Today’s road led to shopping and tomorrow’s will lead home! We’re ready to see yall and we’re SOOO thankful for your prayers!!
Today we spent the morning exploring Antigua by starting with a breath taking view of the city at a cross that overlooks everything. It was beautiful weather and we took lots of pictures. From there, we went to a wood factory and saw the most gorgeous wood workings ever! The next stop was the local Artisan’s Market. it was full of people … many tourists like us and many Guatemalan handiworkers that made beautiful things. David & Glynis (our IMB missionaries) introduced us to some Christian sellers and helped us barter with the locals. It was so much fun! Overwhelming, since booth after booth was packed with things to sell, but fun nonetheless! By this time lunch was in order and our view of the volcano Agua was picture perfect out the window of the restaurant where we were eating. Every now and then the clouds would encircle the top like a wreath and it seemed as if we were eating in a postcard. The next two stops were yummy: the chocolate store and the bakery that sells local coffee! I’m pretty sure we all made purchases in these places! Finally we went to the Jade House – turns out real Jade is only found in 4 parts of the world: Russia, Burma, Japan and Guatemala. The tour there was interesting and the purchases were beautiful. Some of our team wanted a little more time at the market so David Miller gladly obliged while the rest headed back to rest up (and blog) before dinner. Here are a few of the thought’s I’ve gathered over the course of the week. There are way too many stories to tell and so many people to write about in one blog entry, but this will be some of my take away this week:
1 Peter 4:9 “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.”
This country is full of the most hospitable people I have ever met. Each day in the village we were welcomed with open arms (as long as it wasn’t lunch time or they weren’t on the way to catch a bus) and each shop we went into we were greeted immediately.
Matthew 6: 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
The people in this country live in the now. Shop after shop we saw how fervently they tried to sell us any and everything they had because this is their livelihood. Each day in the village we saw corn growing up and down the sides of mountains while animals like cows and chickens lived right there in the house or yard with the people. Survival mode isn’t something we just joke about when we get super busy – it’s real life for some people and I hope to live more in the now than in the stress of so much planning.
Revelation 7:9 “After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne before the lamb. They were clothes in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a great roar, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!”
There are many around the world that need to know about Jesus. When I was looking at all of the woven fabric filled with bright colors and all of the trinkets there were to sell it was overwhelming – way too many to count. Chanco is filled with people that need Jesus. As I wandered through I thought about how colorful it will be at the feet of Jesus one day when people from all over the world will worship Him – our hope and prayer is that Chanco will be represented at that great celebration!
Matthew 10:20 “It will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”
Missions exists because worship does not. Tonight’s devotion ended in song and some of the lyrics said “You give life, You are love; You bring light to the darkness; You give hope, You restore; Every heart that is broken; Great are You, Lord. It’s Your breath in our lungs; So we pour out our praise; We pour out our praise; It’s Your breath in our lungs; So we pour out our praise to You only.” God poured out His love to the people with our voices in Chanco this week and we are more thankful for the opportunity than you can imagine. We talked about that at team time tonight … it was sweet sweet worship!
See you tomorrow friends!!