Life has been so busy, as always. But even so more that I’ve started school, and I am finally finding time to sit down and write about my 6 month mission trip to Guatemala the beginning of this year.
To start out with, I never thought I would be going back to Guatemala in the first place. I didn’t know something could take so much room in your heart without you even realizing it!
But Guatemala did. And I know it is there for life!
I left January 2. First time flying all by myself. Traveling by myself, and it was awesome! I stayed at the same orphanage I was with 4 years ago. And when we pulled into the driveway at 3 in the morning, the familiarity of it all, I knew I was where I belonged.
13 acres, and a place where children are loved and cared for. Where they have families, where they area able to get an education in the school, where other people believe in them. In their dreams. In their future. And where they are brought up in the love of Christ. Their maker.
It was truly an amazing time to get to serve those lives.
Within the first 10 minutes of talking to me, you will learn one thing. And that is how much I love Guatemala! Maybe I talk about it too much, but the culture, the people, the land. It feels like home, and deep inside I know this is where I belong!! I’ve not had culture shock going there, but it is always coming back to North America.
I love the simplicity of life, the relaxed style, but one thing I had a bit of trouble with at first was the time. Okay, we are leaving at 8:30. So, like an American, I’m there at 8:30 on the dot. By the time we actually leave, it’s 9! One time I got to an event half an hour late, that started half an hour late! ^_^ So now that I am back home, my sisters ask me how long I’ll be and I’ll reply “give me 5 minutes” and they ask, is that a Guatemalan 5 minutes?!
Guatemala, where you see some of the most interesting ways to transport your things. Once I saw a couple of big cattle in the back of a tiny pickup struggling up the hill!!
What all American’s call the chicken bus. But it is just the city transportation. To ride it, you have to be quick to get on and off, and as soon as your on, hang on to something now because they are going to step on the gas really hard, then slam the breaks for the next stop! Oh, and there usually is not room to sit. and barely to stand!
I got to go into the market with my friend, and I loved the experience! All the diversity, how people display their goods, their hard work. Going about life, trying to make a living. There is the open market, then the “inside” market. Two story building, kind of like our 2 story parking garages. open air. We went to one shop where he has a hog up on a meat hook. We order our cut, it has probably been hanging there all day. But it is a huge privilege to be able to buy the meat!
The lower part was the home I stayed in. The upper level was another home. My main reasoning to go to Guatemala was to serve in the home with the babies/toddlers. How can one end up taking so much room in your heart? We normally had around 11 kiddos. 4 on bottles. one 15 days old. Another 6 days old.
Such tiny and vibrant life i’m holding in my hands. Such a tiny and beautiful miracle…wow.
The daily walk up the stairs…110 to be exact! I counted up that I walked about 500 steps a day. And that was on the lower side!
With First Grade as their teacher for part of the day.
One of my other jobs, one that I was not intending to have was helping in the school in the mornings. On my first day as I was walking to school, I was reminding God how I was not fit or cut out to help the teachers. Hardly anyone spoke English there, and I knew only a little bit of Spanish.
But He knew (like always!) exactly what He was doing. It fit right into His plan and didn’t surprise Him a bit! Through working at the school I made so many friends. With the teachers. With the kids. I came to know them as individuals, not just a group of kids. I saw the personalities. And, that is where my Spanish vocabulary grew from 70-a lot of words!
And not only this, but He was awakening something inside of me. A dream, a passion to see more education availability for those who can’t access school. Or can not afford it. It was apart of His plan all along and I am so thankful!
And with Pre-K. I got the opportunity to sub for both of these classes. It is such a beautiful thing to watch them learn.
Playing with my ‘family’. Or rather, watching them play! I can’t tell anyone just how much I love these little humans. Their nature, tiny little personalities blossoming and growing. The way they go about their play and the imagination! wow!
Each night the girls I worked along side with as well as my house family took turns each night. Sunday night was my ‘night shift’. When you get about 3 hours of sleep in between 4 bottle feeding schedules, when you get to pray over the tiny yet strong life in your arms. Hearing them breath, watching them sleep!
I love these guys so much! All of our little mini dance parties, tickle fights, snuggles, tears, laughter, sleepless nights, 5 of them piling on top of me and thinking it was the greatest thing ever to jump on me. And even the most simplest of things like chasing the ball around the soccer field for an hour, brushing teeth or taking the time to persuade one that their food really was delicious!
It’s those moments that make the memories you remember later. The times of bonding and loving. Even when it’s hard. so.hard. God gives grace in those moments to keep your love on!
‘my’ girls! I would sit down and they’d all come and sit in my lap…and it became a thing that every time Anna sat down, they’d all come and plop down!! And when one got a piggy back ride “horse” as they called it, the rest wanted one too!
Jumping rope with my beautiful friends! We would try and beat the amount the other person could jump the rope.
During my time in Guatemala, I got to meet one of my mom’s friends who lives and does mission work there. I got the privilege to spend a few Saturday’s with them, and one of those times, we went to the zoo. Where, for Q.10 (a little over $1) I got to feed the Giraffe!
I don’t know…I made friends every where I went 😉
My last day there, at the school, all 4 grades that I had helped in got together with the School Principle and the teachers and had a little ‘despedida’ (farwell) for me. They completely made leaving 20 harder.
I miss my work there. Going to school and having little hands take yours, little random hugs, (sometimes big group hugs!!) They taught me such a small but huge lesson well. To give. Just give! Selflessly. With no gain in mind. for pure love for that person. And with joy in your heart….give!
I know there are so many other stories I could tell you, it’d be even longer of a blog post and you might get bored;) But I wanted to share a little bit of this time and adventure with God. So many times, over and over, He has reminded me of how good He is, and how FAITHFUL! It is so overwhelming to me looking back and seeing all the times He was right there. Holding me through the tears, rejoicing in the laughter and the triumphs in life.
His plans are beautiful.