Monday, June 25, 2012
¡Hola! Buenos días from Guatemala and your Faith mission team. When we arrived at Santiago Zamora and the Lutheran World Church & School, we were met by 1st-5th grade students, who welcomed us with music and dancing. Your team learned a typical Mayan dance.
After the students’ beautiful welcome, the men began work on the flooring project and the women taught VBS. Today’s VBS lesson was about Jesus and His love of all “niños,” red, yellow, black or white. The younger students made hand puppets and sang in English and Spanish. Your team sang in Español too! After a wonderful lunch, we were treated to a program by the older students and dedicated the computer lab donated by our Faith congregation. The older students talked about how important God’s love is and decorated t-shirts. All this went on as the men worked on the ceramic floor installation, completing about 25% of the project in the first day. With lots of hugs and goodbyes your weary but fulfilled team returned to the Lutheran Hour Center in Antigua, Guatemala.
Yours in Christ,
Barb and Joe Rietsch
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
¡Hola, Faith friends and family! This is day two and we continue to be blessed by the warm hearts of the Guatemalan people. The floor is progressing nicely. The men have been hard at work and have completed about 60% of the project. What a joy it will be to celebrate with the congregation who will see it for the first time this Sunday.
Today in VBS we shared the story of Daniel and the Lions’ Den. The young children especially enjoyed making their lion masks and singing the story. These precious niños truly have touched our hearts. Who can resist those sweet smiles and warm hugs? It is such a privilege to share God’s love and promises with them and all the people who serve here. We learned yesterday that the school is struggling financially. I encourage you to be like Daniel, praying and trusting that God will meet their needs. ¡Buenas noches!
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Once I was blind but now I see! Fifteen months ago we started preparing for our Guatemala Mission Project. Now our eyes have been opened to the beauty and love of the Guatemalan people.
Our third day began at 12:30 a.m. when we were awakened by earthquake tremors. We saw another one of God’s wonders on our drive to Santiago Zamora this morning–smoke from the Fire Volcano. What an amazing sight to see!
Installation of the church ceramic floor is nearly completed. One more day to finish the floor and install the border tiles. The VBS children are touching our hearts with so much love and affection, and we are meeting so many wonderful people who are showing us the true meaning of Christian love.
Several Mayan women prepared an authentic Mayan meal for us that was delicious. Later, 43 women attended a Bible study. It was moving to see all the women sharing in an explanation of the “Colors of Faith” through making a beautiful beaded bracelet. Praise God for allowing us to serve on this mission project. Our lives are truly being enriched in more ways than we could have thought possible. Your prayers for our continued work during the remainder of our project, as well as prayers for these precious people, are greatly needed and appreciated.
God’s love to you all.
Dick and Nan Gookin
Look for more reflections from this Volunteer Trip team! You may also wish to read Lutheran Hour Ministries–Guatemala’s blog to learn about the ministry center’s many programs and activities.