Operation Central America

Come and see what is happening on the Operation Central America missions trip. Also learn about the teams and their prayer requests.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

A full day

We woke up to another beautiful day in Guatemala.  We spent the morning with our individual teams debriefing and challenging each other to take what they had learned and experienced on the team and apply it back home. 

Then we challenged the students and leaders to ask the Holy Spirit to bring someone to mind who is far from God right now.  They wrote the person a letter sharing about their trip to Guatemala, their care for the person and the Gospel.  It was a reflective and wonderful time outside in God's creation.

We drove four hours to Antigua and shopped the rest of the day.
The night ended with another time of worship, testimonies and a short teaching from Philippians 2. These students have grown so much!  We are excited to see you Saturday night!

Please have someone at the airport at 11pm!

The American flight gets in first:
American Flight #1621 to MSP@ 11:14

The Delta flight #2792 comes second:
MSP @ 11:43pm

Have a great day tomorrow!
See you soon,

P.S. Don't forget about our Celebration Service at 12:15, this Sunday June 28 in the Great Room.

Friday, June 26, 2015

The boat ride across the lake

We left Eagle’s Nest today and made our way for Lake Atitlan (Santiago on the map).

It’s always a fun surprise to drive to the lake and get off the bus.  The students ask, “Where is the hotel?” My response, “Get on that boat over there and it will take us!”  We got on a huge two level boat and drive across the lake.  It takes about an hour.  The photos are from our trip.  It’s beautiful.  Breath-taking. 

We arrived at the hotel and had lunch.  Unloaded the bags…we’ve gotten really good at that!  Got everyone to their rooms and gave them their spending money.  They went out for a couple hours to look around and shop is this quaint little town. 

After dinner we had another great time of worship!  Davis, one our amazing translators, shared his faith story.  It’s amazing.  Someone gave him a Christian tract and he threw it in the drawer of his night table.  One night he came home and all the lights were off in his room except the drawer of this night table was glowing.  The tract was glowing.  He actually ignored it the first time and then it happened again and he read it and gave his life to Christ.  Wow our God works in mysterious ways!

20 more students shared their take-away from the trip and William (our Salvadorian pastor/evangelist) preached tonight from Romans 1:16.  He talked about the POWER of God.  It was a good teaching.

All the students are in their rooms sleeping and we head to Antigua tomorrow for our last full day in Guatemala! 

Thanks for all of your support!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

God's heart is for the orphan

Today we sadly left San Marcos.  It has been an incredible stay.  The pastor of Mount Olives Church prayed us out and the prayer ended with him in tears.  It was a powerful 5 days. 

We headed to Solola and Eagle’s Next Orphanage.  This is a place that has 48 orphans, but they also have a school (190 students) and a feeding program (130 kids) and a church.  It’s a remarkable place.   How can I describe it?  It’s the most beautiful and well run orphanage I have ever seen or heard of.  Check out the website: eaglesnestint.org.

We opened the med clinic when we got here and they saw 87 orphans and workers connect to Eagle’s Nest!  Our med team has seen over 1300 patients on this trip!  This is incredible.
The mime, drama, and children’s teams all performed for the kids and did a great job.  We played with them all afternoon.  The service team did a little bit of painting and cleaning.  But then the service team and some of the sports team pulled out a couple of stumps and moved a bunch of wood.  It was hard work but we all felt blessed to help this community.

Tonight we worshiped the Lord with singing, did some sharing, and Mason Kiffmeyer from the sports and drama team preached a message about having a spirit of joy instead of getting dragged into complaining.  He did great! People in a large group sharing time confessed that they had complained on the trip and thanked Mason for his message. 

I challenged the kids tonight, that although we completed our last ministry day, the mission trip is not over.  To stay focused and continue to pursue Christ and ask the Lord what he wants to say and do in and through our lives in the next three days.

Good night from Eagle’s Nest!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

An extraordinary day.

Today was not an ordinary day.  It was extraordinary.

It started with the whole region losing electricity from 6am-4pm.  Three of our five teams use a sound system for every presentation.  What were we going to do? So we prayed and then left in faith for a full day.  Pastor Nery said that they were looking for generators.

The service team had already left before the rest of us, but then we saw them on the side of the road.  Jane told us that the breaks were having problems so the driver started pulling over.  As he was slowing down and crossing the white line, the front right tire blew out.  Nothing happened because they were already slowing down and pulling over.  Everyone was safe.  We believe, though, that because of all of your prayers, God protected our service team.  God is a protector.

Because the service team was on the side of the road, they jumped into our bus and came with us to our ministry location.  The med team, sports and children’s team were all in the same area during the morning.  No generator, however, was ever brought to that location.  Jane, our service team leader, had a small little portable sound cube that she had brought to play music for the service team while they were painting and working.  The sports and drama team and children’s team borrowed this mini sound system that would not have been there if the brakes and tire had been working.  God is a not only a protector, he is a provider!

The sports and drama team did receive a generator in the afternoon.  They had problems with it though.  It wasn’t amplifying the sound correctly.  When it was time for the drama, however, Jason pushed the button on his iPod and the song played perfect.  For the entire 6 minute song our drama team gave one of their best performances.  When the song was over, the generator stopped working.  God’s timing is perfect.

The mime team was supposed to perform at a school this afternoon but the performance was canceled.  So it was looking like the mime squad would not have the opportunity to serve in the afternoon.  The idea came up at lunch to perform in the central park.  This is a common place where Chris and the mime teams have performed in different cities over the years but this year they couldn’t get the permits to make it happen.  We sent someone anyone to try and find the mayor and get a permit.  Within three hours we had found the mayor and he signed the permit with the permission to use the city square from 3-5pm.  This was a miracle.  Without over exaggerating, the mime team performed in front of over 1200 people this afternoon.  There were people everywhere.  It was a Holy Spirit movement!  Many made decisions to follow or rededicate their lives to Jesus.  God is powerful.

What can I say?
God is a protector.
God is a provider.
God’s timing is perfect.
God is powerful.
It was an extraordinary day because we serve an extraordinary God.

Tomorrow we travel to Solola for our final day of service!

Thanks for all of your prayers and support!
Good night!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Mime in the morning. Sports in the afternoon.

Check out the post below!  More students sending their love to their fathers and families!

Today our mime team performed at the Albert Einstein Science Academy. There were about 40 students.  I wonder what these evolutionary minded students thought of our presentation!   Aly shared her faith story in the morning and in front of 400+ in the afternoon!  150 first time decisions were made at the end of the preaching! Praise!!!

The children’s team performed at a Compassion International school.  Sponsors, from all over the world, pay monthly for one child to receive meals, education, and biblical teaching.  It was a great experience today.

I went with the sports and drama team in the afternoon.  I hear and see from these American students that the soccer part is really fun, but they are really seeing that sports can be used as a tool to share the hope of the Gospel.  They get it.  They take it really seriously.  Even in the way they pass out the follow-up forms, interact with the students, and present the drama. 

Our service team painted in the morning and laid concrete in the afternoon.  It was back breaking.  But once again this team finished both projects.

Our medical team continues to see hundreds of patients each day.  Pray for this team.  They had a hard day.  Patients come in with stories and sicknesses that will break your heart.  Today was this kind of day.

There were no formal activities tonight.  Our home stay families picked everyone up at 8pm.  It should be a restful night.  We have one more full day of ministry in San Marcos.  Things are really going well!

Good night!


Happy Father's Day extended!

Hello family! I’m having the most amazing time in Guatemala- I have so much to tell you guys when I get back! The homestays have been great so far and I’ve been using my Spanish a lot. The food has been great and I’ve met lots of adorable kids while on children’s team. I can’t believe that we only have six days left! Dad- happy father’s day; I love you so much, and we’ll celebrate when I get back. Mom- I love you so much and I miss you! I’m wearing lots of sunscreen J Erika- I miss you SO much and I can’t wait to hear all about Colorado. We have so much to talk about and I can’t wait to see you again. William and Andrew- I miss you two so much and I have lots of cool stuff to tell you about when I get back. To the whole fam- I love you all so much! Tell Lucy that I say hi. See you Saturday! –Alexa Bussmann

Hey Everyone!  Happy late Father’s day dad and I hope you had a relaxing day.  Guatemala has been such an amazing trip and I can’t wait to share all of the stories with you all when I get home.  To share a few, I have shared my testimony multiple times in smaller groups of about 40-60 people twice in English and then once in Spanish.(Had no preparation for the Spanish one and God totally brought me through it!)  And I also was able to share it in front of a large group of around 300 people at a soccer camp.  Last night, 6/21, we had a great worship service and I spent a long time just watching the stars and looking at the mountains surrounding the church.  I miss you all and can’t wait to share more memories when I get home next week!  -Dad, I decided to try growing a mustache… it’s not as full yet but I’m getting there.  Love you! -Jonathan Shirley

Hi hi hi family! Happy late father’s day, Dad J Being here has made me realize more fully how much of a blessing it is to have a dad like you that works so hard for our family and cares to such an extent. Love you lots. Today is our second service day in San Marcos… The mime team has two presentations. This country is so full of love and the people are so caring. We’re having such a good time serving them. Over 200 people have come to Christ from the mime presentations-WOW! And our team is bonding like crazy. I’ve managed to stay healthy and to enjoy every second that I’ve been here. Thank you for your prayers and support!! I love you and miss you—can’t wait to see you! –Holly Beachey

Hi family!!!! Guatemala has been so much fun and I am having such an amazing time! So far my homestays have been fun, each is an experience within itself. Even though I speak zero Spanish it is still fun and easy to play with the kids. Today is our second day in San Marcos and each day we go to 2 different churches or schools to play with the kids. Children’s is an awesome team and I love all the people on it. Every time I see one of the kids smile because we play with them makes my entire day. Dad-Happy Father’s Day, I wish I could have been there to celebrate with you. Mom- Yes I am alive and healthy ;) I miss you a lot! Sarah, Allie, Tommy - I miss you all and can’t wait to share all my stories with you. Can’t wait to see you!!- Amy Denn

Hi family!!! Guatemala has been super fun so far and I have yet to get sick!!!  (Thanks for the prayers Mom)  My favorite part so far has been performing our 30 minute program.  After reading our response cards from the first school we went to in Guatemala City it was so cool to hear that the performance really pointed people towards Christ.  At first I was nervous that people would be so distracted by our makeup and matching clothes that the message would be hindered.  Thank goodness I was wrong!!  I miss you very much especially on this third Father’s Day in a row that I’ve missed.  Happy Father’s Day Dad!!!!  Can’t wait to see you guys Saturday!! –Marissa Ripple

Hello. Happy birthday, Lydia. I hope that everyone in Minnesota has been staying cool and hydrated; we certainly have. After a little more than a week in Guatemala, I am feeling good, and so are most of the other people on the trip. All of the hand sanitizers, probiotics, and acid reducers seem to be working. I am having an enjoyable time working with the service team, and we have been able to complete a fair few projects during our two days in Guatemala City, two days in Malacatan, and the first of our three days in San Marcos. The food here is certainly different than that in Minnesota, but each one of our hosts has done their best to make us feel at home by providing what they would consider to be American meals. So, we have had our fill of hot dogs, fried chicken, hamburgers, and French fries. Overall, Guatemala has been good, and this trip, so far, has been a very positive experience for me. I will, however, be excited to return home at the end of the week. See you soon. (And also, Mom, I hope that you managed to receive my package!)
-Caleb Hay

Happy belated Father’s Day Daddy! I hope you guys are having a good time in Florida and not missing me too much (if you even notice that I’m not there J ) I’ve been doing lots and lots of painting and I’ve gotten some in my hair every time. In Guatemala City, we painted the entire parking lot/courtyard of the church, plus the kitchen/dining room. The boys broke up and poured concrete so there would be a space for a car wash. In Malacatan, we built a tunnelish platform thing on the roof of the church. It was really hot but we were in the shade and there was a really nice breeze since we were up high. So far this is my favorite city though (San Marcos). Everything is so pretty and colorful. Yesterday we painted an entire church inside and out while the boys built a really nice enclosed kitchen room for a family. Today we’ve painted the inside of the service building/room where they will prepare the bodies at a cemetery. It was kinda funny in a strange way. Well I should go finish eating lunch. By the way, when I come home, can we please have something other than chicken? At the beginning of the trip we ate it for lunch and dinner almost every single day.
-          Lily Bjorlin

Hi family!! Happy belated Father’s Day Dad! Hope you had a good day and enjoyed my card. I’ve really enjoyed my time so far in Guatemala. The food here is different, and I’ve tried a lot of new foods, you should be proud of me for that. I’m enjoying learning about and experiencing Guatemalan culture. So far I’ve managed to stay healthy and hydrated. Don’t worry Mom, most of our projects have been in the shade, so I’ve managed to not get sunburnt. I can’t wait to see you all and tell you about everything. Give Daisy some hugs from me. See you Saturday!!! (Hope you can stay awake that long Mom.)- Greta Deutsch

Hola familia! I know I already got to say Happy Father’s Day and update you all but I wanted to give you a quick shout out on the blog! So I hope everything is going well- that New York is awesome, Sophie is having fun at work (remember to bring home ice cream so we can bring it to Island View and I can eat it, because I miss ice cream please:-) ), and Blitzy is having a good time playing outside. Again, Happy Father’s Day dad!! I am sorry I can’t be there but (like I said before) we will celebrate at Island View! I miss and love you all! I will see you guys in 5 days!! Have a good rest of your week! I’m adding something after I went to the second school today. There was this cute girl who was kinda similar to when I was a kid and her name was Graciela! One of her best friends was a year younger (5 years old) and her name was Sophia! So it was Grace and Sophie like Sophie and me! I spent the whole time with them and it was super cool. I wanted to let you know that before the blog got posted. I will tell you more when I get back, adios! –Grace Willman

Hello Whelan family!  I am having such an awesome time playing soccer and presenting our drama here.  I have so far remained very healthy.  I have tried so many new things and it has all been amazing.  I cannot wait to get home to share all of the stories that I have experienced here in Guatemala.  Hasta Luego!  –Nick Whelan

What’s up Mark and Patti! This trip has been a good experience. Mime squad has been chill! I am a healthy person as I type right now. Can’t wait to come home to the fam. –Aaron Johnson

Hello Dave, Beth, Nick, and Alex! Happy late father’s day Dad. I hope it was great! Guatemala has been really good so far. It has been cool to see how genuinely nice every Guatemalan that I have met is! If I return home I will be so happy if a Toyota Coaster Turismo is parked in the driveway. Hope to see you all soon! –Jake Orlowsky

Happy Belated Father’s Day Dad. I got you a card but I don’t remember where I put it. Hopefully Mom found it and gave it to you. If not, I’ll hopefully find it when I get home.  I am meeting amazing people here in Guatemala. Cole says “hi Steve”. Also, hi Ellie. –Luke Eidsvold

Happy Father’s Day Dad! Hope you had a great day. I’m having a great time here in Guatemala miming it up and sharing the gospel. Can’t wait to see you all soon! I’m so excited for South Carolina! Best wishes –Cole Harris

Happy Father’s day!  I hope you guys have had a good week.  I hope Olivia had a great time in Colorado.  It’s been an amazing experience sharing the gospel across Guatemala.  I’ll see you in a week! –Isaac LaLuzerne

Hi family! You all would be so proud of me because of all the new things I’ve tried. I ate papaya, (almost) killed a cockroach and miming in general is a little outside of my comfort zone. Our team has gotten so close over the last 9 days and each day it does not get old seeing how God is changing lives through the ministry of mime. Today in San Marcos I gave my faith story to over 500 people! I miss you and can’t wait to share all the stories J -Aly Halbakken  

Sup Smiths! Happy father’s day dad, I hope you guys had lots of fun and did something fun to celebrate. Everything is going good in Guatemala and I’m having lots of fun playing soccer every day and doing the drama. The country is very different and interesting and I can’t wait to see you guys when I get home and here about how Katie’s trip went in Chicago. Love you all and don’t forget to get me at the airport (no signs) –Drew Smith

Mom, Dad, Lilli, Erik and Ellen! I miss you guys all so much and can’t wait to see you all again!! Guatemala has been amazing. I have been extremely lucky and have had wonderful families take me into their homes. The food has been somewhat decent and the weather has been hot, cold and rainy. I’ve been working pretty hard over here painting churches, houses, mixing concrete, and building a playground for a church. I can’t wait to get home and tell you all about it! Love you all and see you Saturday! P.S. Happy (late) Father’s Day Dad J -Lauren

Hey Mom, Dad, and Petie!!! I miss you guys and hope you’re having a good time at home. It’s been so great here and I’ve had a great time. Happy late Father’s day Dad! Sorry I couldn’t be there, but I’ve met so many great Guatemalans here and they have welcomed us into their churches. Children’s team has been great and I’ve had so much fun with all of the little kids. They are so cute and many of them are accepting Jesus into their hearts for the first time. Malacatan was extremely hot and now San Marcos is cool and very beautiful. I will see you on Saturday I love you guys! And tell Oreo and Gus hi for me haha J –Rachel Knutson

Hey there Mom and Dad, Syd and Savannah!  I hope all is well back in Minnesota.  I just wanted to say hi and tell you a little bit about the trip.  It’s an amazing experience to see God transforming the lives of so many kids here in Guatemala through the work that we do.  The soccer is fun, although most times the Guatemalan’s skill with the ball carries them to the win, but ultimately the drama and presentation of the Gospel never get old. I can’t wait to see you all soon!  To Savannah: Thanks again for the bracelet.  I have been wearing it most of the time and it always reminds me of you when I see it.  To Syd: Thanks for the “donut” and the lovely note.  –Mason Kiffmeyer

Hi fam! I just wanted to say hey and give you an update on what is happening here in Guatemala. Everything here is going well. I’m on the children’s team, so every day we go to two different schools and do a program for the kids. It involves games, songs, puppets, testimonies, and a teaching. The trip has been a lot of fun so far! My home stays have been good also. I hope everything is doing well in Minnesota. Mom, you will probably be the only one looking at this so say hi to Loj and Luke for me. If you do read this Dad, happy late Father’s DayJ I miss you all!! Love your favorite daughter Lexi

Hey Mom and Dad!! Just wanted to give you an update on what’s happening here in Guatemala! First of all I want to say that this trip has been an amazing experience! In the past week, we have served the people of Guatemala City, Malcatan, and now San Marcos. I have to say the weather extremities are very broad here. It ranges from the 90’s to down in the 50’s here in San Marcos. I have had no stomach issues nor any eating issues (Obliviously ;) ) More importantly, this trip has definitely opened my eyes to see both the beauty of God’s work as well as God’s work within me. In addition, this trip has made me realize many of my weakness and faults. I miss you all very much. I’m so sorry that it’s late but Happy Birthday Mom and Happy Father’s day Dad!!!! J Looking forward to seeing you again! And John vlogging is a lot harder than expected sorry!! Love Always, y te amo mucho mucho!!! – Matthew Lim (Kar-woon <3 o:p="">

The service team rules!

Don't forget to look below this post for some notes from the students!

Today was an amazing day with the service team!  This is a group of some of the hardest working students I know!  Seriously.  They put their head down and work, hard!

We went to a neighborhood on the outskirts of San Marcos.  We had two projects.  Paint a church on the inside and the outside and build an outdoor kitchen for a nearby family.

I painted with Lauren, Lily, Greta, Caleb and Jane.  We were in a church that averages about 40 people a week.  The pastor was so happy!  We finished the inside by 1pm and knocked off the outside by 5:30pm.  We were flying.  The pastor told me what you did here today has a spiritual principle.  First you painted the inside, then the outside.  That is the same with our faith or lack of faith.  What we do and how we invest in the inside of who we are, will reflect on the outside.  That profound word has us thinking a lot about the men and women that God is calling us to be and become.  We debriefed this thought on the way back to the church.  What about you?  How are you investing in your “inside” right now? [pastor’s moment, ha!  But I’m serious. J What are you doing?]

The other group Ian, Jordan, James, Jordan, Bennett and Davis, built an outdoor kitchen from scratch.  It was pretty remarkable to see that thing get put up.  That photo with James holding the machete looks like a bad CD cover from 1997! I love it.  I’m not sure what the band name is yet.
The wife/mother of this house said that she might move her bedroom outside into the kitchen and put the kitchen on the inside of their house because it is so beautiful!  This family is very poor and was greatly impacted and thankful for our time with them.  This will change the way they live every single day as they prepare and meet for meals.

We went back to the church for a youth church service.  We danced and jumped and worshipped Jesus with our new friends from San Marcos!  The mime and drama team performed and did a wonderful job!
Lauren Miller made it ok yesterday too!  She comes off of an amazing week in Chicago with our 11th graders!  Check out their blog! http://srhiurbantrip.blogspot.com/

Chris Erickson (Mime Leader) and I are the only father’s leading on the trip from Minnesota and we want to say, on this Father’s Day, what a blessing it is to be Lia & Will and Christina, Jessi and Michaela’s Dad’s! We love you!

Thanks for all your prayers!  Hasta manana!

Happy Father's Day! It's 11:24 here! Ha!

Happy Father's Day to all the dads!
We started passing around my laptop and the students wanted to say hi!
Sorry we couldn't get to all of them!  There's a lot! Ha!
They will continue tomorrow and extend Father's Day!

              Hola Papa G. Hope you had a great Father’s Day and that you had a badminton tournament and beat Addie for me. Happy early birthday, idk how old you are but with all that swimming you’re looking 20! I’ve got some cool soccer stories for you. Love you and see you soon J P.S. tell the fam sup for me Love, your favorite child

              Hi Dad!! Happy Father’s Day, I’m so sad I wasn’t there to celebrate it with you, but I will be home soon and will catch up with you on an ice cream date! Miss you all & I hope Wisconsin was fun, so excited to come home and tell you about this amazing experience. Love you! –Ashley P.S bring me chipotle hehe.

              Hello father Warrick!! I hope you had a wonderful father’s day and I wish more than anything I could have been thereL But I’m having such a fantastic experience here and you would be happy to know I’ve been having great posture. Tell the fam I say hola and I miss you guys soo much. Ellen: loved the tweet and mom: I’ve been good about sunscreenJ see you guys soon. Love you!! –Abby

              Dear Pat Dryer, I hope you had the best Father’s Day. I am so sorry I can’t be there to spend it at the lake with you :( But, I can’t wait to celebrate at Convention Grill when I get back. You’re the best!! Mom: I miss you so much and can’t wait to be back with my best friend making me popcorn!! Tell the brothers I say hello & that I love them. I am having a fantastic time, can’t wait to see you guys!! Love you!!(: -Sophie

Hola Friends and Family! I miss you all so much, but I’m having a great time in Guatemala! I just got back from a clinic in San Marcos. It is a beautiful city in the middle of the mountains. The views here are spectacular! Today I was able to assist Dr. Byron on a surgery; it was probably the coolest thing I have ever done. I can tell you more when I get home! Dad, I hope you had a wonderful Father’s Day!! Mom, I hope you are doing well! Lauren, I hope you are enjoying your summer and eating a lot of ice cream with Jack J. Friends, I miss you guys and can’t wait to see you in a week! I Love you all, Bridget.

              NINA!!! I miss you and hope you’re enjoying the first days of your summer! I wish you could be here to experience this amazing place. The scrub squad is so fun and I love everyone on my team. Today I got to witness Dr. Byron perform surgery and I was the one holding the woman’s hand and rubbing her back while she was getting her cyst removed from her arm. I’m learning so much from all these amazing nurses and even my Spanish is improving. I hope Maggie is doing well and staying cute! P.S. bring me chipotle at the airport ;) LoVe YoU! –Anna Gravelle

Hey family, I miss you so much. Give Charlie kisses for me. Hope Ava had a fun time in Colorado. I miss American food A LOT! When I come home I want crab and a feast. Dear mom, please bring me chipotle to the airport, this is not a joke. I want a burrito with steak, cheese, tomato, lettuce, sour cream, guacamole. I want chipotle not qdoba. Happy fathers day dad! I love you. Love Tess

Hello mom and dad, Guatemala is going great so far. It has been an amazing experience and I have picked up some new Spanish phrases! Happy Father’s Day dad! I’m sorry that I wasn’t there to share it with you, but we will celebrate when I get home! Love you guys! Please be ready to cook me some good American food when I return. –Elizabeth

Hey mom and dad, i am having a great time in Guatemala so far.  I love the medical team and traveling all over Guat to set up clinics.  I miss having American food and I could really go for some Chipotle when I get home.  Alicia and I are getting along well so no need to worry.  Happy Father’s Day Greg, hope you had a fantastic day.  –Alexis

Hi Family, miss you all tremendously. I really enjoy the Mime team and performing for multiple groups of people and sharing the Gospel. Happy Father’s day Dad! Wish I could be there to help celebrate!  P.S. give Herbie a hug for me. Love you all. –Sarah

Hi Family, I love and miss you all so much!  Happy Father’s Day Dad! I wish I could be there to give you a hug and say how much you mean to me.  I am having fun on children’s team and I can’t wait to come home and tell you everything.  Xoxo –Katie

Dear Family, first of all I miss you and I miss home. I’m having a great time here stretching myself and I’ll have to tell you all about it when I come back. Speaking of, make sure there is ice, diet coke, lettuce, fresh fruit, and fresh vegetables. Beth- I can’t wait to return to your cooking. (You never know what you’ve got until it’s gone) Grandparents- I love and miss you all. Todd- HAPPY FATHERS DAY! I love you and I am so grateful to have you as a dad and a friend as well. LOVE LOVE LOVE, Annika (P.S. don’t feel like you have to but it would be so nice to Maddie and me if our bathroom was clean cause I know it’s nasty right now) ALSO GIVE MOLLY A TREAT FOR ME! And dad can you text christen and tell her that I love her and miss her? Thanks! <3 o:p="">

Dear Families of Kitchen Bros (NICK, AARON, JORDAN W, DREW, JAMES, JAKE)  We are all having a FANTASTIC time on our Service, Sprama, and Mime Squads.  We are all healthy and happy.  Happy Father’s Day to all of our awesome dads out there.  We are excited to see all of you very very soon.  Love you all!

Hi family!! I miss you all so much, but as much as I miss you and I want to see you, I don’t want to leave. I am having the time of my life here in Guatemala!! I have been having a great time! Right now we are in San Marcos and it probably has been my favorite place that we have been. Not that I didn’t like the other places but the people and the landscape here are unbelievable. I love my team (sports and drama, a.k.a sprama or off road bus team.) I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me for the rest of the trip!! Also, happy father’s day dad!!!! I love you soooo much, and I am honestly the luckiest girl to have such an incredible father like you. I miss you all, and I love you. <3 amanda="" b.="" o:p="">

Hola Eitreim Familia + Gus + pollos!! I miss you all so much! I am having the time of my life. Ken, you know how I struggle hard core at sports in America? Picture how much I am struggling at soccer in guat. It’s  comical. Each day the sprama team (sports and drama) leave and go to a school and get our butts kicked in soccer then do the drama and testimonies. It is amazing to see how welcoming and loving the people in Guatemala are to us.  I am so excited to come home and chill with the chickens and eat mac and cheese. I love you all so much!!!! Derek Lien Eitreim…HAPPY FATHERS DAY!! I am so sad I can’t be there to tell you how much I love you. So what I appreciate most about you is your willingness to make crazy things like the chicken coop and I love the emails you send me! I am so pumped to give y’all a big bear hug! Please por favor bring me chipotle at the airport and gus!!! – Kirstin. A.k.a your fav kid.

Hi mom, Jon and buddy!!! Its Elisa J I miss you all so much! But I am having the time of my life here in Guat. Right now we are having a huge worship service in San Marcos with all the Guatemalans from the church here and its absolutely incredible. Today was probably the best day yet on this trip (everyday seems better than the one before). Each day the scrub squad sets up a clinic and serves people all day. So far we have helped over 600 people and have many more to come. I’m doing well health wise! I miss you so much and I can’t wait to go home, but until then I’m pumped for what God has in store for the next week. Also, happy father’s day Jon!!! See you guys soon. Love You! –Elisa

HEY BUCHSTABER FAMILY I LOVE YOU ALL !!!!!!!  special shout out to one of the best dads in the world. Thank you Mark Edward Buchstaber for ALL you do for me and our family I cannot imagine life without you. I love you so much. Second off this place is  AMAZING. I have fallen in love with not only the people but the beautiful creation God has created that is here. I just experienced one of the most life changing experiences of my entire life. We just had a jam sesh in TWO different langueages but praising the SAME God. It is so so so so cool. I love this place so much but also miss all of you sooooo much. CHILDREN TEAM ROCKS. I love kids so much and their smiling faces bring me so much joy. I am so grateful to be here. Thank you for giving me this opportunity. Amy I love you. ANnaka I hope you had an AMAZING time in Colorado and cant wait to hear all about it. BOYS I MISS YOU SO SO MUCH YOU BETTER PREPARE YOURSELF FOR KISSES. Mom I love you so much and thank you for being amazing and awesome you are the best. CANT WAIT TO SEE MAX give her hugs and kisses from me and lucy too.. OKAY GOT TO GO I LOVE YOU SO SO SO MUCH CRAZY EIGHTS – ALICE CAROLINE BUCHSTABER (your third and BEST child ;))

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Get out your sweatshirt, we are in San Marcos!

Today we left Malacatan.  It was hard to say good-bye to our old and new friends, but we were excited for the cooler weather in San Marcos.

We stopped at a water park on the way.  It’s always a fun surprise for the students.  

We arrived at Mount Olives Church in San Marcos at about 5pm and were greeted by the church with cheers and firecrackers.  We unloaded the bus, which we have become pretty proficient at doing.  They also brought in a marimba band to welcome us! 

Pastor Nery and his wife gave us all a welcome gift!  We each received an authentic handmade hat that Looky his wife made!

Host families made signs with our names on it and off everyone went to their third home stay.  We will be up here in the mountains of San Marcos for 3 ministry days and 4 nights.

Tomorrow we have a full day of ministry.
Thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers.  We can feel it!