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 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


  • At 6:41 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Taylor F,

    Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Taylor, Happy Birthday to you!

    Enjoy your Guatemalan birthday celebration. I can't wait to see you and hear all about your trip.

    May God bless you on your 18th birthday! I love you SO much!


  • At 6:55 PM , Anonymous Karin Anderson said...

    Kelly -
    So good to hear from you ... I was beginning to think they had left you behind in Metapan. I know I said I wouldn't worry, but you know better! Still 100% healthy? Now THAT's a miracle!
    Go have fun! See you soon.
    Love, Mom

  • At 7:14 PM , Blogger d.brad.rindal said...

    Liz Rendahl,

    Your mom told us about this blog. We have enjoyed hearing about this great experience.

    You are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Uncle Brad, Aunt Diane and Leah

  • At 7:24 PM , Anonymous Carol Hondlik said...

    Wow - the pictures are gorgeous! What beautiful mountains and lakes.

    Kate...Torie laughed at me again; when I saw your back at the pool, I shreaked out. It was good to see you!

    I hope you are relaxing, jotting down all the good, challenging, reflective and special moments so you can remember them always.

    We love you and are looking forward to your home coming!

    Mom and Dad

  • At 8:52 PM , Blogger Caitlin said...

    Elizabeth -

    Your post made me laugh out loud! I love that you slipped the foot thing in at the end. Oh, and I have a tropical disease, don't worry Mom! Haha.

    I'm glad you're enjoying your rest time, though. It looks beautiful. Did you know that Danae wants a soccer jersey?

    It's unprecedentedly hot here. No one has ever seen it so hot and still. I'm melting. I'm sure it's nothing compared to down there, but I moved to Central California for mid 70s and an ocean breeze! Oh well.

    I hope your journey home goes smoothly. I can't wait to see pictures.

    Love you.

  • At 8:57 PM , Blogger Rene CJ's Mom said...


    I just got back from Cleveland, and am 'catching up' on the OCM blogs...Interesting stuff! Can't wait to see you at the airport on Sunday!

    Ty,me and Joggy, send our love.


  • At 9:30 PM , Anonymous Stan Z said...

    Elizabeth Z

    It was a pleasant surprise to see your post on the OCA blog; we did not expect you to write again. I liked Cate's comment regarding the way you slipped in the "tropical disease" notification. As I told Cate on her Facebook Wall, when I read your swollen foot comment, all I could think of was an old '30 or '40 movie with some old guy like Humphrey Bogart who was fighting jungle rot and boa constrictors. If I was you, I would milk the swollen foot condition for all that you can get out of it. Since you have been gone so long, we will probably give you more sympathy that usual :-).

    We are looking forward to seeing you. Hurry home!


    Dad, Mom & Danae

  • At 10:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    TAYLOR HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! i'm writing you early just to make sure you get it whenever you check the blog tomorrow!!!! i miss you so much and i am SO sorry i won't be there for your bday. we've been together every year for it =( sophmore in dc we stayed up and opened the present your mom gave you!! oh i miss you so much! make sure lori gives you the present and card i got you and watch the movie on your camera!! call me if you can and i'll sing to you if you can't i will sing to you when you get back!! love you so much happy birthday girlie!!! p.s. i miss everyone so much see you when you get back! love you all lots!! and extra love to taylor on her 18th bday!!!!!

  • At 10:58 PM , Anonymous Mike2321 said...

    Finally, it took you long enough, haha. Honestly idc what you get me, and i would give danny a kiss for you, but, my whole family is gone for the weekend, except for me! :) I worked tonight, and i work tomorrow so i couldnt go; but i have the whole house to myself!!! You should get my dad and mom coffee, and thats it!

  • At 11:46 PM , Anonymous Ace said...

    Having lot of fun in your trip. Well, too like your idea of shopping for Jewelry.

  • At 12:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Taylor Ann:

    I didn't want to send a premature greeting, so now that it is midnight in the State in which you were born, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! It is finally legal for you to, well, to be 18 I guess. And also, the curfew law in Eden Prairie only covers through age 17 . . . but then again there are house rules . . . hmmm . . . there must be something astoundingly special this year - oh - I've got it - you can VOTE! How cool is that?

    I love you BIG time, Squirt. Happy 18th birthday!

    Love, Dad

    P.S. - Nikita sends 18 special birthday slurps!

  • At 12:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hey Ashley,

    The lake and area look absolutely gorgeous. Did you have fun shopping? Did you get your Dad a nice gift for Father's Day? We are looking forward to seeing you on Sunday at the airport.

    Love, Mom & Dad

  • At 10:08 AM , Anonymous Gail M said...

    Taylor F,
    Happy Birthday from Jeff's family!!! Hope you have a fantastic day. It sounds like we should have a painting party for the service team :) :) Can't wait to see all you guys tomorrow at the airport.

    Can't wait to see your smiling face tomorrow. We have missed you sooooo much.

  • At 10:31 AM , Blogger Lani33 said...

    Buenas Diaz Senor' Josh H;
    Thanks for the blog! glad to hear you are feeling good, won the B-ball games & enjoy R&R chill time with friends. Shopping Answer: coffee & vanilla extract(for cooking)or bracelet/necklace for mom and XL t-shirts for dad.
    We saw Claire last night, she says hello to the B-ball team!
    Any special foods you are craving? We pray for a safe flight home on Sunday! Can you read your English book on plane home?
    remember to journal & take pictures on your last days!
    We are missing you lots by now and excited to see u airport sunday!
    We have next week to catch up & hear all the details of this adventure!
    God Bless & c u soon!Love, Mom & Dad (J & M)

  • At 11:21 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hope you have a fantastic birthday!
    Jodie, Dale, Amber and Lindsey

  • At 11:46 AM , Blogger Gail I. said...

    Hi, Nik,

    I guess this is the last time I will blog as you will be heading HOME tomorrow! I cannot wait to see you!! I was so glad to hear that you are loving your R&R at "the lake". You talked about it being like the Garden of Eden. I really believe that God has given you a foretaste of what heaven will be in this breathtaking place that He created here on earth. Your thoughts about Eden also made me think of how after running the race (II Tim. 4:7) that we have the reward of heaven. All of you have run the race, fought the good fight and now is a time of refreshment and reward! Good job!

    Fully appreciate the rest of your stay there Nik. I can tell you have lots of great memories and I hope you will create a few more.

    See you soon,

    Love you much,

    Praying for you and everyone with you,


  • At 12:11 PM , Blogger Gail I. said...

    Dear leaders,

    I want to add my thanks to all those who have thanked you for your terrific leadership this year! You all are just amazing! Thank you for training our kids this past year - for being patient during the inevitable frustrations of trying to get a venture like this together. Thank you for developing them into an effective team. Thank you for giving of your time this past two weeks to travel with them, keep them safe and healthy and, most of all, demonstrating to them ways that they can be more like Christ.

    I have to say a special thanks to Tim for doing such a great job when Brian was unable to make the trip, to Sarah for the phenomenal administrative work you've done - keeping everything so organized and on-track, to Jennifer for stepping in at the last minute to help - I don't know too many of us that would want to drop everything on such short notice and go to Central America - and for Nikki's team leaders, Terry and Tony and the great job they did with the Children's team.

    To all of you, thanks again!

    Gail Iskierka

  • At 2:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Amanda and Sarah,

    So glad to see the backs of you in the picture by the pool. I'm glad to see you are enjoying some sunshine (hope you have on sun screen). The area you are in sounds beautiful. It sounds like you all worked hard even though there were some challenges along the way. I miss you tons and can't wait to see you tomorrow. Enjoy your last day of rest, sounds like you earned it.

    I am praying that you all have a safe and uneventful trip home.

    Lots of Love

    I have found several house that we will go and look at next week!!

  • At 9:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hey Cole,
    We spent the first day of the summer at the lake today and we now have everything ready to go. Michael Peter's open house was tonight. When we had a huge downpour. Can't wait to see you at the airport!!!
    Mom, Dad, Nash, Baylor and Tate


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