If you have social media then you have probably seen all of the pictures from last week. This post is for people like my dad who do not have social media!
On Friday, 11 people from North America and 17 Guatemalans built 3 houses in Buena Vista. This was the first time for the majority of the teachers to ever build a house. Fortunately, we were in extremely close proximity so we basically worked as one group. A huge thank you to Nic, Soy, and Matthew for being the team leaders and teaching them how to build the house. I thought Daisy was going to have a heart attack when she was standing on the ladder with a chain saw in order to cut a piece of wood. Every teacher had a great time! Several people from the group constructed another house on Monday and built a kitchen for a family.
We also had a children’s party in Buena Vista and El Tejar. We worked in the community to share a Bible story, sing songs, and pass out Christmas gifts.
Many of you remember buying toys, packing toys, and loading them on a container. These are not cheap toys, but great quality toys. (The teachers were telling me that one of the Marvel toys cost $30 in Guatemala! There were some happy boys when they received this toy). All 1000 toys were delivered to our school and wrapped by our teachers. Every single child in our school, including all siblings, received a toy at our Christmas dinners. Watching them open the gifts was my absolute favorite part of the week. Yesterday we spent the day in Santa’s workshop assembling book bags filled with toys for special boys and girls on Christmas morning. Our teachers will deliver them on Christmas Eve.
Two of our children live in a tin house with major water problems. We have attempted to repair the roof and the side of the house. The roof leaks were corrected, but the water continued to pour into the house during the heavy rains. Every time it rained we would think about the single mother with 4 children trying to keep water out of the house. Thankfully, the men and Ashley were able to construct one side of the house with block to prevent the water from flowing into the house.
I do not know if I can truly express my gratitude for our teachers and staff. I am very direct when talking to the teachers about the difficulty of our ministry. It is not a 9-5 job. It is a ministry that uses education and food as a platform to see families become followers of Christ. I can offer resources and help on becoming a great math teacher, but I can’t give someone a heart to love the children. When the group talked about the highlight of the trip, they all agreed that watching the teachers love and serve the families had such an impact on them. To cook for 600 people, wrap 1000 gifts, assemble 100 food baskets, build 4 houses, children’s performance, present the gospel, take pictures, and serve with a smile is not a small task. Our teachers worked with our North American team to make sure every family knew they are loved.
The absolute best part was having 2 of our parents pray to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior! This is why we are here!