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.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Well, we made it back safely with all the bags and students intact. By now everyone has had a chance to do the one thing they missed the most and eaten the one thing they had been longing for (cold milk was near the top of the list for most of us!). As much as everyone enjoys being back in familiar surroundings, I hope and pray that some small piece of Guatemala stays lodged in their hearts. Days go by and memories fade, but we experienced God's power and grace in so many ways that each one of us cannot be the same after this trip. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for your prayers and support that was expressed in so many ways.

Here are each of the teams...

Medical team:

Basketball team:

Mime team:

Childrens team:

Service team:

Please put the date July 27 on your calendar - we will have a report back opportunity during the missions festival at Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie. It is scheduled to run from 9am to 2pm.

It was a pleasure and a blessing to be able to serve with these students and leaders this year. God's blessings to each of you!


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Final Day

This will be our final post from Guatemala. We had a great day in Antigua today. We left our hotel in Santiago about 9 this morning. The streets by the hotel were about a bus and a quarter wide, so it took a little maneuvering to get through town, but we were soon on our way around the lake. It was a bright sunny day so we had some fabulous panoramas across the lake and surrounding volcanos.

In Antigua the students had fun shopping in the market and practing their Spanish and bargaining skills. At the end of the day we headed into Guatemala City to the Hotel Pan American for dinner and early bedtime. Its 9:30 now and everyone is in their rooms and hopefully getting to sleep, although a few are still working on getting everything fit back into their bag...

Tomorrow we are up at 3:30am in order to get to the airport departure of 6:30. Sound familiar? We will have some time in Houston to get reaquainted with bathrooms where you can flush the paper and all our favorite fast foods. The first group is scheduled to depart from Houston at 1:40 and arrive in Minneapolis at 4:29 (Continental 2950). The second group is scheduled to leave Houston at 3:40 and arrive in Minneapolis at 6:32 (Continental 2001). Please check with the airline to confirm arrival times. The kids will be excited to see you when they come down into the baggage area at the aiport.

Thanks again for all your support! See you soon!

Due to the travel day we only had a few minutes to take popsts from the students so here is al we have:

Hey Mom, Dad, family and friends,
Sorry I haven’t written on the blog in a while it is a daily struggle to read the blogs posted from you, let alone fight for a time to write my own response to what I read. Dad- I’m really glad you liked our father’s day present and thank you for praying. Mom- I got your message and I’m a little concerned as to what your “adventure” is…just kidding. I can’t wait to hear more. R & R is going really well! The resort is really nice! Unfortunately, we are all a little gassy so it smells more than it would were we all feeling the way we should. I can’t wait to see you soon. I love you all and thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers.
Sarah Wasley

Hey Mom, Dad, Jess, family and friends,
Thanks for all of the blogs…It’s so nice to hear from you guys! I can’t wait to see you when I get back tomorrow! Wednesday was our last service day, so we went to a really nice hotel at Lake Atitlan for rest and relaxation. It is so beautiful here! Too bad we have to leave soon…I’ve bought some things already…they are really cool! Well thanks for all of your prayers! I can’t wait to see you soon!
Liz Rendahl

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday at Santiago

Well, we have had a great day of winding down. Most of the team spent some time in town checking out the local crafts and practicing their bargaining. It was sunny this morning, but we have experienced some lovely torrential rain this afternoon. But no worries, its still a good day of relaxing and conversation. We're off to Antigua in the morning and will spent tomorrow night in Guatemala City before heading to the airport at 4am Sunday morning! Woo woo! See you at the airport Sunday afternoon!

Dear Family, Nikki, and Taylor,

Danielle, I’m happy to see you’re busy at work! I’m so jealous. I’m going to be very broke when I get home. Mom told me you had the flu/food poising!! Bummer!! I’m now in Santiago staying at the most beautiful hotel I’ve ever seen for R&R. I imagine this is maybe what the garden of eden resembled. I’m staying in a room with Sammy, Christina, and Taylor and it is a blast so far. I’m looking forward to going shopping and getting presents for everyone! At first I wanted to go home for rest and relaxation but now I’m so glad I stayed! Hope everyone is doing well and I hope the weather turns around for Gary & Connie.

Love Always, Nicole Iskierka

I finally got the comment that you left. We just arrived in Santiago for rest and relaxation, and it is beautiful here! I took my first hot water shower in about 10 days, and it was super nice, even though the cold showers weren’t that bad. The past few days of service in Metapan and Jutiapa were amazing, we saw over 1000 patients. I hope Dad is feeling better, I would really love a salad and fruit when I get home, I definitely will not be craving tortillas. Say hi to Dad and David for me, I love you, see you soon,

Hola Family -
Wow. It’s beautiful here, just as I remember. It was cloudy and getting dark when we arrived last night. This morning was beautiful. A few of us got up early (real early) to see the sunrise over the volcano (is that a real sentence I get to say?). Wow. The pictures can’t even do it justice. Excited to get back to you all but honestly this must be a little bit what heaven looks like.
Lori Ask

Hey Mom, Dad, Marty, Julia, Mackenzie, The OT, & everyone from EFC,

We finally arrived at our hotel for R&R time, it is beautiful. We are actually at the same hotel we were at last year, it’s just like I remember it. I am in a room with Christina, Sammi, and Nikki. I am planning on catching some rays today, since I have been inside most of this trip. We are also planning on going to the market this afternoon and getting many presents for people. We aren’t doing the coffee beans again this year sorry to everyone who wanted them :(. I miss everyone from work very much it is great to hear from you all. I am sad to hear I am missing all the kids grow I can’t wait to come home and see them all. OT yes I like the food quit acting surprised! I actually try things here! Going out of my comfort zone I guess isn’t so bad! I think I am just going to get you a poncho thing because a necklace is not enough, and I hope you like it! I don’t know what I want yet I thought you already had something in mind! Check your Facebook! I hope all is well with you guys at home I’m missing you like crazy. Hope to hear from you all again soon!

With Love,

Dear Family & Friends:
We have safely arrived in Santiago for some R&R. We are officially finished with the ministry portion of the trip. We are staying in a hotel on a lake surrounded by 3 volcanoes. The scenery is fantastic! I am tempted to rent a boat and wet a line! I had my first hot water shower since we left this morning. The basketball team ended up playing 20 games over the course of 8 days. While it was physically demanding and mentally draining, the boys held up very well. I hope all is well with you and I look forward to seeing you soon!

Bivans Family!
Me again. I got your blog but have been traveling long hours to lake atitlan where I am now! Its gorgeous done here! The lake is surrounded by volcanoes and mountains! I made new friends with all the seniors and were sitting out by the pool and soaking up all the sun bc its super nice out. And I already burned =[ but im ok with that! The food at this hotel is seriously the best food ever! Taste just like grandpas..maybe a little better. Haha its Friday…so I hope that floor is done tomorrow! I cant wait to get to be in my own room and sleep! Thanks for doing my floors while gone. And I miss peanut already! And very sad he leaves the day I come home. I miss the fam! Is there anything you guys want? Ill for sure bring some coffee..but anything else? Let me kno soon bc im going out later tonight and tomorrow for sure. So ill check the blog tonight to see if you responded. Its 12:30 now…so you have a while to post. Love you lots! And ill be home soon!

Love, sarah bivans

Hey Mom Dad Ryan and Luke,
Hope everything is going well. Its so nice to have some R&R. We went shopping a little today and are going swimming later after lunch. Rachel can stay for the whole time if she would like. Sunday sounds great. I will see you guys soon!
Love Sarah Tapani

Hey Mom and Dad,
Basketball has been awesome!! We got really tired and sweaty our last game against the Jutiapa team that we lost to the first time. We ended up winning the game 68 to 51. Thanks for the update on Celtics basketball championships. We are at a really nice hotel in Santiago that has shore line on Lake Atitlan. Today we went shopping in the markets. What do you think I should get? I already got a nice belt, t-shirt, and bracelets for myself. I also want to get a knife. I have 400 queztales left what should I get for you guys or any one else? There are lots of purses and jewelry. Please blog back with some ideas for Antigua on Saturday. The food is getting more American. I am feeling fine right now as well. I know that you are praying for me and I thank you again. Be home soon!!!
Love Josh Hendricks

Hi everyone!
Sorry it’s been a while… the last couple of days in Jutiapa were really crazy (but good). We are at our resort now, and it is absolutely fabulous. I just got back from shopping at the market. I got some cool stuff I am excited to show you! I am having a blast and still 100% healthy. I love you lots and can’t wait to see you when I get back!
Kelly Anderson

Hey guys.
Thanks for the Father’s Day note (I’m a little slow reading the blog posts). Good luck with the soccer games this weekend. Sounds like you have been doing pretty well. Cam, I hope you had a good week with VBS – I’m glad you had the opportunity to be part of that. Today its nice and sunny. So far we have spent the morning in town and then had a nice lunch of hamburgers and french fries – not a refried bean or plantain in sight. This afternoon we’ll just be sitting around relaxing and drinking coffee (yes, I’ve gone over to the dark side and now actually like the stuff). See you in a couple days!

Hey Mark, Lee Anne, Peter and family! We went shopping today and I had lots of fun. It is so pretty here and great to relax for a few days. I got a really big painting for only 200 q and it is of the volcano and the lake. More shopping tomorrow. See ya in a few more days.
Love, Amy Anderson

Hey fam!
R & R is amazing. Can’t wait to see you. Love ya, Lucie

Hi Family!
It’s so so so beautiful here at Lake atitlan. Two more days and I’ll be back with you all, can’t wait. I love you!!!

Hello to my familia!
We are now at a resort in Santiago, and it is absolutely amazing. I went shopping in the market this morning and did lots of bartering. It was awesome, and I did well. Mom, you would be proud of me. I miss you guys and can’t wait to see you. Two more days! Yay, I’m really excited to see you guys. God has taught me so much; I have grown in incredible ways and can’t wait to see the fruit of it back home. Can’t wait to tell all to you guys.
Loving you and missing you,

Ok I am really sry but we have now just had time to blog or at least for me. I am sry but I am really glad to hear that I will get to meet Payton! I am really excited! Give Danny a big kiss from me!!! HAHA so I still need an idea of what to get you! We went shopping today and we go tomorrow so tell me quick! See you in a few days!
Love Ashley

Mom and Dad
So we went shopping today and we will go again tomorrow. I need to get something for dad still but I already know what I am getting him and a got Travis a switch blade! haha
It is sweet! Erica hasn’t read the blogs cause she didn’t think that anyone will be writing to her but I think that she wrote last night and will be tonight but I don’t know.
Love Ashley Weis

Mom and Dad,
The trip has been great. I’ll tell you all about it in a few days. For dinner could Grandma please make pot roast when I get back. Thank you! Love you guys. See you soon. Lucie says hi.

Hey family & friends,
It’s raining here at lake atitlan, which is both good and kind of a bummer. I wish I were able to sit down at the dock this whole afternoon like I did last year, but I got to do everything but swim this morning, so I’m alright with watching the beautiful rain. I got the second nativity set for aunt marlene, and I suppose you’ll have to wait for everything else. It’s nice to be resting—I got almost 12 hours of sleep last night, but I was awake and ready to go at 5:30am…I know crazy huh? I’m loving this part of Guatemala, and I’ll be sad to say goodbye to it, but I’m excited to come home. Oh, and by the way, my foot is swollen and weird looking. It’s pretty interesting. Love you all,
Elizabeth Z

Friday morning update

Good morning from beautiful downtown Santiago, Guatemala. After a reasonbly uneventful day's travel from Jutiapa we arrived here yesterday evening about 5. We had a little rain along the way, but it was a blessing in that it kept us cool. Of course it made the narrow winding mountain roads a little more entertaining, but our bus drivers are excellent and we arrived without incident.

We are staying at a hotel called Tiosh Abaj (www.tioshabaj.com if you want to check it out). It is a beautiful spot right on Lake Atitlan. Lots of birds and lush gardens and barking dogs and crowing roosters and everything else that makes Guatemala such an enchanting place.

Sorry I do not have any new pictures to post at the moment. We will add some over the day and get input from the students and post something later today as well.

I will take this opportunity to say that this group of students has been outstanding. They have encountered many things: new food, "interesting" living conditions, challenging service opportunities, and not-so-certain schedules. Through all of it they have not complained or given up or disengaged. I am truly impressed with their heart for service and for all the people we have encountered. Thank you for entrusting them to me and the rest of the leadership team.

Thank you for your support of and prayers for our team. We have seen God work in so many ways during these past two weeks, and you have been a big part of that. We will be sad to leave this country and these people, but I think we are all ready to be home. See you in a few more days!



Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Third and final day in Jutiapa

Terri, and the Grandparents:
Haha grandma james I seriously just cracked up at your comment=] and I can agree about the weather its so hot here but we have been inside so no improvement on the tan til r&r days. Terri I wish I was there too I feel like I haven’t seen you in forever! Hope the game went well and tiger scored lots of baskets. Gma & gpa yes I miss you lots too and I will try and come visit Monday after work and bring my camera so you can see my pictures! Missing you all thanks for the comments ! Love you all. See you next week!
Xxoxoxox Hannah

Hey Mom, Marty, Dad, Julia, Mackenzie, The OT and Amy,
All is well here in Jutiapa. I still have not gotten sick yet the only thing I am getting sick of is painting. Just finished day 4 of painting and tomorrow will make it day five. I have never painted so much in my life and probably never will again. I have been wearing the same pants every time we paint so they are now covered with an interesting array of colors. The food is awesome here in Jutiapa I love it! I am definitely ready for some rest and relaxation days though. Dad you are a stinker, you got me good, I was really worried about my car. Mom I’m glad you are still missing me I am missing you and if I would’ve been home I would’ve yelled back sorry I wasn’t. Mac I am glad to hear that people are asking about me and the kids haven’t forgotten about me yet I have been wondering. Sorry you are getting lonely I promise I’ll be home soon and we can watch lots of movies together. Amy it was GREAT to hear from you! How did you get the blog website? I am glad you are talking to Henry about me not a day goes by I don’t miss all of our kids! I am anxious to come home and see how they have grown. Tell everyone hi for me there I miss you all like crazy and I’ll see you soon! OT I sprinted across the church when people told me I had something from the OT! I am glad you got to see your G-ma that is great. I guess it is okay that I didn’t get a stuffed animal or something, I’ll try to forgive you! I am glad you went to Kristin’s birthday party for a bit, will you tell her happy late birthday from me please. I can’t wait to see you when I get home! Do you want a poncho thing with a hood people get them from Mexico and what not. It was just something I thought of let me know if not I’ll figure something out. I am glad to hear from you and hope it continues. I love you all and miss you tons!
With Love,

Hey Dad Mom and Mark
Everything is good with me, and I’m not sick so that is a good thing because there is a good amount of people that are not so well. Thanks for the blog notes that you sent, I didn’t get the ones than dad sent me though. But anyway I was on the service team for the past two days and we painted in the church that we are stationed at some they really appreciated what we had done. We will have one more service day and will paint again, but then we will be going to Lake Attalon and have R&R time so that will be nice but anyway got go see ya
Love ,

Dear Mom, Dad, Sophie, Sweeney, and Angel

I miss you guys so much. I had a great home stay, the people were very nice. There were three of us and we each got our own room with air conditioning!!!!!!!!!!!! I am feeling better then a couple of days ago when I had to go on the antibiotic, but do not worry I am doing great. The schools and churches we have been visiting are very welcoming and very friendly (I always knew my balloon animal phase would pay off).
I am excited and sad because we have one service day left. But then we get to go to Lake Atalan for rest and relaxation, and shopping. Adam is doing great, he is playing really well and is having no problems with his ankles, not to mention I was able to get some really good pictures of him playing. Also he has been putting on sun screen so he does not get burnt. We are both having a great time. I can not wait to see you guys, I love an miss you guys so much!!!!!!!!!!!

Taylor V

Hey Chelsea
How is America ,hope your plane ride back was good. Have fun at work and I wish you could be here, but anyway we have to hang out when we get back and have that bonfire. See you when we all get back!

Dear Mom, Dad, Sophie, Sweeney, and Angel,
It is the next morning, and I got a great night of sleep. I look forward to having a good day and hope to hear from you guys soon.
Taylor V

Hey mom and dad and jill!
I miss you guys. You should maybe write me. Im having tons of fun. Love ya
Steph tebbe

Mom and Dad,
Hello! Unfortunately I didn’t get to share my testimony last night because one of the translators shared his and it most of the night. It is alright though because his story was needed to be told to these kids. Hopefully there is another day that I can share it. I am having a good time and I love you guys.
Brittany Backlund

I miss you girl. How is home. We basically are painting all day today. I didn’t get a chance to share my testimony but that’s alright maybe another time. Well I love you and miss you!
Brittany Backlund

Hey family.
I’m keeping this one short because there are people waiting. But I just thought that I should check in! Everything is fine and I just did more painting today and last night. Pretty uneventful.
Love ya and I’ll see you soon!
-Kelsey Essig

We miss you. Thanks for blogging. I saw in my email that you posted pictures of me on facebook. I haven’t looked at them yet. I am nervous to see what they are. Oh well. Lets do lunch ASAP when I get home. Love ya chica! You are missed. I will tell William HOLA!
Lori Ask

Hey again! I’ll give you 3 guesses as to what we did today and it starts with a P and ends with –AINT. I think the whole service team is ready for R&R and for no more painting. The people @ my home stay are all staying @ the church tonight because we have no water and Sam (the hottest guy on the trip) flushed our only bit of water. I miss you and I’ll be home soon!
Cole Peterson

Gross Gutt Meine Familia,
I had a super odd day yesterday. We went to the basketball courts in Jutiapa and the was a bull’s head in the basket. It was uber cool. I took many great shots with it! It was a Satanic sacrifice to nullify what we had done there two days ago. We prayed the crap out of it and reunnulliffied it. NICE! At the performance, all of the Satan worshipers converted. Then we went to two other schools and had a “service”. It was the most Godly intense moment of my life! I am really connecting with people here and Guatemalans. We then went to our home stay and I flushed our only bowl of water. Whoops. Look at what Cole Peterson’s blog says about me. Fresh! Today I played basketball too and made a buzzerbeater! Ballin’! Last night, Jared and John were morons and put spit, papaya, bad water, and grape juice down the straw of my water bottle and it gave me the skitters. I will get revenge and it will be sweet. But we are cool. Love ya lots!
Samuel George Knutson
P.S. Dave, if time is love and you won’t write to me does that mean you don’t love me? I am crying now…
P.P.S. My mime stuff smells like crap because I sweat a lot but haven’t washed it.
P.P.P.S. Mom, I am writing in my journal and have written a crap load.
P.P.P.P.S. I probably have the most post scripts ever… world record! GET SOME!

Hey Girls…Dad Erickson here.

If Christina is checking the blog, here’s a message from me to the most important ladies in my life.

“I love you. I miss you. I will see you soon.”

The team had a very special time last night after a full day of ministry. Victor, our El Salvadorian brother gave his testimony. The Lord used it to move in each of us in a special way, giving us a deeper desire to live for Him in this day and age. A day and an age in which the things of the world seem to take precedent over the things of God.

I pray that those things of the world will not have their way with us. I love the way each of you know and love the Lord Jesus. I miss our times at night praying together. Know that I continue to pray for you and I ask that when I’m away like this, you would pray for me. The Lord is attentive to the prayers that come from your heart. I continually lift up our concerns as a family, always hopeful, always trusting, always believing his will is being accomplished. He is using our present trials and circumstance to conform us to be more like Him. As we are honest with Him, he helps us understand ourselves and then helps us change accordingly. I pray that you may always see changes in me that will benefit my relationship with each of you.

Hope you all are having a fantastic day, enjoying the summer and treating each other well.

Love you,


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Jutiapa Day 2!

Happy (slightly belated) Father’s Day. We are having such a great time here and have gone to many interesting places to present the mime, such as a city in the middle of nowhere where we walked across a fun, rickety bridge (on which no one got hurt, of course) near Metapan. We have also presented the mime in parks and in schools, sometimes in the same school twice a day for two different groups of people. We have been able to present the mime many more times per day than before since we do not have to drive as far to find a place for the basketball team to play since we always go with the basketball team. I am having such a great time.
Matt Crane

Kerry and the boys –
Thanks for the Father’s Day note. Hope everything is going well back home and the dogs are back to “normal”. The trip is going quite well. This is a very strong group of students. I am very proud of how they have handled all of the challenges they have faced, from new food experiences to fluctuating schedules to interesting living arrangements. Everyone has been pretty healthy and all have stayed engaged in their different service areas. Its hard to believe we only have 2 more service days. I have had the pleasure of hanging out with each of the teams along the way and have enjoyed getting to know the kids better. The staff is doing a great job with their teams, too. All in all it has been a great trip so far and expect they will end strong. As much as I am looking forward to seeing you in less than a week, it will be hard to again leave our friends here behind. Hope you’re all well – love you lots.
- Tim

Sarah –
Hope you and Jeff and Chelsey had an uneventful flight home. Anything special we should anticipate when we make the trip? I am learning to work left handed (now that my right hand is gone). We will be okay, but it is different. I hope you have a great time camping. See you soon.
- Tim

Dad and Ty
This morning, VC and I woke up thirty-six minutes late. That was crazy. Kelli says hi to both of you. Thanks for the update, go KG! We played early this morning and it was a hot game. My shot is so off but we always have fun. Brett is officially the definition of tank. He is the focal point of our offense. I feel like I’m getting better but still making small mistakes. But again, it’s all fun. We just got back from an eye-cream shop. Chicken sandwiches for lunch. Chyeah. Sarah and Ashley and Hannah all say hello!! Guess what they have here? Soda in a bag. Just when I thought I’d seen it all… I’ll talk to you later. I love you and Tyno.
Hey David! I’m praying for you.

Dad and Mom,
Hello it is your wonderful daughter Brittany. I am taking a break from painting right now. How is home? Well I don’t really have much to say except I love you.

Hey Everyone!! Mom, Dad, Ryan and Claire,
Today is our second service day in Jutiapa, and we’re pretty much doing the same thing as always, going to schools and doing our little show – today I’m a clown. The trip is going well, I haven’t gotten sick, so don’t worry too much Mom. So far I’ve taken a million pictures and can’t wait to tell you guys about the trip. Tomorrow is our last service day and then we head to Antigua then to Lake Atitlan for R&R! I don’t have much else to say, Happy Father’s Day dad… and I love you.

Hey mom, Jasmine, and midnight.
Sorry I haven’t blogged yet I have been so busy. This trip has been sooo much fun I have so much to tell you. I hope you guys are safe and having fun.
Well I love u all you’ll be in my prayers!
Brittney Arnesha

Hola mi familia!!!
Today has been an interesting day already! There was a bull’s head in one of the basketball hoops; it was part of a Satanic cult worship to try and “undo” what we have already done here in this city. It’s amazing to me to see how Satan tries to work and yet how powerful God is!!! I love you guys and miss you, but know that I am doing really well and know that this is where I am supposed to be. I hope Dad and Grandpa are doing okay with the whole situation. God has really been a strength and constant comfort to me since I can’t be with you guys. I love you and will see you Sunday… I don’t know if I’ll be able to blog again. So hasta luego!!

Hey Mom and Dad
No mike does not have the website so idk how you would be able to get it to him but that’s fine if you cant, I will be home soon enough. We have been painting the last two days and we are painting again tomorrow!!! I am so sick of painting! I am really excited for R&R! Its going to be really fun! So what would you like for me to try and get you while I am here? Dad would you like coffee? If you end up talking to mike ask him what he would like and do you think that I should get Travis a knife? Mom I know that wouldn’t really want me to get him one cause it wouldn’t be safe but do you think he would like it? Tomorrow we only have to paint for half the day so I am really excited about that! We got to go to a hospital last night with our home stay to pray for one of the daughters of a lady that attends the church! We also played cards with them and started to get to know them better! It was really nice!
Ashley Weis

Papa Daddy and family,
I just got that post. It’s the first one I’ve seen from you guys! Kinda made me sad that you guys haven’t been writing to me. But glad I saw it! I miss Daniel head too. And I wont see him for a week until I get back?! Oh well…he will have fun. And hopefully not get homesick like me. Ive dreamed about work for the past 3 nights…so I think that means I miss work way too much. Haha but im really excited about the work party the day I get back because I miss them all. So I wanna stop by for a while after I chill with the fam when I get back…and maybe take a real shower?! I hope the floor is done when I get back! Im so excited for my room to finally be done. But…we got a slight problem, I forgot to paint my closet!! Haha so its still pink. Ehhh we can maybe fix that this summer. We are currently in Jutiapa, Guatemala where the food is great! I swear ive gained 20 pounds! So we better start eating more mexi food when I get home! Haha im in a home stay with nikki in a really nice house! 3 floors with a huge roof where they go up on with there dog and chill. A house of 4 girls because there dad died 2 years ago but there all really nice and my Spanish is to a perfection! Haha they have a stair case in the middle of the house that curls all the way to the top of the roof! The house is adorable. My other home stay…not so great. And I’ll tell you about that when I get home. But other then that I’m great. And we’ve got 4 days left so 1 more service day and then we are travel around to lake atitlan, panajachel, san tiago, and Antigua to do some shopping. But I gotta go eat dinner. So please blog again! Its fun to hear from you and I don’t think I’ve been getting your other ones. So be specific because maybe I have just missed them because there are a lot of sarahs and some with the same initial.
Love you tons! And miss home!
-Sarah Bivans

Momma, Poppa, Lauren,
There have been so many things that have happened in the days we have been here. So many that I would probably write 5 or more pages. I am healthy and soaking in the sun. The children’s team is going great and God is giving us strength to play with the kids. I tell you guys more when I get back, but for now I am going to keep enjoying this beautiful country and people. Love you and see you soon.

Hey everyone !
So I figured I would blog again since we only have one service day left and I’m sure I wont be blogging much when we get to r&r time. My home stay has turned out to not be that bad. It was just a total difference from the last one and needed some time to readjust since it’s a lot like campur. We have been painting the church again so lots and lots of painting has happened. The only like outside work we did was house building in campur and a little painting outside in el Salvador so im excited to spend lots of time outside when we get done with service. Keep writing me even if I don’t respond since sometimes just the blog responses is up and not the writing one. Hope all is well and everyone is having a good time. Miss you all. See you in 5 days !
xoxoxox Hannah

Hey Crum family- still healthy. Will write more later
love Nicole

Hello Mark, Lee Anne, Peter and Family! I am doing great. I was a clown for one performance in Metapan. Now I have been doing all the girls when they are clowns. I am writing a lot in my journal so I feel that I don’t really need to write that much to you now. Hope dad had a good father’s day without his favorite daughter there. We have one more service day and then r&r but that will be weird not to do our show. Got to go! Love you, Miss you, see ya soon! Amy Anderson

Hey Family & Friends
The service team has been working hard here in Jutiapa. Its is now our 4th day in a row painting. Muscles in our hands we didn’t know we had hurt and we have calluses from the paint rollers. The students are staying positive. We’ve painted 6 classrooms in this church so far. Yesterday while we were painting we suddenly heard very loud music we ran outside to see a parade with lots of marching bands, drum lines, and dancing, it was fun to watch. Things are going great, although I am getting ready to get home to you all. I am super excited to get to Lake Atitlan, its is so beautiful. The relaxation will be great. Hope all is well back in Ep. Miss you lots. I am on the late flight back so I won’t be home until the evening. Like…around dinner time…hint hint. Jk. Excited to show you pictures. Oh dad – did you wait until Sunday to read my father’s day card?
See you Sunday,
Lori Ask

Hey everyone back home! Well it’s our second to last ministry day in Jutiapa and we have done nothing but paint for the last I don’t know how many days, and we’re all just sitting around waiting for the paint to dry so we can apply another coat. There have to be about 9 coats of other colors before ours and we got no primer for our coats we layed down. You’d think that after so many tries at repainting they’d be better at this. Well we’re almost done here, and then onto R&R. by the way, the food here is amazing!!!

Cole Peterson

Hey Mom, Dad, Danae, Cate..ect,
I hope everything is going well at home. We are almost done with the hard stuff here we have one more service day tomorrow and that’s it. It’s kind of sad, but kind of a relief. Today was pretty tough a couple of kids on our team were sick and it was pretty warm in the clinic. We managed to see 150ish people, but one of the boys that we saw is almost certainly going to die unless he has brain surgery. Jim (our nurse) knows someone in the US who may be able to help out, so pray that something can be set up. We came through the day strong despite the difficulties and we had a lot of good laughs on the way home thanks to Josh. I’m excited for R&R soon. Love you all,

Hola Todos:
The Service Team has been awesome from the time that we departed Mpls. It is incredible the synergy that they have and no one has been slacking off. In fact, often times they have gone the extra mile. Our projects in Campur required us to split into two separate teams. Both teams helped out in the construction of homes for two families. The teams helped carry blocks, do cement work, cut and put together the re-bars. One minute it was sunny and hot, then suddenly we had that kind of tropical rain that this area is well known for.

The trip to Metapan, El Salvador was about 9 hours. We made a few stops in between, so it didn’t seem so long. The church in Metapan asked us to help with the painting. We had enough time to paint the west side of the church as well as hallways inside the church. Due to the lack of painting experience, the cleaning afterwards was a bit challenging.

The next stop was Jutiapa, Guatemala, about 2 hours from the border with El Salvador. Therefore, the bus ride took less than 3 hours. The following day after arrival, the church asked the team to do more painting. It is so amazing how much the team in general learned from their first painting assignment in Metapan, that they totally finished three good size classrooms in a record time of less than 3 hours and with no messy cleaning whatsoever! The team’s excellent and speedy work was rewarded with more painting projects. Today they painted three other classrooms as well as the outside walls of the kitchen.

Tomorrow, our last day in Jutiapa will involve some touch up work as well as painting a couple of hallways and staircases. Despite the workload, the whole team is in good spirit and they continue to look forward to the challenges. Other than some minor upset stomachs as expected, everyone has been healthy. It is encouraging to see them try to interact with the locals in Spanish and to learn new words. The team has bonded so well that I am positive that everyone will be sad when this mission is over and we are all back to our old daily routines.

Hasta luego,
Knowland Loo, leader
Service Team

Monday, June 16, 2008

Jutiapa Guatemala

Monday June 16, 2008
Today was our first service day in Jutiapa, Guatemala.

Hey Dad, Happy fathers day! I need to know what kind of coffee you want.. you never told me! We are in Jutiapa now and we’re doing great.
Ps: Tell Tracy that Brett’s finger is fine.

Happy Belated Father’s day Dad. Everything is well here in Jutiapa. I’m staying in a hotel room. It’s fun though, and we have really funny looking bedspreads. I miss my homestay family in Metapan especially the little boy. This trip is way different than last year, but at the moment I’m struggling to process everything. I think maybe a few weeks after I get home I’ll be able to better. Did you go to the church service Cate/how was it?? Mom&Dad do you even still read this?? Love you all,
Elizabeth Z

Hey papi, happy late father’s day! We have been having a lot of fun and we’re back in Guatemala. Two games so far, today, with one to go. The second game had hoops that were 9 feet tall. So we dunked our minds off. Almost each player on the team threw it down, with authority. The two El Salvadorian guys who play with us and do ministry are really good. We’ve had our toughest competition yet. My home-stay is nice. I’m rooming with V to the C. We have a shower, and a fan! I feel good, besides the time when I ran into a soccer post after feeding off a fast break dunk to Brett. That was a pleasant, hard surprise. Tell Tyno that he would love balling down here, and tell him I miss him. As of right now, we just ate lunch. Hamburgers! And the ball team is picking up some color. Josh told me to tell you that. It helps us ‘fit in’, you know? I’m learning more Spanish everyday, and even some German. Bet you didn’t see that one coming.
Love you like a father! Your Boy,

Happy late fathers day, Dad. It is great here. We are in Juitapa now. I have had so many cool experiences here so far. For the next three nights, we are staying in someones house. I will see you guys soon!

Mom, Dad, Pookie, and everyone else :
Well first of all happy fathers day dad. Sorry we didn’t write yesterday it was a travel day. Yes well lets see we are now in Jutiapa and it is interesting. It is clean like el Salvador but my home stay this time is definitely not as nice. I am staying with anna rask. Im not sure how to explain but I did take pictures. Well lots of people want to write. Love you all and I really cant wait to get home. Love Ya.
Xoxoxox . Hannah

Querida familia—
Hola! Como estan? Yo estoy bien. Hemos visto a muchos pacientes en la clinica medica. Pero tenemos que irons asi que adios! Los amo mucho!

Hey Mom, Marty, Dad, Julia, Mackenzie and The OT,

We arrived in Jutiapa yesterday around lunch time. It is nice here not too hot but it is definitely warm. We went to central park yesterday and the basketball team had a game, the mime was performed, as well as the children’s team. It was great to have a chance to see what each of those teams get to do everyday and how they impact the people. We have home stays again here mine is a hotel. There is a family who owns a hotel in town that has taken like 12 of us and we are staying there. It is decent there kind of run down looking but it is better than nothing. We eat breakfast and dinner as a group at the church in Jutiapa. It is nice to start the day all together and end it together as well. I heard we are painting again today so that should be interesting. Dad happy late father’s day hope it was a good one for you. Since you got the treat of driving my car I guess a present to you isn’t needed for you already got one. ;) Where did you take my car and why exactly? Glad you all are getting use out of it. I am doing fine I haven’t gotten sick yet. My stomach is a little squirmy but not a big deal. I am having a blast but I miss you all. OT hope you are doing well I miss you a ton and can’t wait to see you when I get home. Hope all is well with everyone back there!

With Love,

Hey there dad and grandpa sorry that I didn’t write you yesterday. In the shuffle of getting here, unloading, and with some of the team members leaving I didn’t have time to write so HAPPY FATHERS DAY!! We just started working in Jutiapa and we’ve done a whole lot of painting! Hope everything is going well.


Hey Mom Dad Michelle Kelsey and Tre. So Dad an opportunity did not present itself to tell you happy fathers day yesterday. So happy belated fathers day! Oh and today has been pretty good, we’ve been painting in Jutiapa and this time everyone got a home stay, I’ll tell you all about mine when I get back! Gotta run and get some food…. We get hamburgers


Hey friends and family I am in Jutiapa right now and I played with the basketball team for the past couple days because some people on the team were not felling good. Today I was on the service team though and we painted all day which was fun. Hope you have a good time in Florida.


Hey dad!!

Happy Father’s Day! Sorry I’m a day late, but I didn’t see the computer yesterday. I hope you found my note- I’m pretty sure its laying on my desk. Jamie better have done something awesome yesterday because you deserve it! And I hope grandma enjoyed Katie’s grad party! Before I forget- Tell Jamie that Tap says the birds be flockin’ at the dance recital. Haha Quick update on the trip- we are now in Jutiapa. Everyone got a homestay this time (last town only the girls did) but our group of 4 was put in a hotel room along with 2 other groups. I’m assuming they didn’t have enough room in their house. I’m lucky though because some people are complaining about their homestays. We’re painting the church here- but I think tomorrow we’ll be working on the construction of a new church down the road. Hope all is well  and keep praying for our safety and health!

Love- Nicole C

Hey Everyone,
We are now in Jutiapa, Guatemala. We are staying in new people’s homes and I couldn’t ask for more. I’m staying with Sarah Bivans and Jennifer Sheonrock in a huge house. There are three girls and a mother living there and the house was built with no doors. There is no privacy what-so-ever but when there are all girls, it doesn’t matter. We each have our own bed, sarah and I are in a room and Jennifer is across the hall. They have a dog that we can actually pet and likes me sometimes and is shy sometimes. Sarah and I got to wash clothes last night and we took turns patrolling for cockroaches. The mother ran around the room killing them with her shoe and trying to assure us there were no more cockroaches ( HAY NO MAS CUCHARACHA!!!!) The shower is super nice and has warm water and I couldn’t be more greatful. Well, things are looking up! I love you guys and miss you all! See you soon!

Love, Nicole Iskierka

Hey!! Happy Father’s day dad. I missed not being there. I’ll make it up to you when I get home. Were at our next city, We are in new home stays. They are much different then our last ones. Very very very small and rustic. But I’m surviving. And my roommate is a lot of fun and speaks fluent Spanish so that makes it easy. I’m still feeling good. I’m wearin down a bit. Well cant wait to see you!! I don’t know if I missed a blog but did you answer on whether or not I could stay with Rach for a weekend??? I love you guys and can’t wait to see you!!! Love, Lucie

Hey Mom Dad Ryan and Luke,
Sounds like you guys have been very busy. Luke when I get back you will have to make me some eggs since you are now a pro. Evereything has been going good here, staying healthy. We have been visiting different schools everyday and its a lot of fun. Captains?? For track. You might have already told me but I didn’t read that post if you did. Happy Late Fathers Day. Im sure golfing just wasn’t the same without me. Luke I got your note.. thanks.. any requests for what you would like otherwise I will surprise you. Tell the Aggies hi for me when they get there. Cant wait to see you all.
Love Sarah Tapani

Thanks again for all the prayers and support you have been sending. We got to Jutiapa around lunch time yesterday and it is pretty cool. We got to our second homestay and I am with Sarah Tapani and Kelly Anderson. It is again a VERY new and challenging experience but I am really learning a lot. We painted some rooms in the church today and now I am eating lunch! It has been pretty uneventful so far but I’ll keep in touch!
Love you guys!
-Kelsey Essig
P.S. Happy Fathers Day Daddy!

Mom and Dad,
Happy Fathers Day Dad! I hope it was good. I miss you guys and love you lots. We painted the church in El Salvador and now we are painting the church in Jutiapa. This time my home stay is at the pastor’s house with a girl named Kate, she is on the medical team. They live right above the church so it is convenient. I completed my faith story and I’m going to share it tonight. Please pray for me. I love you lots.
Brittany Backlund

Hello Mom, Dad, Dave, Magnet Marie, and Mak,
HAPPY FATHERS DAY Dad! Hope it was fun! I am having a blast. I have my first home stay and it is funky fresh. 8 guys and I are in a studio apartment with full water, a balcony, and lots of wind. I slept like a baby last night. We have our entire mime skit down and have preformed it a gazillion times. I feel like a girl because I wear so much makeup but my masculinity fixes it. The gang has been well except for some having spells of diarrhea, I have been solid the most of the time. About ten others and I sang live on a radio and it was super gangster. I really like it here. Happy Fathers Day again Dad. Hope all is well.
Samuel George Knutson

Hey Mom and Dad,
How’s the cabin treating you? We are now in Jutiapa and I feel much better than I did in Metapan. I am staying at a home in Juitiapa that has a nice view of the street. Travis is in my home stay group so that’s pretty cool. Basketball is so much fun!! It is also pretty sweaty and dirty. Our jerseys are starting to stink! Did Uncle John write on the blog?? Any way, I got enough food and I take medication when I need so rest assured. I know you are praying for me, so Thank you! Happy Fathers day as well, Markie!!! The food has been getting better. We had Dominos the other night as a group. The competition is getting fierce on the B-Ball courts but we can handle it!!! How’s everything at home? Hopefully Markie isn’t taking to many naps in my bed!!!! Just kidding its fine.
I love you guys,
Josh Hendricks

Hello Mother Hello Father this is a letter from camp Granader, Camp is very entertaining if it would stop… well being hot. Everything is going well down here in this side of the world. We are having fun and doing some really good work. I took the day off from playing to give my knee a rest so I can play some more later this week. To bad Maven flew the coup but maybe it was for the better. It’s strange how fast days can move. Even though I’ve been getting up about 5am everyday it seems like it’s dinner time before I’ve fully waken up. It’s also great to be in another familiar place. Even many things have changed many have stayed the same. Good times. Oh well that about as much as I need to say.
Kevin Franske

Kate, Tom, Mom, Dad, Travis and Mike,
Thank you so much for your support! We are now back in Guatemala in Jutiapa. We have different home stays and the one that I am in is not as amazing as the last one but I guess it is someone else’s turn to be spoiled! I am just glad that we have a real shower not a bucket one like many others have. The lady that we are staying with is named Flora I believe. She isn’t very talkative but we really only stay there for the night so it’s all good and there is three of us so we keep ourselves occupied. Today we painted again in the church that we are working with. They are feeding us American food and its really nice! We had hamburgers and fries today for lunch it was amazing! We will be here in Jutiapa for two more work days and then we will travel to our r&r. One of the girls one my team just accepted the Lord into her life today! I am so happy! She is an amazing girl! Well other people want to write so I need to go but thank you so much for your support! I love you all!
Ashley Weis

Family & Friends:
We arrived back in Guatemala yesterday. The experience in El Salvador was very rewarding. El Salvador is a bit more westernized than Guatemala. The team is tired from playing many games in the heat and from the adjustments in diet. Hopefully the biggest challenges are behind us and we can finish healthy and strong. It has been a joy to watch the students grow in their relationships with each other and to demonstrate the love of Christ to those they encounter. I am seeing some real spiritual growth in many of the students and also some barriers to be overcome. I am praying the barriers are broken and that a spirit of unity prevails. We are in the city of Jutiapa and will be here until Thursday. The church that is hosting us has been very gracious despite losing their building to a fire several months ago. Other than the normal aches and pains from playing basketball, my health has been good – a real blessing!

Until next time,
Bob Moberg

Hey everyone!
Today we had our first service day in Jutiapa. The medical clinic was slower than usual today, but it was nice to have some down time in between patients, especially after a crazy day in Metapan. The people from the church here are really great. They try hard to make us feel at home. I’m excited for tomorrow. I was told that we’re going to be working in the mountains! I miss you all and am looking forward to telling you all about our work and experiences here!
Kelli M

Hey friends and family!
Happy Father’s day, Dad! Sorry I am a day late… I kinda didn’t get a chance to write on Sunday. So I am totally losing track of the days and cannot remember when I wrote last. Well, here’s a recap. On Saturday, we had the busiest day at our clinic in Metapan. We saw 180 patients in about six hours. Wow! It was so busy and so hot… definitely one of our toughest clinic days. But it was great to make such an impact on so many people. Sunday was a travel day to Jutiapa. It was only a four hour drive to Jutiapa, so after our lunch in the church we went to a park to watch the mime, basketball, and children’s teams perform. It was so nice to just sit and relax in the sun. And no, I haven’t gotten a tan because I am so paranoid that I put on loads of sunscreen… on top of the loads of purell . (Remember that purell bottle that you said I would never use that much? Well, it’s over half gone.) We are at another homestay. This one is definitely not as nice as our last one, but we all are managing. Bucket showers are better than no showers, right? Today we had a clinic in this village right outside of Jutiapa. It is crazy how rustic it is right outside of the town. We saw 130 some patients…. Pretty good for losing a doctor (our surgeon had to return home ). Towards the end of the clinic, the pastor’s wife had the kids perform some of their children’s songs. It was so cute! Then they all came up to me and asked me to teach them a game. We started with “oboshinatintatin.” They actually have words for that in Spanish! Who knew? Then we did “Plato, plato, gonzo!” which is the equivalent of “Duck, duck, grey duck!” It was so much fun! Well, everyone is bugging me to finish my novel, so I will close with this: I am having the time of my life, and am (surprisingly) still healthy! I love you all lots! Good luck with your room, Tyler!
Love always, Kelly Anderson

Hi Mom and Dad!
How was fathers day? I hope you opened the present I got you dad! How is life at home, anything new? How are Allison and Aaron? So we are in our last town of the trip and have two more ministry days. You can read Kelly Andersons blog to find out exactly what we have done, but I will be quick. I really enjoy the medical team and I am having fun. We got our final home stays and they are a little less than ideal but I will be okay. I am having fun and I am excited for our shopping and touring days! I miss you and will see you soon! I am not excited for work on Monday though! I love you all SO much!

Anna Rask

Sunday, June 15, 2008


We made it to Jutiapa and were greeted by a warm welcome and ham sandwiches. Our kids will be heading off to a park in 30 minutes for mime, basketball and childrens. The service and Medical will have the afternoon to help each of the teams.

June 14 afternoon #2

Mom, Dad, Danielle, Josh, Grandma, Grandpa, Taylor & Nikki,

Hey everybody! I haven’t blogged for a while because it’s a little difficult to get on the computer. I am now in El Salvador (which you probably already know) and we are staying in people’s homes here. I have a family that consists of a mom, dad, and little girl named Kayla. At first I thought I struck gold because it was so much nicer than Campur. I later realized the shower and toilet don’t work and it isn’t as “magical” as some of the other palaces here. So far today we only went to one church to do a performance for the kids. It was a nice break from running from school to school. We traveled with the mime team and the basketball team. So far, I haven’t gotten sick, but this is the point in the trip when everyone is. Just to be safe, everyone is asking “can I eat this?” before taking a bite of anything. Mom, I just read one of your letters. Terry is doing a good job of waiting long enough for me to forget you wrote them before giving them to me. Danielle, everyone liked hearing your hello, especially Kelsey. My host family liked seeing the pictures of you guys, my house, and the snow. Taylor & Nikki, I miss you guys so much and I’m talking about you guys a lot. I start my sentences with “my best friends…..” Okay, so everyone thinks I’m writing to my “lover” because I’m writing so long so I need to hurry off. I love you all soooooo much.
Love, Nicole Iskierka
p.s. Taylor say hi to Zacky. Nikki say hi to Moo moo. And Mommy say hi to Uncle Neil.

Hey Hey Mom and Dad,
Sorry its taken so long to write. I’m having a great time and feeling really good. We are in El Salvador now and staying in home stays. My house is extremely nice. It’s a drastic change from Campur. There are nice beds and showers and air conditioning!!! We have been going to lots of schools and doing our thing. I’m pro at balloon animal making. It’s very hot here. O and sorry mom I took the sisterhood book  Hope you had fun cleaning my room. We gave a whole bunch of kids beanie babies today and got lots of pictures. Me and Sarah are totally bonding and have made lots of plans for our dorm room  I’m missin being at swimming lessons Wendy!!!! I can’t wait to be back. I love you and miss you a lot. Do you know if I can go stay with Rach yet??? Tell Brett hi for me and I love him. Do you have any requests for presents??? Cant wait to hear from you!
Love, Lucie

Hi Mom, Dad, and Friends
After I blogged last time I found out that the brick count was more like 550, so I was just a little off  Right now we’re in Metapan and we have been scraping off old paint and rep-painting the walls for the last two days. Everything has been going well and I’m feeling good. Tomorrow we leave for Jutiapa and I’m very excited to sleep on the bus. I’m not going to write too much because other people are waiting to blog, so I’ll tell you more when I get home!
Love You,
Christina Benjamin

To: The Erickson Girls

Hey gals. Miss you. Love you. We did some ministry up in the mountains here near Metapan, El Salvador. It was great. An outdoor presentation for about 100 town folk. The basketball team played against some town guys that played well. Our guys won the game, but it was close. The mime team did the 30 minute program. Each time they perform they get better and better. In order to get to this town we had to walk across a bridge over a very muddy river. The bridge was a couple of blocks long. It swayed when many of the team members were crossing at once. They could have used this walkway in an Indiana Jones movie 

Christina, tried to email you, but it bounced back. Place a comment on the blog and include your email address. Hope all is gong well with mom and the girls.

Better go now. Have a great day. Love you!

Hola todo mi familia y amigos.
I don’t recall the last time I updated on this blog, but I’ve been reading all of your comments—I was able to check this last night at our homestay in El Salvador. I’m staying at a super nice house with Sarah Wasley and Hannah Dull. We have our own room separate from the rest of the house; we walk through their 3-year old’s room, out across the balcony and into our room. Yesterday we had a medical clinic in a big open halfway constructed buildingish thing, and today we had one in some church. We saw 180some patients throughout the course of today compared to the 100/120ish we have been seeing. It was pretty intense, but fun. Pray for team unity and encouragement though because tempers have been kind of short with everyone, though we’re coping. I hope all is well back home. I miss you all, and can’t wait until we get home. Mom have you sent my graduation invites yet….please??? Thanks. Love you all,
Elizabeth Z

Hi H-dawgs!
I haven’t gotten sick at all on this trip except caffeine headaches and a stomach ache. There are a few people that have gotten sick, but nothing major. I’ve only ridden the chicken bus once and it wasn’t bad at all. The medical team is doing really good, we’ve been seeing about 115 patients a day and today we saw 183. It gets really awkward and hot and we sweat A LOT. But it’s a really good feeling helping people in need. It’s been a lot of fun. Have a good time on your trip.
Kate Hondlik

To Mom and Dad and Tracy,
My finger is not in a splint. I put tape on it because I grabbed a chain net in basketball and cut it, but I’m good. Were having a great time and we have been playing well. I’ve not had one offensive foul Daddio. Be proud. I miss you Mom and Dad and I love you guys. I miss you too baby sis and love you. Let me know how the fishing is Dad. You the man Tracy. See you soon.


Hi Mom, Dad, Chrissy, Joshua and friends-
Thought I would write again. The service team has spent the last two days chipping paint and painting different parts of the church building in Metapan. Its been…well Josh, you remember how long I was interested in painting our bedroom. I stayed as positive as I could and helped “motivate” the students. Overall Metapan has been a good experience. The students are enjoying their home stays and many of them are meeting new team members and enjoying the company of more than just their good friends. The group is definitely more united as we head to Jutiapa. I am excited to get back to Jutiapa. I enjoyed that town last time I was here, good food. I hope all is well back at home or wherever you all are, Boston? Calgary? I want to go to the cabin – can we work that out? I love you guys and think of you often. You’re prayers are felt, thank you. Looking forward to a few hours of rest on the bus tomorrow, then ready for more work. Josh- go grocery shopping, don’t do any of my laundry ;), and have fun with your friends. Love ya! Miss ya!
Lori (Becker) Ask

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Kids on radio planned

We got word tonight that they would like to interview some of our students on the radio on Sunday morning. The kids will be on at 6:30 am (here) thats 7:30 am MN time.

You are supposed to be able to go to the site www.iglesiafuentedeuz.net and be able to hear the interview and singing. This is a group of 10-12 students.

Again- ive tried to post pictures and again failed...if you go to the site above its in spanish but from what i can tell if you click on the headphones on the right side you should be able to get the pod cast

Saturday comments


Hey Mom and Dad,
Sorry I didn’t write back right away. I have been busy with Basketball games. I think we have won all of our games! The games have been really fun! Taking Spanish has definitely helped with talking to little kids and adults. This trip has been awesome! The views of the Guatemalan and El Salvadorian Landscape are amazing. The food has been interesting! I have had McDonalds and Dominos. Also some different types of authentic food. Right now I am in Metapan, El Salvador. I got a little sick on Friday but I am feeling better. The leaders and doctors have been taking great care of us. I can’t believe a week has passed by already! No injuries on the basketball court. Knock on wood! Other than that everything is going fine. Thank you so much for helping me fit all those extra snacks into my bag. They are helpful when I need a snack.
How’s everything at home? How’s Midwest roofing doing? What’s the word on football and football camps? Could you check the NBA playoffs and tell me which team has won more games, Boston Celtics or L.A. Lakers?
Thank you, for all your prayers. Talk to you guys later!!!
God Bless
Josh Hendricks

Hey Yall,
Well we’re in Metapan, El Salvador! No one has been hurt so far. I got a little sick but I’m feeling better tho. Our basketball team is undefeated. The weather was great in Kampur but it’s gotten a lot hotter here. The kids are pretty good at soccer too, nothing I can’t handle. Talk to you later!
Prayers and kisses
Andrew Wight

Dad and Mom,
Hola! I am in El Salvador right now in the church. We painted today it was hot out. I haven’t even gotten sick yet. I did get a couple bug bites on my legs though, but nothing bad. I have been doing daily devotionals while I am here. I also started writing my faith story so maybe I can share it while I am here. My house stay is very nice. I have taken a couple pictures with my camera, but others with digital cameras have taken pictures of me and the children. I have one more day in El Salvador and then we go to the next place. Well how are you guys? Have you gone to the cabin at all? How is Nick, Shelia, and Coen? Hey mom you should tell Shelby or Elle about this website and tell them to write something. Well I love you have a good day.
Brittany Backlund

Hey Mom, Dad, Michelle, Tre, And Kelsey
Soo im sorry that I haven’t blogged at all! Campur was really fun this year and now we’ve crossed the border and have been in El Salvador for a few days. Today we painted the church the guys have been staying at, we’ve been painting it for a few days now. Its really actually kinda funny that only the girls got homestays because there weren’t enough families to fill the entire team. So while we were sleeping at the church someone left the sink on and used all the water they had so we can’t really use the toilets or use the shower. I’m pretty sure that its about a hundred degrees hotter here than it was last year and I really wish I had about 5 minutes of air conditioning because I’m about to die of a heat stroke…. But not really. Well I have to go because everyone else wants to blog! So I’ll try to blog again soon
Love Jeffrey

Hey everyone,
I am glad to hear that you’re all praying for me! I am doing well and still haven’t been that sick. We have been painting the last two days and it has been very hot out! We are in first home stays and I am with four other girls. We have a really nice house and I am really happy that I am in this house. We have a POOL! I have been swimming in it for the past 2 nights and will be in it again tonight. The house is amazing and beautiful! The family that is taking care of us is really nice and has 3 kids. The family doesn’t even live at the house but I will talk to you about you when I get back. So far I have not been sun burnt that badly; I only have had a little on the top of my shoulders and a little on the back of my neck. Well I should let someone else blog so I will write later!
Ashley Weis

Hey everyone!
It’s good to hear from everyone. Thanks for all the prayer and support! I am doing pretty well. Last night was my second night staying in my homestay and it is definitely a new experience. I am in a home with Courtney and we had to take bucket showers last night. Lets just say it wasn’t the warmest shower I have taken… But overall it is a really cool experience. We have been in El Salvador for a two nights now and it is gorgeous! We are pretty much surrounded by mountains and its crazy hot everyday. I have yet to get sick which is pretty much amazing! But yeah, everything is well and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible!
Love you all,
-Kelsey Essig

Hey Mom, Marty, Dad, Julia, Mackenzie and The OT,

Sorry I haven’t written in a while with having home stays in El Salvador it is hard to keep up with the blog. The travel day to El Salvador went well. I got a little motion sick at first, but once I got some ice cream everything was fine. We got through customs and crossed the border in less than an hour. My home stay is sweet I love the people. The fathers name is Alfonso, his wife is Alicia and their daughter is Karlana. The dad speaks English but the mom speaks only english. Alfonso is hilarious and speaks in Spanish with me all the time. Their house is really nice and we have a nice shower and even some hot water. We had pancakes the first morning and eggs and ham this morning. El Salvador is really really hot. I never thought there could be any place in the world hotter than Campur. We painted the church in El Salvador yesterday and finished the rest of it today. We are pretty much all covered in paint and sweat by the end of it all. We are leaving El Salvador tomorrow and traveling to Jutiapa. I am very sad to leave these people but I’m excited to see what is lying ahead for us in Jutiapa. I hope all is well with you guys back at home and I miss you like crazy. Mac Mac, I’m not mad you took my car I’m glad you got yours fixed every time I drive behind you I think your muffler is going to fall off. I’m glad you like my car I miss it!! OT I hope you are having fun in PI and can’t wait to hear from you. Hope all is well with you and your mom!

With Love,

Hola from Metapan, El Salvador- Alyssa, Dana, Steve, Donna, and Jamie-
Thanks for writing Alyssa- that definitely made my day  I’ll show you pictures when I get home! So just a little update about what has been going on in these 6 days out of the country. Well we left Campur a couple days ago- and like I already said crossed the border to El Salvador to a town a lot nicer than Campur called Metapan. Me, Taylor, Liz, and Brittney are all together in our home stay. The father name is Alfonso, his wife’s name is Alicia and they have a young daughter living with them named Karlana. Their house is very nice- and such a luxury compared to Campur. The house is half inside and out, really hard to describe but something I’ve never seen before. It is really really hot and sunny here- but the fan in our room is real real nice. Our service projects here in the Metapan’s church consists of a lot of scraping of old paint and putting on new paint. It is a huge church and I swear we’ve painted almost half of it. I want to know how life back in Minnesota is going- so hopefully I will hear from someone soon 

Love Ya! Nicole Crum

Hey Family!!!

I hope your week has been going well. It has been amazing here. We’ve performed in Campur and Metapan now. Today we went over the most horrendous bridge that you could imagine…it was a good thing that you didn’t see it. It looked like something out of Indiana Jones. We had to walk across it because no cars can go over it into this village/town. I’m staying with a family here and their house is really nice. It’s been wonderful to sleep in a real bed and have a real shower! Anyway my time here has been wonderful, and I can’t wait for this next week. I love you guys and miss you… hope all is well!

Love Linz

Hey Everyone!
We are in Metapan, El Salvador right now and we are leaving tomorrow. Gotta love how I always write the day before we leave but it is usually the day with the most down time. We have been painting the “host church” here both days and it has been very tiring but not too bad. We are traveling to Jutiapa which is in Guatemala again and nobody knows what to expect at all which is ok I guess since no one knew about here and it has turned out pretty good. We had our first home stay here. Im with Kelli, Lindsey, Sarah T, and Kate. We are living in a pretty nice house, and stay there at night and eat breakfast with them in the morning We haven’t gotten to know them very well yet but they seem very nice and the grandma does our laundry everyday. My got chocolate milk shirt is whiter than when I left. Love it! We do home stays in Jutiapa too, but the girls may not since the boys didn’t end up getting to here since there weren’t enough host families so we will see. Not too much drama, just the expected so that’s good. Im so glad you all have been writing me I only got to check the blog responses yesterday so it was a good pick me up since I have been really missing home. I cant wait to get back. Please make sure you update me on life back at home so I still feel connected. One week left tomorrow… weird. Yes well not to much else its pretty much the usual. Miss you all. Thank you for the blogs. Love you all so much.
Love always,
Hannah xoxoxox

Hola Mom, Dad, Sophie, Sweeney, and Angel

I miss you guys so much and can not wait to see you again. I am having a great time today the children’s team went to a church, we were there for four hours and we played with the kids in the park, then put on our performance, and I made about a million balloon animals for the kids. This afternoon I am going to give my faith story at our next location. Adam is doing well. Got to Go.

Love You,

Metapan comments

Hey Parents, Friends and supporters-

Here are some comments from yesterday and today. I will post pictures later today once I get some more from the kids. Its hard to believe that today is the last day of ministry in El Salvador. It has been a quick trip. The teams were busy yesterday- although the night bball and mime was cancelled last night. We had our own team worship before sending the kids off to home stays. Tonight we have a mime presentation in the park at 7 and then the kids are off to homestays. We plan to meet at 7 tomorrow morning to take off back to Guatemala.

I know many of you are worried about your kids being sick…however, we don’t like to list it in the blog because it would just make the parents of those sick worry more. So please know that we are taking good care of all the kids and those that are sick are on their antibiotics and on the mend. If your student was in really bad shape- we would give you a call. The kids are not experiencing any sickness that is out of the ordinary.

Also we are still letting kids blog but not giving as much time because we don’t want them tied to the computer every free minute- so if your student didn’t blog its probably because they were busy having fun.

To all the father’s with kids (or staff) on the trip we wish you a wonderful Father’s Day.

Since tomorrow is a travel day there may be limited opportunity to blog. I’ll try to get one more post on today with pictures.

Dear Family & Friends:

The time spent in Campur was wonderful. Campur is a very remote area that is an 8-hour bus ride from the capital, Guatemala City. The scenery there was fantastic and the people were very welcoming and grateful to host our group. They made great sacrifices for us during our stay there and I will not ever forget it. We have now moved on to Metapan, El Salvador where the basketball team is facing better competition. The team is coming together nicely with the assistance of two players from El Salvador, one of whom also serves as our interpreter. So far, this old man is playing more than he would like and I keep deluding myself into thinking that I am in great shape!

Bob Moberg

Hi Everyone,
It’s great to be back in Metapan. Last night I was given the opportunity to give a short message for the group and also the rest of the church that where there for the service. Basketball is going well the only thing that is getting bad is the smell of the jerseys.


Hi Mom, Dad and Gina,
It is absolutely beautiful here!!! You would love it so much. Sorry for taking so long to write something. I am so happy that I’m on children’s team! It is so much more fun than any other because we just play with kids all day long and do our performance! I will write more later but I am doing well and haven’t gotten sick or anything. I love you all.
p.s. my Spanish is improving a lot!!
(Hi David Juel!!)
Jessica Abrego

Hola Mama, Papa, Haley, family and friends,
Sorry I haven’t written in a while. Ashley- thank you so much for writing to me! I really hope you have fun on your trip with your mom! Mom and Dad- I will write more later, I’m not allowed many lines but I’d like you to know the trip is going really well and I haven’t gotten diarrhea yet!!! I love you all!
Sarah Wasley
p.s. David it is so nice to hear from you!!! I hope you’re doing well and I’m excited to see you when we get back. We miss you!

Hey Mom, Dad, Robbie, and Friends!

Today we had our third service day, but the first one in Metapan. It is so much fun! I got to help out with and watch two surgeries—so cool! We had our first of three nights in one of our home-stays last night. The family is big and the house is really nice. The couple is very old and they’re fun to watch. Breakfast there this morning was good, although I don’t really know what it was…oh well. Thanks for your posts on the blog, they’re fun to see! Love you!

Kelli Muehlbauer

p.s. David I’m so glad you’re feeling better. We miss you!!!

Hey everyone!
We arrived in Metapan yesterday and it’s very beautiful! I know you’d love it! The Children’s Team is so much fun! I’ve taken so many pictures of kids…I can’t wait to show you! I am staying with a family for three nights, and they are really nice! The dad makes fun of me because I don’t know much Spanish…keep posting blogs! I’ll write again soon! Love you lots!
Liz Rendahl

p.s. David, I’m excited to hear that everything is going well! I can’t wait to see you when I get back!!!!!

Hey Mom Dad Ryan and Luke,
Today was our first day in Metapan. Its gorgeous here and I love playing with all the kids. I stayed in my first night at my home stay. The family is really nice and the house is great. Good to know everything is going good. Captains??? I cant wait to see you all. Love you!
Sarah Tapani

Hey Christina, Deb, Jessica and Michaela,

Had a great day of ministry today at four different schools. Great responses. We are going to the central park tonight for an evening presentation. It’s storming out right now, so the park may not happen. We’ll see.

I miss you all and thinking about you every day. I’m praying for you and hope you are having a great time with mom. It is very hot here….soaking, wet kind of hot, but it is all worth it in the Lord’s economy. Thanks for letting me come. As always, I look forward to wrapping my arms around you again when i return home.

All my love,


Dad here is what we have done in the past seven days. Got to Campur and worked on a house- we put up bricks and made cement. We worked along side the family that would be living in it. Now we are further into EL Salvador. Having a good time. We worked on painting the church yesterday and more of the same today. Tomorrow we go back to Guatemala. I’m safe and healthy. bye. derick tolentino

Hi Mom and Dad!
I know I haven’t blogged in a long time. We are having fun! We have done three medical clinics, and seen some pretty interesting things. We even saw a couple surgeries. I haven’t felt the best the past couple of days, but I am doing a bit better. We are doing are home stays and I really like my family and they have a great house. I really miss you but I will see you soon. Dad I hope you have a great Father’s Day. I love you all so much! I will see you soon!
Anna Rask

Hello family and friends!
I have been too busy the last couple of days to blog… sorry! Thursday was our longest travel day, but I was riding in the little van that had air conditioning  It was also great to relax and chat with friends. Yesterday we set up another clinic and saw 113 people. We had to shut down early because there was a wake in the building we were using. Because we were back by about three, we went to with the basketball, mime, and children’s team to watch them perform and play at a local school. It was so much fun! I am in a home stay with two other girls… one of whom is fluent in Spanish… handy! Our family is so nice and generous. I am really having a great time and am still feeling great. I love you lots!
Kelly Anderson

Friday, June 13, 2008

Post...2 days old

Here are some posts a few days old. Kids will blog some tonight and will put up tomorow. Also pictures from today and one from Medical in Campur and of some silly girls that showered in the rain in Campur (they were following a certain leader :) )

June 11 posts after breakfast

Today the basketball and mime team stopped at two cities. We played basketball and watched the mimes at the first school. We had the most competition at the fist school. There was also a rainstorm. We showered outside, with clothes on, obviously. This morning, Ryan and I went out for a six mile run. We ran up one of the mountains and to another with a cave engraved into the side of it. We were escorted by two locals, Josh and Kike. Ryan is a tank. He is fun to run with because it is a challenge for me. I haven’t played basketball as well as I’ve wanted to, but there is room for improvement. So far, I think we are 3-0. But the competition is yet to come. I love you mom and pa!

Hey Mom and Dad
We had a great day today! We got to take a shower out in the rain today! It was fun! Hope that you r doing well! We almost finished the house in the rain. The kids are so cute. Let mike know about this please!
Ashley Weis

Dad, Blanca, and Peanut!
You may not have read my other blog but I wanted to write again today and tell you everything that’s been going on. Weve been in campur for 3 days now and leave in the morning for an over 8 hour travel to metapan. So I cant wait!......ehhh. but weve been working on building a house and we finally almost finished today until we got a huge down pour on us and had to stop. But it was almost done. The kids there were soo cute hand would not let us work because they wanted us to play soccer with them. But we had to run back to our house because of the rain. So we decided to save rain water and shower outside! It was a blast! Haha so that’s basically been my agenda. Hopefully I hear from you soon! Ill prolly check the blog tomorrow when we arrive at metapan if we get the chance.
Love you all!
-Sarah Bivans

hey dad , mom, nash ,Baylor, and tate,
Well…I’m alive and well. Today and yesterday we laid cinderblocks and mixed concrete for a small house, and we chilled… not quite sure what else to say. Hope all is well, and I’ll see you all soon

Dear Mom, Dad, Sophie, Angel, Sweeney,

I had a great day, we visited three schools (with not hikes) and it was really fun to ply with the children they love to just have fun and play with us. Adam does want to blog so I will blog for him. He is continually putting on sunscreen and did a good job with his testimony yesterday. Kevin Franske says both of his ankles are ok and there have been no problems with them. I am excited because tomorrow we are going to Metapan. While today was really fun, the most memorable moment was when it started to rain and we all just decided to get our shampoo and shower in the rain. There are people waiting to blog so I have to go. Please blog back, I would love to hear about what is going on back home.

Love You and Miss You,

Taylor and Adam

Hola Amigos!

Hey everyone! Our team has had having an amazing trip so far. We have been Ballin at some sick spots! You guys wouldn’t even believe it. God has really been working in all of us. We will be leaving Campur tomorrow morning and heading to El Salvador, which is going to be a crazy drive. I can’t wait to tell all of you about everything. Ask Tessa and Trevor what color poncho’s they want, cause I forgot :P Hope you all are doing well, I miss you all very much!! Hope to hear from you soon.



Hey everyone,
I’m sitting here for dinner—which nobody knows how long it could take. Today was pretty spectacular. We had our second medical clinic and it went well. I learned which medications do which things, I feel so informed. For lunch I ate two bowls of amazing soup and then worked at prayer and teaching for roughly 4 hours..which is crazy trying to translate to a third language. Then kike came and accused me of not doing any good translating, how misinformed (he’s sitting next to me ahora). Anyways, that’s all, and now I’m out. Adios.
Love, Elizabeth

Guten Tag Fasha, Mutti, Broseph, Magnet, and Mak
This has been a great couple of days. The kids here (we are in Campur and serving the locals) are very fun to play with. It is a GREAT workout. David, I read your card and I rotflol’ed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But John did not protect me from the little girls. Today, two girls touched my butt and ran off! FRESH!!!!!!!!!!!!! How is the family? No David, I did not buy your machete yet so STOP WHINING!!!!!!!!!!!I have no clue what anyone here is saying; it’s all in some foreign language like Chinese or something. Today I gave my testimony and it kicked butt! I’m wining ‘em over to Jesus gangster style. We have had lots of laughs and it has been really fun. Blog back! Hope all is well.
Love ya’ll lots,
Samuel George Knutson

Buenos Dias Mi familla!!
Hahahah look at me speaking Spanish! I’m actually picking up quite a bit, I can read it (not necessarily know what I’m saying) and give people their prescriptions (uno pastille par dia…) The clinic has been quite the experience, we’ve seen some really cool surgeries- today Dr. Husband repaired a tendon in a woman’s hand. It’s a little disheartening though, because there is so much that still needs to be done for these people that we have the technology for in existence, but that we physically can’t do because we don’t have the resources. And even though we are helping them, it’s all short-term. To fix many of the things we see--- like worms, would require a comprehensive change in the way they teach health care- something we are also unable to do in our short time here. On a brighter note, we are able to provide respite from their ailments, as well as plant the seeds for a more healthy life in the children we see. We also play with the children that come into the clinic- which is such a delightful experience. I am amazed by the kids here. We had little 11 and 12 year olds translating for us from ketchi to Spanish and they literally worked all day without complaint. It definitely painted the picture of what a servant’s heart should look like to us. Tomorrow we head out for metapan, across the El Salvadorian Border. Au revoir et je t’aime!!!

Happy Birthday! I miss you so much, but monkey is keeping good care of me.  I love you!!

Hi everyone!
Today was an awesome day. Since the clinic was already set up from the night before, we were able to get started seeing patients right away. Mostly the same stuff that we saw before. Today there were three surgeries: one to clean up an infected toe, another to remove a cyst, and another to sew up a torn tendon. I got to sit in on the one where he fixed the tendon. It was absolutely amazing! Don’t worry, I got a video of it.  Today I was assigned as a “floater,” which basically means that I wander between stations to see where help is needed, and also help with the flow of traffic and entertaining the children. One highlight of the day (beside the surgery) was when I took out the coloring supplies. I had meant to just give them to the children who were pretty bored, but everyone else got into it. I ended up passing out coloring papers and crayons to mothers and a grandpa! It was so cute; they were so excited to be entertained and they were really getting into their pictures! I took a lot of photos of them… so cute! Now I am going to eat dinner, clean up for the night, and get ready for the next day. Tomorrow we have a very long bus ride to Metapan and then the next day we will set up clinic again. I am so excited to see El Salvador, but really sad to leave Campur and all of the people we have met here. I am still perfectly healthy and having a blast. I love you much!
Kelly Anderson

Hey Mom, Marty, Dad, Julia, Mackenzie, and The OT,

We had another hard and hot day at work in Campur. We almost completely finished the entire house today. It was blazing hot in the morning and in the afternoon there was a huge rain storm. We all decided to take showers in the rain it was a blast. While we were working on the house we played soccer with some local boys who wouldn’t leave us alone. Every time we took a water break they were there waiting for us to play with them. It was a blast! Tomorrow we are traveling to Metepan El Salvador, it will be a long drive. I’m planning on sleeping the whole bus ride, I am absolutely pooped! OT I do remember you telling me about that fair I think it’s the one with the cheese right? I am glad you get to go I hope you have so much fun. You better win me something good!! I am sorry to hear about your mom. Tell her I say hi back and I hope she gets better soon. Also tell her I will be praying for her! Tell Logan I say hi too between the two of you I should win something good!! I am sad that I won’t be getting to hear from you for a couple of days I really enjoy hearing from you. I hope everything goes well and I will hear from you soon!

I love and miss you all!

Love, Taylor

Hola a todos, especialmente mi Padre y mi hermana!
Los dos dias pasadas de servicio fue buenos. En la primera dia, manejamos por dos horas a Cobán para presentamos nuestro mimo para un grupo de estudiantes durante un juego de basketbol en un otro luego. Despues, manejamos por dos más horas a Lanking. Luego, intendimos a presenter, pero nuestra sistema de sound no funcionar y no tuvimos la musica. Por eso, no presentamos nuestro mimo. Ahora, la sistema no funciona, y vamos a fixar en Metapan. Por todo del dia hoy (11 de June), presentamos con un sistema más pequeno. Hoy, tambien manejamos mucho a Cobán y el luego iqual en Lanking. Cuando estuvimos en Lanking, hay lluvia y no puedamos presentar todo de la presentación, pero William presentamos Christo a todo de las personas que estuvieron aqui. Todos de los dias, mucha gente acceptamos a Christo! Tuve un buen tiempo.
Matt Crane