coffee flavored.
It was a wonderful day in Nearar and I cannot wait to share with you what happens tomorrow in Chanco!
On another note: Family and friends of all of us (specific shout out to my mom) thank you for all your prayers and for growing us into the people we are today. We truly would not be who we are without you.