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.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

June 14-15th - In Their Own Words

June 14-15, 2006

The mime team has been pretty busy. Yesterday we carried all of this sand and rock up a small but steep hill. We carried bucketful after bucket full. This sand went in the “floor” of the house. The house had yet to get the roof on it, and in Campur it rains almost every night. So we were just shoveling dirt to get rid of the mud. Then we went and performed at a school and over half of the people that were there raised their hand and said they accepted Christ. Today the guys from the mime team, Pete, and Amy went back to the house. While we were there we brought up the mix for the floor and the roof also went up. It is currently lunch time and the mime and basketball team is getting ready to head out for an hour and a half bus ride to another school and play and perform so we won’t be back for supper. Oh and by the way, [sarcasm] tomorrow we have a nice short ride to our next city [/sarcasm]. Only 12 hours without trouble at the border or bus problems.

[Update from later on Wednesday] Our mime was nearly perfect. When we were there at first only a few raised their hands when William asked them to raise their hands if they accepted Christ, but then when others saw people being brave they slowly raised their hands, and more, and more. It got to the point about half of the people at the game came to Christ. The basketball team ended up beating the locals, no surprise. But after that the leaders and I (so it would be five on five I played) beat the basketball team to ten. Then we played some soccer. But before we arrived we went to these caves. The caves have been noted to be some of the best of the world. They were amazing. The only teams to see this were the basketball and the mime team. But wow, it was breath-taking. I had emptied my camera of pictures at lunch that day, by three or four hours later I had over 330 pictures taken, mainly of these caves. It was an amazing display of God’s creation. [/update]

Hey dad, happy soon to be Father’s day
Greg Krech

First time blogging…great trip thus far. Team working together well. This is a great group of students to be working with. The mime team is doing well both on the stage and off of the stage. We’ve hauled sand for a floor in a home, worked on support beams for a roof of a house, entertained kids, hauled cement and pored part of a floor for a home, presented Forgiven by His Love twice to a total audience of about 500.

Keep praying.

Chris Erickson

Hello everyone, I cannot believe I am actually in Guatemala. In Campur the scenery is amazing and the people are so happy. The basketball team played their first game yesterday. I shared my testimony at halftime and the mime performed excellently. Many people accepted Christ. God is doing amazing things.

Praise the Lord!! Ryan Flynn

I slept so hard last night (finally figured out that earplugs are my friends…). We went to two more schools today and will do one more presentation tonight in the local church. All of the schools are so different and so amazing. Today’s groups were so responsive and laughter filled the rooms and echoed around in the amazing valleys of lush, green, tropical plants. Driving was very bumpy as we were traveling out to very remote places. The bus driver is so amazing; he can do just as much maneuvering in reverse as he can driving forward. We rode on a gravel road next to a huge drop off and amazingly I was only a little afraid, considering my huge fear of falling. I get the feeling that no matter what happens while we’re out here, something good will come of it. Praise be to God!
Also, one of the members of the Children’s team, Derek has been feeling really sick all day and we have a twelve hour bus ride tomorrow. So please be praying for him that God would work a miracle so he can get back to ministering with us once more.
~Hannah Hunt

Hola!! Today was amazing! The scenery on the way to our first school was so gorgeous, it was like a picture out of National Geographic! The pictures I took don’t do the landscape justice. The children are amazing and they love to see us smile and laugh with them. This one girl had the most gorgeous smile I have ever seen!!! At one point, Josh Patil and I were doing our puppet show and we decided to change it up a little so we fought and bit each other. The kids absolutely loved it!! It’s so amazing to see the smiles on their faces when they barely have anything! They are so grateful to have us take their picture or dance with them or give them a simple bracelet. They really made me realize how much I take for granted! I am so blessed for everything I have been given! God has been doing some really amazing things. The first school and first show we did I sat behind this girl that was whispering something in my ear. I figured out she was reading the verse we had displayed. She read it out loud twice so she would make sure to remember it. I loved hearing her say that because I realized that the children were learning about God like we had planned!! The most amazing thing is seeing the way God moves through these children and they all bring out my inner child every single day! I thank God for this opportunity and I know there is much more to come!
-Laura Molik

Hey its Suki (or Sarah Bancroft)
The last few days have been really great. Meeting up with the kids at the airport on Sunday was good. I was so happy to greet them with hugs as they came out the airport. Sunday was a short night and we were all excited to get on the road to ministry on Monday. Monday the ride to Campur was good. I was on the bus with the tire that went flat and everything went fast with changing the tire for it. When we pulled in to Campur the kids were around to greet us. It was so wonderful to see Pastor Isabella again and get a great big hug. Tuesday was great with the mime, service and basketball team working on houses in the am. In the pm I worked on a house and made cement. The students I worked with Chris F, Vinesha, Ryan K, Laura S, and Matt V were work horses. Making buckets after buckets of cement. They got dirty and had fun and loved it. Last night we had some worship by candlelight and kids shared what they have been enjoying about the trip. Today I took the mime girls and 6 of 9 bball boys to find kids to play with. It was awesome to see all the neighborhood kids enjoy playing with our kids and get past the language barrier. To date it sounds like all kids are very healthy- a few that are constipated but other than that pretty healthy. We take off tomorrow at 6am for Honduras and can’t wait to tell you how that goes soon.

Hola, its Ryan Kitchen
Russ, Terry, Laura, Patrick, Niri (has anyone mentioned he was an Olympic body builder?), Jaime and I just got back from installing a couple of lights in a new church that was just built back in December. We all piled into the back of Jaime’s truck, and he took us up past the school to the top of a Mountain. From there we followed the leader of the church and another man about half an hour into the jungle. The leader of the church has only been a Christian for a year, and was very thankful that we could install a few lights in their new church. The hope is that the electricity will bring more people to church since the area doesn’t have any other lights. While Terry and Russ wired the lights, Laura, Patrick and I climbed up a smaller mountain. The view was spectacular. Think of all the pictures, movies, documentaries that you’ve seen, and it’s five times cooler than that. Since we didn’t have time to hike back in time for lunch, the village supplied for us. They realized that we would probably get sick from their food, so they bought us all Coca Cola and crackers. We prayed with them, gathered for a picture, and left to hike back. It was a great morning, and totally unforgettable.

P.S. this is what the alphabet would look like if Q and R were eliminated

P.P.S. if you ever have a bug problem, John Hann will take care of it.

Hola hola coca cola!!!! Well it’s our last day in Campur, and even though I’m sad to leave, it will be nice to not have to worry about bugs 24/7. Oh this is Vinesha by the way…sorry about that. Campur has been amazing, it always leaves me in awe at how content they are here and now they make so much out of nothing. I’m sure some of the service people have mentioned already what we have done, but I shall recap again. Well, actually I wont because we have to leave now to finish another house, so I’ll have to finish later, bye everyone (and Ty, thanks for leaving a msg!) ok I’ll talk to you all later adios mis amigos!

Hey everyone, it’s Matt Volenec
Just wanted to say hello to my family and everyone else supporting me on this trip. Thanks for all your support and prayers.
Yesterday was our first work day in Campur. It finally hit me, I’m in Guatemala – we’re doing this. Anyway, I took some time to reflect on what got me here. A few years ago, if you had told me I was going to spend two weeks in Central America (and away from my iPod, cell phone, laptop) I would have thought you were nuts. I think I first realized how much I could do without at AWOL in eighth grade. The following summers I spent in Colorado and Washington DC just reinforced my observations – that God provides for us in every situation no matter where we are on the globe, or how many things we have with us. In fact, sometimes the less we have to get in the way, the more we can focus on his provision.
Today the service team finished both houses we were working on. We poured cement floors and put up the roofs on both buildings. I’m not sure if either house is any bigger than my bedroom. I think the question in everyone’s heads is, “are we really making a difference?” After having the chance to work on both houses and speak to the families a bit in Spanish I can answer that question with a resounding “yes”. The families are so grateful for everything we’ve done. The people I worked with today were smiling and laughing all day long. I’m glad we could help them out. I know they have been a blessing to me.
Hasta luego,

To everyone back home and cheering us on!! So I guess it’s Wednesday—loco! (crazy) the time has gone by so fast! God has been so faithful and so present on this trip… it’s hard to explain what He’s doing. I’ve been working in the Medical Clinic in Campur, Guatemala these past two days. Yesterday I was working in the pharmacy filling prescriptions- astounding how our over-the-counter drugs are treated as disease- killers here!
Today I worked in the prayer and education room and the intake station (where we diagnose the problems for the doctors to treat) The prayer/education room was such an eye opening experience for me… picture this: 4 to 5 people in one room sitting on benches- 2 or 3 speaking English, one either speaking Spanish or quiche, and the other speaking either Spanish or quiche, all speaking at one time to the same God. BREATHTAKING! However, no matter the language barriers, the one word we all knew was Amen. It was so amazing to realize how many people can pray to the same God coming from so many different circumstances, cultures, and languages. It really puts you in your place.
One of my biggest challenges and fears today was the intake station, because I really struggle with Spanish (since I never had the chance to take it in school) not to mention quiche. I also hadn’t practiced taking blood pressure or pulse in a long time, so I was really nervous. But Michelle (translator) and Andrew Loo helped me through and I just kept practicing my duties. It amazed me to see how God took my nervousness and put it into confidence.
And I know you’re all wondering (Mom this is for you!) I drank 4 nalgenes today and 4 yesterday—talk about water intake!! Wahoo! I’m doing great and am trying my best to soak up every second of this. Please continue to pray for us and especially pray that our medical team won’t get sick and that we don’t run out of medicine.

Love and Thanks to all!
Adios Amigos
Kelsey Bohleen

Oh ps. I met a girl named Ana ee (that’s how you say it I’m not sure how you spell it) and pretty sure I’m taking her home with me!

Hola Nuestros Amigos y Familias!!

This is Mackenzie, Claire, and Alli. Today was our second full ministry day. We’re all serving together on the Childrens’ Team, traveling around the region to perform skits, songs, and puppet shows at schools. Yesterday we performed four shows and today we did three. Conveniently, one of today’s shows was at the church that is hosting us in Campur. Our performances were a little rusty yesterday, but today went much more smoothly. It’s so fun to see the smiles on the kids’ faces, particularly in the schools that speak the Mayan language where the language barrier is such a hassle. Whenever we drive up to a school, the kids wave and run to welcome us. (One boy gave us a bizarre farewell by throwing a dead bird at the bus…) We have paired up with a clown team…they’re HILARIOUS!! They’ve taught us really fun songs that we’ll make sure to sing for you when we get back. The kids are constantly asking for “regalos,” “dulces,” y “borbujas” (presents, candy, and bubbles). Digital cameras, personal fans, and hand sanitizer are dangerous to bring near the children because they will mob you in an attempt to use them. We’ve been able to spend time at two schools making balloon animals and passing out bracelets with beads that represent various aspects of the salvation story. Our translators, Bethany, Isabel, and Juli, have been wonderful in helping us communicate the gospel with the kids. The weather has been decent and actually gets pretty cool once in a while, especially since many of the schools that we go to are up in the mountains. Cockroaches and um…INTERESTING bathroom conditions are bothersome, but the joy that we see on the kids’ faces everyday totally makes up for it. Thank you for your continued prayers; we know they’re making a difference!! Please continue to pray for our five ministry teams, safe travels, good health, and for other missionaries in the country who are working on relief efforts for victims of recent mudslides. Pray that God will prepare the hearts of those to whom we will be presenting the gospel.

Love you all!

Claire Christenson, Mackenzie Scott, and Alli Crocker

P.S. Mom I’ve been really good at being sanitary!! Stop worrying about me!

Hello to all you dying blog readers…

We know you’ve been on the edge of your seat waiting for another update.

This time, the tour de force consists of Matt Decker, Andy Frost, AND Pete Swanson. TIIIIGGHHHT!!!

We all learned a lot here in Campur, but today, we had the opportunity to teach the Guatemalan children some of our typical American/Kazakstani customs. They have fallen in love with the action of doing the “a okay” hand gesture, along with squealing the word “NIIIIIIICCEEE!!!”. –Pete- Andzhen we hit up some fatty house and totally shoveled some ish and made some killer cement for the flappin floor in die hause. ACK YA -Andy- Today on childrens team we made some killer balloon animals… and other random objects. We make hats, swords, and a 1947 German tank (using 4 balloons of course). The long bus rides have been interesting with all the bumps in the road and such. We all have our fair share of bruises on our heads, not as many as Christel rock though… DANG! -Matt- My basketball jersey is now 85% sweat and 15% cotton jersey fabric. Today, in our basketball game was another smooth victory over many an 8th grader. Everyone on the basketball team has scored, and today our lead scorer was Ryan Flynn, with eleventy billion points. We also demolished the staff in a good ol’ game of Guatemalan “Futbol”. –pedro again- matthew Dexter with an amazing two GGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAALLLLSSS!!! After which he signed many a autographs and gave his digits to the lady friends and screamed “NACHO LIBRE” and ran around the coliseum with his shirt over his head. The bestest thang eva was the kids in campur. They are the cutest little buggers on the planet. Speaking for the team I’m gonna be uber excited to eat some “American burgers mit dem sweeeeet cheese action. If I’m lucky I’ll get meself some bacon. Mmmhmm. Not a whole lot sick yet except Derek shcell so please pray for him and our huge journey 2morow involving driving different routes other than the roads that got mudslideded.

PEACE OUT MINNESIZEMORES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
p.s. that’s my initials
p.s.s. What ship never sinks?
Hahahhahahahahaha guten nacht herr fraulines

Hello to all this may concern.

What’s up everyone? This is Chris Franz in the blog house bringing you something of the most awesome. The last few days have been not what I really expected in Campur. I was thinking this place would be huts and we’d be sleeping under palm leaf shack things. Actually, this place has been much more like camp or something of the sort, but we can’t drink the water (big shock). Anywho, today has been quite a good experience for me. I’m on the service team and today our teams, along with some of the basketball guys and mime folk, finished building two houses. What really hit me was that Matt and I went back in the afternoon by ourselves and helped finish one of the houses. While we were inside the nearly finished house, the soon to be owner’s words were what hit me. While inside, she, through Matt’s interpretation, said that the house looked beautiful inside. This house is consisted of cinder blocks, cement, sand, metal roof, and nails and such. It wasn’t a place that most anyone I know would want to live in. She was really thankful for this place and will live there with her four kids. It made me think about how much I have and how good I have it. I am really thankful for what God has given me and this opportunity has been really good. Oh yeah, I also got to hang out with some of the local little kids around here and they are hilarious. I got to play with some of them and got to spin them around and stuff. It was awesome.

Well see you later.

Chris Franz

Dear Kathy,

We’re having fun at camp. Things are going well. I hope you’re doing well managing my softball team! I don’t want to jinx this, but I haven’t gotten sick yet. We’re on the road to Honduras, and it’s hot and dry. Miss you. See you soon!


I love you, Mom!


As you can see, God is really working on this trip! We left Campur early this morning. The kids had to be completely packed and at breakfast by 5:30 a.m. Would you believe that they all did it with no complaining?! This is a pretty special group of students. We pulled out of Campur this morning at 6:00 and now it’s 2:45 p.m. We just crossed the Honduras border and are heading to a very late lunch. The students are excited because we’re having hamburgers at the hotel that we’ll be staying at on Sunday for our R and R time. Then we’ll take off and head off to Siguatepeque where the students will experience home stays for the first time this trip. Some of the kids are nervous about this, but most are excited.

As we prepared to leave Campur last night Pastor Isabelle presented each students with a special bag of spice that was hand made by the ladies of the church. The people from Campur use this spice at every meal. Isabelle explained that some of the families are so poor that this spice, mixed with water, and a few tortillas are all that they eat each day. Campur showed our students how much they truly have to be grateful for. It showed them what real joy looks like in the midst of incredible poverty. It showed them what God could accomplish through a heart that is willing to serve Him. And, it showed them so much more.

Thank you for your continued prayers. The couple of students who were sick yesterday are feeling better today. I have been letting the students know when parents, friends, and extended family have responded. We really do read your comments and it’s an encouragement to us. Thanks!

In Christ’s Love,

Brian Schulenburg


  • At 4:22 PM , Blogger Tyler Gray said...


    Just wanted to say it's nice to hear from everyone, and that the trip is providing lots.... Stay healthy, and God Bless

    (Vinnie) I haven't gone crazy yet. But I am getting awfuly close... XOXO See you when step off the plane! Night bud!

  • At 6:16 PM , Anonymous The Snyder's said...

    The stories and pictures bring tears to my eyes as I'm sure they do to many of the parents. It is wonderful to hear of your own spiritual growth along with how much you are able to give. God bless - you are in our prayers.

    Beware Steph....Kelly got her driver's license!

  • At 6:47 PM , Anonymous Krista Nelson said...

    God is Amazing!!

    I find myself checking for your updates all the time!!! Its awesome to hear about what you are doing, and the pictures are so cool!! :-) I can't wait to hear all the wonderful stories when you get back!! Keep up the good work!!
    I'll be praying for you!

  • At 10:39 PM , Anonymous Jeff & Patti Schel said...

    It sounds as if you are all witnessing God in a new light because of the surroundings, culture, and your time with one another.

    It's a bit rough to hear about Derek being sick and being so far away from us. We of course are in constant prayer and look forward to more progress reports.

    Hang in there son.

  • At 10:48 PM , Blogger Marlene Volenec said...

    Hev Mav,
    Sounds like you're working hard. We're praying for the whole team almost continually. So glad you've already had so many chances to minister to the locals and each other.
    We'll double up on prayers for Derek.

  • At 11:04 PM , Anonymous The Hunt's said...

    It is so amazing to hear how God is working through you and how you are reaching out to so many...and how they are reaching out to you. We will be praying for your long bus ride and everyone's health and energy. We look forward to these "CNN" reports. They are so well done and descriptive, it feels like we are apart of this trip too. The Hunt family sends lots of hugs, Sakura too!

  • At 11:47 PM , Blogger Jan said...

    Thank you Jesus for OCA, Wooddale, and the people surrounding our kids as they serve others in a foreign land.

    I wandered through my day doing mundane things that "just had to get done" thinking and praying for the souls you all are touching. While I watered my flowers ... you all have watered and given new life to thirsty souls. Man, we are worlds apart.

    Can't wait to see your pictures and hear your stories. I have a feeling you can teach me a lot upon your return.

    Praying for Derek and all to be healthy. Thanks for taking the time to share your adventures. You guys are truly awesome. Don't forget how much you are loved by us old folks and even more by the Lord.

    God bless you and keep you,

  • At 11:47 PM , Blogger Jan said...

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 5:36 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi Team! and Christel - We are praying for all of you to remain safe, happy and healthy each day during your exciting journey. I look forward to reading the blog everyday! How many bumps does Christel really have on her head from the bus trips? We love you! The Rocks

  • At 7:43 AM , Blogger Sharon said...

    Hey Wooddalers. I'm just getting this blog stuff worked out. But to see how technology can help us understand what you are doing is great. Thanks for being so vivid with your words. Clearly God is doing amazing things with you and thru you. Thanks for being there to do this.

  • At 7:46 AM , Blogger Sharon said...

    Aaron, we hope you are doing well. We are praying for you and the team. Keep hydrated. Keep your heart open to needs. (BTW Proj Co is doing well but their weather is hot). We love you so very much. Mom and Dad.

  • At 8:51 AM , Anonymous Hann Clan said...

    Wow is the only word to describe what I have been reading from you all.

    We continue to pray for you every day in every way. Hope the 12 hour bus ride is survived by all.

    John Hann - way to go on "bug detail"!

  • At 9:14 AM , Anonymous Rick Krech said...

    It is great to be able to keep up on what is taking place through the blog. Wonderful to see the photos and "thanks Greg" for the early Father's Day greeting. It is exciting to know that God is using you to reach so many people with the Gospel.

    You are all in my prayers.


  • At 11:37 AM , Blogger Tyler Gray said...

    Hello again...

    I think this is the 5th time I have checked this in about 2 hours!!!!

    Just wanted to let Vin know that Brett won his first baseball game last night...

    Keep up the hard work, and all of us here will be praying for a safe and eventful trip...

  • At 2:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    It is really good to hear (read) all the good things by and about you young men and women. What a true blessing. We liked the Chinese proverb a couple of days ago! We read the blog at least daily. You are in our prayers, Jay & Rita Bancroft

  • At 3:28 PM , Anonymous stevek said...

    ryan k:

    hola mi amigo. great to "hear" from you and glad you're clearly getting into your adventure. red sox lost to the twins THREE times this week and palpatine has been taken off the chicken because of "copyright infringement" what's up with that? thinking about you lots and hoping you're taking good care of derek. soccer has lost one/won one. jenna scored a goal---craig was NOT pleased. Mi muy amor (that make any sense?)


  • At 8:42 AM , Blogger Robyn/mom said...

    Reading this blogsite is answered prayer every day. Thank you all for posting your daily walk. We're excited for all the good news and continued good health (wash your hands, wash your hands...!) Kenzie, I'm really not worried about you; you couldn't be in better hands. Play some soccer with the kids as your team here misses you and wants to put you back to work as soon as you get home! Tank is missing you just as we are but we so thankful that you all are where you are doing such meaningful work. Our prayers continue for you all. Love you, Mom

  • At 4:20 PM , Anonymous Connie H said...

    HI TO RYAN KITCHEN (and all of you).
    It is great to read this blog and see what you are doing. What an experience!
    You are in my prayers!
    Love, Aunt Connie

  • At 4:21 PM , Anonymous Connie H said...

    HI TO RYAN KITCHEN (and all of you).
    It is great to read this blog and see what you are doing. What an experience!
    You are in my prayers!
    Love, Aunt Connie


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