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.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Goodbye Campur

I´m writing this at an Internet cafe in Coban, Guatemala. (The team is eating breakfast at Pollo Campero, the largest restaurant chain in Guatemala) We departed Campur at 6:45 this morning and are on our way to Guatemala City for a weekend of ministry. Our team will experience home stays for the first time. The team has bonded so much in the first ministry location. It´s tough to leave Campur, but we are excited about what God has in store. Thank you for the prayers, encouraging comments and different ways that you have shown this team love. They are enjoying reading your comments each day.

In Him,


The last two days have been awesome. We drove out on mountain roads for an hour to hour and a-half to very primitive environments to serve people. Yesterday we were in a 12 x 2 space with wall half way up and wire mesh to the top. The doctors each had a room, but no windows for air. They saw many people with worms and skin infections. This day was so hard, we had to turn away almost 100 people. There were 75 people signed up that we could not serve. I stood with Betty a missionary from here with a translator to Q’iche. We asked what there problem was and gave vitamins and advill if they had pain. We gave out about 50 more vitamin packs of 30 multi-vitamins. Then we gave the children toothbrushes, this time it was very grabby and kinda frustrating that we had to turn so many away without be able to give them anything. Kids watched us all day with their little faces up to the screen. Today we were in a school, we had better spaces, but I know that intake was very crowed….people so much longed to see the doctor. Today we saw several pregnant women. There was a small boy with a large tumor on the back of his neck the size of a child’s closed fist. Please pray for these people. Today was a bit more under control. At the end of the day, I went out with our extra toothbrushes and had the children line up in a line (well, really two lines, girls and boys cannot be in the same line) Then with two translators, from English to Spanish to Q’iche I taught them how to brush their teeth….actually demonstrated. The students really thought it was funny when I “spit”!!!! That is very important for these people to learn since the toothpaste actually tastes good. Then we gave each child a toothbrush…we had enough left to give the men each one (remember it is a very sex divided society) the man who was helping to interpret told the men to line up next. Only about five women were able to get toothbrushes. Our prayer team also teach and we have them giving out the toothbrushes and toothpaste to each person with the patients that the doctor sees.

Now for personal notes, Barb I took the blanket you gave me….it has given me a perfect night sleep every night except the one I had someone sharing my bunk!

Rick and Kristin…and Joel too in Colorado – I am so thankful that I have your photos to look at on my binder! I love you soooooo much! Rick you can cut and copy this to Joel. I hope all is going well. Hugs and Kisses!

Shirley, I know Rick will print this for you, thank you so much for all your help with Greg’s Graduation party and helping us get ready to go…we love you very much.

Mom and Dad…I’m not sure if you have found the blog site or if Rick will email this to you….I love you much, hope you are well and I will be ready to paint when I return.

All for now…I’ve been getting grief!

Check out the next blog for sure!!!

Hey parents and family! I hope Scotts head is doing well. He is continuing the legacy of people getting hurt in Colorado. Its really hot and rainy here. Today I worked in the medical clinic speaking a lot of Spanish. I only had a Spanish to ketchi translator because I spoke Spanish directly to him. The bathrooms are squeaky clean. O and last night we had a spider on our wall about the size of my palm. And I have large hands. Ill see you when I get home, tell Mari to have a great time in Camp forest springs.
~Trent Stensrud

HOLA! Schiemo’s and Stensrud’s. We are currently practicing our highly anticipated mime. Its really hard-core. Andy and I tamed a jaguar today. We commanded it to give trent Palmberg a high five but it ripped his arm off. It was bloodier than a massacre of wild hyenas. Sorry palmbergs. We’re gunna go eat some Guat food now. (for lunch I had a bologna and katsup sandwhich) mmmmmmm…


Hola Madre, Padre y Mis amigos!
Yo soy Taylor! Today was the most difficult day of my life! The service team got to the site of the house with no translator because they said I knew enough Spanish that I could translate! Our job was to haul this stack of cinder blocks down this mountain side that was steep and very muddy due to the rain from yesterday! We worked from 8 to 11 making an assembly line down the mountain side! We took a lot of breaks it was so so hot I sweated through my shirt! I am going to throw it away because it is covered in mud! Little did we know there were 400 cinder blocks if not more, and I’m not exaggerating! We did what we could before lunch then took an extra long break! After lunch we returned tired and hurting but we knew why we were here and didn’t complain! The cinder blocks cut my fore arms my back hurts my shoulders have like 12 knots in them and I am in a ton of pain! Most of us wanted to quit but we had done so many that the rest of us wanted to finish and were very determined! Our team completely came together and pushed ourselves way past our personal limits and we actually finished all of the blocks! I turned into the team mom telling people to take breaks and drink more water! It was so hard and at points we all thought we were going to die but we made it as a team and counted down the last ten! It felt so good to get all the blocks down there and so the other three Guatemalan men could make a dent in building the house! They got three rows done by the time we got all the blocks down to them! We walked away and I almost cried thinking about how we just helped six people start their new life! It was a very tough day but one to remember forever! The whole service team is very happy tomorrow is a travel day and we can rest! I think about you guys all the time and I can’t wait to come home and be with the family again! I miss all of my friends like crazy there so many times I think about you guys during the day! I hope all is well back home and you guys are doing well! Just remember I am always thinking about you and I pray for you every night!! I love you all but now it is time for me to sleep! Buenos noches!
With love, Taylor!

Hey Family and Friends,

This past week (or portion of it) has been very fun. We have had many experiences to present the mime and have had a great response at all of the events. God provides greatly to us – in the morning, we had to present a mime without electricity for the sound system, but God provided a way to get the sound loud enough for everyone to hear it, run off of only batteries, also, yesterday when we were extremely hot when we were presenting, Chris prayed for rain during the mime, and before we finished the mime, it was raining, which was nice, although we had to pack up quickly and could not do the later mime that day because there was no one to present to since it was raining. After that, we ran into a tree that had fallen onto the road after it was hit by lightning, and had to stop, but luckily we had a machete to chop it up and throw it over the cliff.

Today was also fun: we went back to Coban, where we stopped for lunch on the way down, and presented mimes in a private school, the mall where we ate lunch (it was a spur of the moment decision as we got off the bus for lunch, and we were kindly received by the staff of the mall – they let us do it and even set up a stage for us to present on), and at a stage in a park. In the last two places, we had all kinds of people, including people who had never heard the gospel watching us intently and accepting the message. God is amazing.

Love you all,

Hey everyone.

Its Krista again. It has been quite an interesting day… not feeling the best, but I’m definitely doin better now. So… funny story for you all. This morning, I woke up at about… 1 o clock. No biggie. I heard something scurry on my bed, and I thought it was a cockroach. I sat there for a good two minutes with my watch staring at it, and I eventually woke up Tessie (one of our translators) to kill it. Once she was awake and at the end of my bed… I realized it was just an earplug. How embarrassing. J

Ash-dawg, its k-rizzle and t-thug (palms):
Wasssssssssssssssup Wassssssssssssssssssssssup? J I miss you tons! I hope you are having a wonderful time packing… and I hope you have a wonderful time in Costa Rica! I have lost track of the days, so I’m not sure when you leave. Even though I think you have a while. T-thug says, “hi. The end. Yeah. Ok. Well, maybe not. But probably.”

Parents, no worries. I’m doing wonderfully. We had a great day today traveling with the mime team. Even though I felt sick. I’m totally fine though. Hope everything is going well. Tell molly I miss her. J

Lots of loveeeeeeeee,

Hey friends and family,
It’s Trent Palmberg, alone this time, not accompanied by Andy and Trent at midnight. For the past three days we have set up medical clinics and have seen hundreds of people, about 150 per day. The first clinic was in the church, about 20 feet away, the second was on a rocky road about 30 minutes away, and the third was about an hour away in a remote village high in the mountains. The amount of diseases is overwhelming, and we often can’t see everyone that comes to the clinic. The end of the day is probably the most saddening part of the day, because we cannot treat many people who have came from far away..who do not really receive medical attention for many months. Apart from this, we have been able to treat many Guatemalans, some with simple problems such as worms or vitamin deficiency, to others with heart conditions and crazy skin diseases. The medical team is one of the most eye opening experiences I have even had in my entire life. I will leave you all with that for now, im sure I will post sometime later in the trip, we leave tomorrow for our next city.
Miss you all!

~Trent Palmberg

p.s. Siri, I miss you, and Krista does too (she is sitting here)

Hola mi famila! Hey mom dad joan and nick and Marley! Thins are awesome here! The views are amazing. Today is our last day in campur which is really sad! It was truly amazing. Today we got to go to 2 schools and a park and a mall to perform and share about jesus. I loved it. Our team has been amazing and were having so much fun! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!! Im so sad I missed it!!! Pray for the roads! There crazy but al and I got the whole bus to play jello. It was sweet! Haha Al and I also have contests to see who can say hola TO LOTS OF people. We probably look dumb screaming out of a bus window with Minnesotan accidents! I MISS YOU SOO MUCH! Im so THANKFUL for the snacks!!! Hahah LOVe you love you love you~
Lindsay J

Hello this is Ashley!
Well its great to say that we were not effected by the earthquake so mom you can tell everybody that im fine! Well I have grown to love campur a ton all of the kids im going to miss them so much! Today was an amazing day for the childrens team we went to 2 schools and they were fantastic the kids spoke Spanish and some even spoke a little English not much but a little! Oh it was great then we went with the mime team to this park in coban where there were tons of people and it was great tons of kids we made balloons for, and the mime did fantastic it was great! Well it was a really great feeling to know that people were watching and we know of at least one person who has accepted Christ woohoo! Well yeah it has been great im going to have a tough time leaving all of the kids that I have met they are so much fun! Today once we got back all the kids were waiting and we were playing with them it was great we had tickle wars and played cards and obo shinotintotin it was really fun! Everyone here is incredibly nice and something for you guys to pray about just pray that the church in campur will grow and the pastor isabelle would continue to make a huge impact she is an amazing person! I wish that I could sho you guys the pictures I have taken amazing! Ah dad guess what I ate at mcdonalds it was good and the service is incredible there and it is way cleaner than mcdonalds at home so yeah just thought I would let you know that I miss you a lot and want to hear from you to! Mom thank you for the note it was much appreciated I miss you a lot to and tell elle I say hi and miss her to and I hope her cooking camps are going good! Well I should probably go I have to go and start to pack we are leaving tomorrow at about 7 am so that means I have to get up pretty early! Ah one thing about Guatemala time when you think it is like 6 in the morning and your all rested its only like 1:30 am its weird but nice! Oh and my mosquito head net has been much help to me it makes me feel safer sounds really cheesy but it does I like to so yeah I could sit here and type all night but im not going to but I miss you all so so so so so so so much and hope to hear from yall very very soon! Love you a tone tataloo!


This is Adam.
So yeah, this is kinda weird, I’m just kinda typing my thoughts into a computer hoping that you guys (you know who you are). Anyway…
So, despite what everyone else might be saying, its been pretty hot. So far I’ve sweated through half my shirts and we’re not even half way done. Uh oh…
Ok. So basically, to the Guatamalans, I have no name. Instead, I am (not always so affectionately) called Chino (Chinaman) or Chinita (little Chinaman (?)). For the first day or two, it wasn’t too bad and it didn’t really bother me. However, at the medical clinics that we set up yesterday and today, it started to get to me. I approached a group of kids today and they ran away screaming “Chino!!!”. Needless to say, that wasn’t very encouraging, but they’re only kids so I can’t really blame them too much. However, later on, I walked past some older men (about 40ish) and they whispered (not so kindly) “Chino” under their breath. As frustrating as this is for me, I’m only here for two weeks. These few examples just make me feel really bad for those people of Asian heritage that live here permanently. It must be really tough for them to get through every day being labeled and shunned like that.
But, be that as it may, this trip is going great! The patients are so thankful for the smallest things like vitamins and Tylenol. Its amazing to see the joy that God wishes for all of us, coming from people who are considered to be so poor and weak.
Anyway, its been great to hear from you guys!
(Haley, thanks for working out my scheduling, we’ll have to go over the rest of it when I get home.)
(Yoon Jae ;-) )

Hi. Its Christa. Im coming back to Campur Guatemala. I love it here. Love you all. And Applebees did WHAT?


Mime team ministered in a public school, a shopping mall and a public square today. We worked with the children’s team most of the day. It was fun to be with one of the other teams. Pray for health for each team member. Liz is not feeling well with some stomach aliment and Chris has been up and down for the past day. They are resting now and have a day of travel ahead of them giving them time to take it easy. We received a response card today from a student who told us that she received Jesus for the first time today because we demonstrated who Jesus is and then gave her the opportunity to respond. Pray that those that do respond are then followed up on by the church and/or individuals we co-labor with in the areas we minister in. On to Guatemala City tomorrow. Pray for safety in travel.

Chris Erickson
II Timothy 4:7

What an incredible day! God has really moved during our time in Campur. It’s off to Guatemala City tomorrow morning, and I think most of our team will leave a piece of themselves in this community. We have been treated so well by the body of Christ in Campur. And, God has revealed Himself to us as well.

I had a “God moment” while at the Internet Café today. I met a worker with the Peace Corps. She has been in Campur for the past two months and will be here for the next 22 months. She is the only worker with the Peace Corps that is located here. She is also the first Peace Corps person in history to be located in Campur. She has been doing a great job working with a program called, “Healthy Schools.” While talking with her she told me that she found out that she would be in Campur three weeks before arriving. When told her location, and realizing that Campur is not on the map, she wanted to find out as much information as possible. Her dad did a Google search on Campur, and found my blog. Apparently when you search Campur, Guatemala my blog is the third thing that comes up. Her dad was excited upon reading my blog to find out that his daughter would be able to communicate with him via the Internet at the café. She arrived in Campur and began asking people where the Café was. No one knew for the first two weeks. She finally ran into someone who could tell her where it was. She told me that she thought that “this Brian guy must have been crazy, because there was not nor had there ever been an internet café in Campur.” She was relieved to finally find it. When she walked into the café today, she put two and two together and realized that I was the guy whose blog that she had read, when researching this town. We had a great conversation. She had not heard about Viva Abundante Church, so I invited her to check it out with me. She came by and met our service team and then I invited her to have dinner with our team. She was able to meet Pastor Isabelle and will have some new friends when we leave town. God is certainly amazing in how He works out circumstances.

In Him,
Brian Schulenburg


  • At 12:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


    I just read Chris' blog entry in which he stated that you are battling a stomach ailment. Mom and I have been praying for you asnd the whole team, and right now I pray that God will protect and heal you from this ailment as you travel and rest today.

    Ginger is walking around the house in a daze looking for you. In fact, I do not think that she is even chasing the squirrels as hard as she normally does.

    Mom has really gotten into this blog and found the email addresses of several of your fiends who she emailed to follow your activities. I noticed that Catherine even emailed you in Spanish. I am amazed at how the internet and technology does make a distant land like Guatemala seem just down the street. It has been wonderful following the work of God through your team and watch awareness of the needs of people who live in conditions less ideal than those in Eden Prairie and Edina percolate in the blog entries that members of each team post.

    Liz, we love you and know that you are doing great in the mime ministry. We know how much you were looking forward to witnessing to the people in Guatelmala and admire you for that spirit and your willingness to let God use you in any way that He so chooses.

    Love, Dad

  • At 4:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


    Wow! The love of God definitely shined through the OCA team onto the people of Campur! You have had an incredible trip thus far and God has clearly taken you beyond what you thought was possible.

    Matthew 19:26 says:
    With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

    What a mighty God we serve!

    I love you so much and miss you tons. My prayers continue for you and the team. Rest up...

    With love, Mom

  • At 5:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Dear Mary Krech -
    I am so very happy to know the blanket is coming in handy for a good night's sleep. I have been reading daily about the travels and experiences that you and your medical team are encountering. I laughed out loud when you typed that you were demonstrating how to brush your teeth. The teacher in you surely stepped in and took over. Take care, be safe and continue typing. I am loving to read about everything that is going on.
    Barb Royce

  • At 5:07 PM , Blogger Olivia said...


    Wow, it sounds like you are having fun. I definately wish I could be there! I'm glad that you are living up a once in a lifetime opportunity such as this one, and I'm proud of you for all you have accomplished so far.

    See you in a week and a few days!


  • At 5:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hola Beary (Linz)!!! I'm lovin this blog thing. I hope I'm not overblogging. I read the first few paragraphs about the children and toothbrushing and I want to jump on a plane and come over to help. All of us were made to do good works.Thank Al for having you come with! I know you will come back stronger,wiser and even have a better understanding about what life is really all about. Thank Brian too!! You are truly blessed to be there! LOVE YOU,PROUD OF YOU,MISS YOU! P.S. if you slide the feet there is a prayer underneath! Chow!Mom

  • At 5:48 PM , Anonymous Dad said...

    Brian, what an exciting "God Moment" you had today. It almost gave me goose bumps as to how the Lord works. We will pray that this Peace Corps worker will quickly make new friends in the area and am thankful that you were able to introduce her to your friends in the church. Have a great weekend in Guatamala City.

    Love, Dad

  • At 7:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


    This is Josias Lima, Andrea's dad. I read your note today. Your frustration is justifiable. Spanish is not my native language, Portuguese is. However, I'm also fluent in Spanish. The term you're referring to does not have the same connotation in Spanish as it does in English. In Spanish the term has more of an endearing quality and does not have racial overtones, so, I hope you're not too discouraged.

  • At 7:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


    This is dad, I've been following your progress and that of your team. I'm proud of you and the work you're doing. Your work is important and it is making a difference in people's lives. Stay safe, we look forward to seeing you next week. Love, dad.

  • At 8:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Ashely, I am so proud of you. You sound like you have grown up about 10 years. You are an amazing girl. I really miss you.

    I was glad to see some pictures of you. You are beautiful. I love you miss.

    Dad says McDonalds - good? Well maybe it is okay this time. Dad said he would fire up the brick oven for you when you get back.

    Dad has been the OCA blog monitor for us. He checks it out just about every hour to see if there is anything new. He misses you too and is very proud of you. He has been talking about you to everyone he comes in contact with.

    I can only imagine the bond you have made with the children there. I wish we could bring some of them home with us. Maybe some day.

    Well, I am going to go sit out by the garden.

    Miss you baby.


  • At 8:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    This is grandama, I just read you're email addressed to everyone. It was great to hear from you, it would be so fun to receive one addressed to us. That would be so awsome to get an email from Guatatemala.

    We're very proud of you for taking two weeks out of your summer vacation to serve others. There are a lot of young people that wouldn't be doing what you and your team are doing there.

    We love you and be encouraged to know that I'm praying for you everyday.

    Love you,

  • At 8:56 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi Adam:
    Have you found a Motocross track yet? I'm glad you kept your long
    underware at home.

    It's a real treat to read the comments from everyone and the photo's are super. Adam, God has a mission for you and your team,
    don't let the locals discourage you from that mission.

    Keep the faith and know your loved
    ones and your church are in daily
    prayers for your "special" mission.

    Love always,
    Grandpa Bob

  • At 9:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi, Andrea: I'm holding Brownie in my lap right now and he says "hi". We just loved the pictures of you and are so amazed by what God is doing through your acts of service and those of your team. We love you and can't wait to see you. Hope you are staying well. All these updates from the team are such a blessing. Love, Mom

  • At 9:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Dear Brian: Thanks for all your wonderful updates by phone and blog and for your leadership. It is really such a blessing to know that everyone is doing well and to hear such amazing details about God's work through the OCA team. Blessings to you all, Josias, Janet & Sonia Lima

  • At 10:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi Peter Anderson-
    Wow -- the blogs, photos, and hotline have made us all feel close to you while you have this great experience!! I hope you are cherishing every moment there -- and maybe even writing in your journal? The photo of you with the kids hanging on you is on Amy's facebook page and tagged into yours for your friends to see. I think she also put in the ones with your head bandaged. Hope your head is feeling better with no headaches, etc. That was so nice of them to let you call me before the stitches...sure glad I had dashed for the phone before it went into the voice mail!! Hope the bandage won't effect your great tan!! Tonight (Friday) we went to Amy's send off service for her missions trip to Chicago. They leave on Sunday at noon and boy will the house be quiet then!! Your phone updates have been great too -- we have passed out the info cards to a number of your school friends -- so hopefully they are all getting a chance to hear and/or see about your trip. We love you sweetie! Keep making God look good! Please tell Brian that we are loving the updates!! Love, Mom and Dad

  • At 10:10 PM , Anonymous Mom & Dad said...

    Hey Chels,

    It is Friday night and we are sorry that we haven't written again until now. We have been busy this week with Herta, boating(yes!), and getting Seth to High Cascade... he took off today and arrived there safe and sound. We have been praying for you as you had to say goodbye to all of the Campur kids... I know how difficult that is, especially for you, as God has given you such a big heart for kids. Riley's hair is growing out... he should be more cudley by the time you get home. Please give big hugs to Jaime and Betty from us. We read your blogs everyday. Tell Taylor that her note made me cry (suprise, suprise)... I am so impressed with her heart and the whole teams endurance and perserverance. God is clearly using this trip to make an impact on all of the teams lives in an amazing way.

    With Love & Prayers!


    P.S. Dad said to say he is impressed with the service team as he had done similiar work last time in Guat. and knows it to be really hard work. He send his love.

  • At 10:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hey guys!

    Oh it is so great to hear from you! It sounds like you have accomplished so much in the short time you have been there. Trent, how are you feeling?

    Has your Spanish come in handy? I'm sure you are getting tons of practice.

    Mari's tournament is tomorrow. Dad went to Wisconsin early to fish and ATV. He left me with his car. Tonight Mari and I went to dinner and the car broke down on the way home...So now dad has to come back and get us so Mari and Abby can get to camp. So life continues as you are gone, but you are thought about all the time! You and your team continue to be in my prayers daily.

    It is my prayer that this experience can help you figure out what you want to do in the future.

    HI Andy, Trent and Adam, sounds like your having a good time. Krista I'm praying for you. Sounds like it is going well for you also.

    Take a ton of pictures, I want to see it all, and oh yeah, Trent remember the bike jersey if you get a chance.-something for your siblings would be nice too (hint)

    Love ya tons!
    Mom Stensrud

  • At 12:42 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Brian, that God moment is amazing! How cool that it happened! God is so wonderful and works in awesome ways! I'm praying for you all!

    -Carleigh McCormick

  • At 10:24 PM , Blogger Caitlin said...

    Hey Elizabeth,

    Sorry to hear that you're not feeling well. If you want some popsicles, some gingerale, some saltines, you just let me know and I'll bring them down. Really. You just say the word, little sister. I know people in Guatemala. Actually, I don't. I know someone from Guatemala who lives here now. But still, saltines are available if you need them! Keep hanging in there, I know you're making a difference.

    It's been pretty hot here and now that I'm back at the park for the summer, I really feel the lack of air conditioning. I keep thinking of you and wondering how much hotter it must be there. I'm glad to know you're in good hands and among friends, though. And so many people are praying for you, I know you'll recover and have a great second week. I could keep rambling, but I'd probably just embarrass you. So, goodnight and I love you. Cate

  • At 11:26 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Adam! Glad to hear you're having a good time! And sorry to hear about the other stuff. Though I'm sure most people there can see past that and see how awesome you are. While most people here are probably permanently fascened to their Wiimote, you're out making a difference in the world and that's awesome.

  • At 10:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    TO Trent P., Mom and Dad say hello. We enjoyed reading about the things you are experiencing. Believe it or not, Grandma and Grandpa went to the neighbor's and read your Blog! We continue to pray for you and your entire team each day. Hope you are feeling well and not making friends with new bugs... Love Mom and Dad.

  • At 11:04 PM , Blogger Krista said...

    Hey Ashley!!
    Krista here! im glad you're having such a great time in Guatemala!! make lots of memories and take lots of pictures and have LOTS of fun!!

    luv ya bunches!!


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