Prepared and excited
At the airport
Anthony goes through this every time
4 hour layover in Dallas/Ft. Worth
Jamie was tired of waiting and taking it out on Benji
Leah will kill me for posting this
Estuardo met us at the airport in Guatemala city
We piled into a couple of vans
And loaded all the luggage atop one of the vans
Waiting to head out for our first day's work
The girls loaded the truck with building supplies
Steven Hickman helped us girls, thank goodness
The concrete was HEAVY
Daniela was the BEST
At one of the build sites, we check out this guy's hand-made well
Leah and Andrew drew water from the 30-40 foot well
The guys were hard at work building while we delivered supplies to the other build sites
Resting for a second
Thank God for this nice man who drove us in his truck to deliver building materials.
The first house is coming along
Distracted for a minute by the cute little house with chickens in the yard
Guys working to put the roof on the first house
Within inches of Kelly
Benji makes it look light, but it wasn't
Men helping now with loading the truck so the girls could get ready for the kids to come
Andrew in a cool tree
Sara and Leah too
Kelly teaching a song
Sara reading a story book about Jesus
Jamie and Mary listen too
then Leah pitches
How cute is that!
Kelly helps him make a hit
Down at the local laundromat
The next morning, farm animals were tied to pasture behind the church
You'd think our group had never been near animals before
Our first day in the school
The kids seemed happy to see us
Wait, where's Mary?
We were ready to get started
The teachers were dressed nicely. See this guy in the black suit and yellow shirt.
We introduced ourselves and led some songs first
Then went into the classrooms. At that point we were told there were 6 classes. After a bit of confusion, it ended up that we had time for three classes that first day.
We rotated through with two crafts and one Bible story while the other three classes were in recreation with Mary B and the Hickman guys.
Here I am helping with the "Jesus Loves Me" craft
Kelly helping too
A couple more pics b/f we leave the school
Walking to the guys' work site
Can the girls help build?
One of the families receiving a house
Their wash area/sink
Ant and Andrew carry the box of screws to the next site
Benji makes a statement
Patrick is a hard-working guy
Kelly was eager to use her hands
Patrick shows her how to use the saw
She catches on quickly
Figuring out where to dig the post holes for this house
It's a go!
Andrew worked as hard as a grown-up
Paul realizing how hard the dirt was
Jamie and Sara are about to make the door
Mary lays out the frame and Ant gets the drill ready
I think they're trying to get a rock out of the way
Pastor Max means business
Sara with a power tool
Kelly digging a hole
I take a turn
The frame of the door is finished! Good job, gals.
Now, to put the tin on it.
Jamie has her turn with the drill
Framing the house
Mr. and Mrs. Gomez dig some post holes
I think they're making sure it's level
Estuardo and Daniela ask Ant for further plans
That afternoon, a group of us went back to the school for assembly with teenage students.
Leah, Andrew, Steven, and Mary had left the work site to learn a drama with Estuardo
They present it to the teenage students
Bahaha, Mary made a pretty good devil
Mary, through Daniela's interpretation, leads the students in making a bracelet
Estuardo then shared the gospel and gave an opportunity for decisions to follow Christ.
The pastor told us later that 16 young people made professions of faith that day. Praise Him!!
After the gospel presentation, Estuardo arranged soccer and basketball games between us and the students. They killed us in soccer.
Sorry, this was just funny b/c of a joke Daniela had with Leah.
Cute kid! Mary B got him to acting silly.
We were so tired, but the day was not nearly over yet
Brandon rolling down the hill. Hilarious.
The sun making its descent
an orange tree
Because of a slight miscommunication in the village, the Tuesday night service was moved to the street
Daniel led music for us
Our group presented their drama again
Then Ant, through Daniela, shared the Word.
People came out to hear the service. Among them was a man who the pastor felt would never have gone into the church building. Again we saw how God works all things together for good.
Some of these kids had seen us at the school that day.
And wanted their picture taken
The build team loaded up for their next work site.
The classroom. These kids were about 5-6 years old.
We're getting some balloons ready for animal-making.
Estuardo led some silly music.
Wednesday morning, after doing three more classes at the first school, we went to this school for smaller children.
Estuardo introduces us
Kevin reads them a story book about Jesus
After music and a story together, the kids rotated through face-painting, animal balloons, and a craft.
Leah and Mary headed up face-painting.
Mary, Steven, and Taylor led the craft.
While Paul, Sara, Jamie, and Kevin made balloon animals. I ran around crazy taking pictures. Haha.
Paul teaches a kid how to use the balloon pump.
The teachers presented each of us with a hand-made gift of thanks before we left the school.
Beautiful little girl.
Patrick with one of many ducks he caught.
No rest for the weary.
Sara takes a turn digging
Then she learns how to use a saw
Ant and Patrick coach her through it
Sara, your daddy's gonna be so proud!
Andrew hard at work
Benji and Patrick look they're thinking things through
Mary paints my face.
Some of us girls went for a walk, looking for children to interact with. Unfortunately, the roads were empty. Guess they were still at school.
So we went back to the build site
Kelly had dug partial holes all week, but finished this one all by herself!
Andrew, what did you learn from Patrick?
Jamie takes silly bands to Guatemala
Mary made a friend
There's no stopping this woman!
Happy that this house is almost finished
Hard to hammer through tin
Mary B with the hammer
The Hickmans make the door for this house
Peek a boo
The view as we start our LONG, STEEP hike up the mountain to distribute food.
Mary presents the food
This lady loved her dog almost as much as Taylor loves hers
One of many families living high up on this mountain, where there is no water. They walk 30 minutes to the nearest well. Yet, they're still so happy and hospitable.
Sweet, sweet baby girl. Soaking wet, but so sweet.
And how cute is this toddler?!
Andrew and a friend play ball
The girls break out the face paint
Then the pastor came with more bags of food for other families up in this wilderness
As we're leaving, Edgar breaks out his clown nose and starts animal balloons. He was our awesome driver, but also a Christian clown.
The school that we thought had only 6 classes actually had 8. So here we are finishing the last two classes.
We went into this day knowing we didn't have enough bracelets left for everyone if all 80-90 students were present. We walked into the second classroom having been told there were only about 20 kids in it that day. Whew, we'd have enough after all.
Much to our surprise there were 41 kids in that class that day. We had 24 bracelets. Or so we thought. God multiplied, and every single kid in that class got a bracelet that day. Awesome story of God's provision.
The girls share a testimony, story, and some questions.
Leah's famous question, "How happy were you when Jesus rose from the dead?" Daniela did not let her live that down.
The women make me look like a pansy.
After Laura Beth presented food to this lady's family, she showed us her work. A beautiful tapestry in the making.
The guys finish the houses by pouring concrete and putting the fronts on.
I've known it, but Benji proved again this trip - he's willing to work hard and do anything that's needed.
Some pics with the family after the first home dedication
Daniel presents this home and the gospel to this family, then we dedicate it to God.
Each family also received a small gift of basic-needs items.
The other group finishes the remaining houses while we carry on with home dedications.
This house was for the young couple and child in the center of the photo. They were SO sweet and wrote us a beautiful thank-you note.
Laura Beth presents God's love to this lady b/f the home dedication. Continue to pray for this family, who professes religion but not yet a relationship with Jesus.
Paul, Patrick, and Andrew helped build this house.
We all join in for a picture.
Patrick made a friendship with this guy while building his house, so he presented the home and led the home dedication.
This family was precious, and the man helped us all week in any way he could.
After all the homes were dedicated, we waited for the build team to finish the fronts. We headed back to the church where some kids were waiting for us.
This mom asked Laura Beth to paint the baby's face, but the baby wasn't game.
Andrew and a friend played ball.
The Hickmans enjoy their icecream
The icecream man hard at work.
Thursday ended with a service at the pastor's main church in San Martine.
Kevin shared his testimony.
The team performed their drama
Daniel and Laura Beth led some music
Then the pastor preached with passion
The church surrounded us and prayed for us. It was sad to leave the friends we'd made in that village.
Friday was our last work day, and we joined with the South Alabama team for a sports clinic at the school in Ixtapa. We ran into a little problem on the way when one of the other team's drivers missed the drive with one tire.
While we sat waiting, I got a cute picture of a kid in a wheel barrel.
The South Alabama team had planned the day, and we joined in with them for various games. Here, Laura Beth leads a group in parachute activities.
When the parachute interest waned, we broke out face paint, jumprope, and woofle ball.
Other groups played soccer, kickball, and basketball. There was also a group doing sidewalk chalk and bubbles.
Kevin playing kickball
Estuardo took the group to Burger King for lunch b/c they were SO tired of PB&J. Although Ant told me he was staying behind, he went and left me and Benji. Thankfully, the South Alabama team let us tag along with them to a park/market nearby.
I handed out some balloons and goodies.
Our team worked really hard. These guys are tired, and it's only mid-day.
View from Ixtapa.
Waiting to start round two at the school. This time with the older students.
Daniel introduced us and presented the Gospel briefly
Then the more athletic folk played sports while the rest of us mixed and mingled.
Laura Beth was great at drawing a crowd.
Mary, Leah, and some other girls struck up conversations.
At one point, Laura Beth and some of our other girls had a large group gathered round for a sing-along.
As we were leaving the school, a soccer match was about to start at the field across the street.
We watched as various teams marched onto the field, led by a band.
Ant acted like he was a part of it all. Haha.
Then we drove out to the Mayan ruins. We ended up not getting to see the ruins, but we saw beautiful countryside along the way. I felt it was worth it.
Estuardo seemed to feel bad that it hadn't worked out, so he took us by a touristy spot for us to look at some goods. Noone had money with them though, so Ant bought us icecream instead.
Saturday was our day to relax a bit. We readied ourselves for lunch and shopping in Antigua.
I had to get some pics with Mr. Gomez. He did a great job leading our group.
He's plugging up the volcano.
Mission trips are good for getting to know people.
Not sure these guys need to know each other this well though...
I LOVE this girl! Daniela, I can't wait till I see you again!
The view from the mission house
We stopped at Pastores on the way to Antigua. Some of the group really wanted some boots, and that is the place to go for boots. Ant didn't find boots or even a hat that would fit.
After a long, LONG time and trying on many boots in many different stores, Patrick found the ones he wanted.
We ate at this nice, really yummy restaurant. This was the view of the courtyard.
Waiting for food.
Yum, yum, yum. My and Ant's plates.
Lady making fresh tortillas.
The volcano was so close.
Getting my shoes shined. This kid did a great job.
The countryside on the drive from Antigua.
Sunset at the mission house, before we leave heading for the hotel in Guatemala City.
One last picture with my Daniela
And sweet Ms. Louisa
Dinner at Pollo Campero
Unloading the luggage at the hotel. Edgar is the man!
Sunrise over Guatemala City
We'll miss you, Guatemala!