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 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


  • At 7:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


    hello my dear! i'm glad you're not sick! i've really been praying about that! and it's so good about your homestay! gotta love those hot showers! i haven't been doing much...just training for granite city and nannying a little! i love you lots! :)

    Say hi to everyone for me!

    Danielle Iskierka

  • At 7:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi Amy!
    Great photo of you as a clown! Nice to keep the family tradition going!! Thanks for the great Father's Day card -- you did NOT miss much at the cabin at all!! Can't wait to see all your photos! Everyone asks about you and says hi and sends their love!! We are praying that you finish strong and enjoy the time reflecting on what God has taught you through this wonderful experience. Lots of love from all of us!! Mom, Dad, and Peter

  • At 7:55 PM , Anonymous Kim said...

    I can't tell you how happy I am that you've finished your faith story and that your willing to share it!!! It's an answer to prayer. Everyday you continue to amaze me.
    Love and miss you.


  • At 8:03 PM , Blogger Caitlin said...

    Hey Elizabeth,

    Sounds like things are pretty busy and I'm not surprised you're feeling a little overwhelmed. Taking it in stride and letting yourself have time to process later seems like a good idea, at least a better one than trying to force yourself to make sense of so many experiences in the midst of a situation. I think reflecting later will bring a deeper understanding.

    I completely forgot to go to the service yesterday evening. It was really bizarre, I went to a party in the park down the street with Anne-Marie and met several of her friends, then walked Birkie for a long time, and then was so tired, I went home and read until bed, completely forgetting what I intended to do with my evening! Oh well, next weekend.

    As always, great to hear from you!

    Love you.

  • At 8:09 PM , Blogger Lisa said...

    From Dad ..... Thanks for the Fathers Day Greeting!! Great to see pics of you, and hear from you; as for coffee ... get GOOD coffee. Thanks Love Dad

    From Mom.......Hey Travie, thanks for your postings. I don't know why but somehow I missed your first posting....thus my comment about not hearing from you. Oops! You look good in the photos...we can tell it is HOT though! It has been so great to see photos of all the groups, everyone looks great! Hey, I helped Poppy through the BLOG last night and he left you a message...did you see it?

    Love you & praying for you all,

    PS Tessa wants Royal Blue with Black and white stripes(like Terry's) and Trevor wants Red or Multi. Trevor did Mt Ida climb...took 9 hrs, lots of snow...

    Brett, Tracy liked your note to him, he said "ha, he always calls me that!" Big Smiles :-)

  • At 8:11 PM , Blogger Lani33 said...

    Hey Josh H!
    Hola'& Buenas Noches Senor'Jose!
    Thanks for the Blog info! The pleasure is mine to be your father, says dad, you make everyday a Happy Father's Day for Markie!!Your suttle humor is really funny!We have chuckled at your blogs.Glad to hear the food is getting better, then off to Hotel @ Lake Aitalan! The pictures look so beautiful. The cabin was good, Chip says hi and we can use his single lift for the jet ski all summer! We miss you and pray for good times with lots a great memories! Are you taking lots of pictures on camera #2 by now?
    Are you starting to run low on the snack shop dept? Keep up your strength young athlete as football awaits you here in Minnesota.
    Hope you have read all my emails to you! May the Lord keep you safe at all times!
    Love, Mom & Dad

  • At 8:15 PM , Anonymous Don said...

    Hey Anna,
    Yes we had a nice Father's Day. We came back from Portage, saw Grandpa and then saw Grandma. It's not the same without you. But we know you are doing well. The blog is really helpful to know what is going on. You sound good and still so enthusiastic. We are looking forward to seeing you and hearing more about the trip. We hope you have lots of pictures, not just funny faces.

    We love you.
    Mom and Dad

  • At 8:17 PM , Anonymous Sharon said...


    Keep up the good work. The students sound like they are doing a good job and enjoying the trip. The reports are good. Hang in there each one of you. May God bless you and keep you strong and healthy the rest of the trip. Thank you for all you are doing.

    Sharon R

  • At 8:34 PM , Blogger jessica said...

    Bob M...

    Great to hear that the trip is going well for you and your group! I hope the remainder of the trip will be just as rewarding as the first half for you! You will continue to be in my prayers! I hope the crew is able to maintain their health (overall) for the remainder of the trip! Can't wait to hear about the trip :)

    Have a great day!


  • At 8:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Taylor F,

    It is wonderful to hear that you are enjoying your time in Jutiapa! I am SO happy you have remained healthy and were able to see the other teams in action. It is very powerful to witness others experiencing God.

    Things are going fine here. I ran around the house yesterday screaming "Tay Tay are you?" Your sister thought I was crazy.

    My prayers continue for you and the rest of the team. I love you and am so proud of you.


    P.S. Say hello to Jeff and Lori!

  • At 8:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Tay Tay Foster-
    Hey dude! I just wanna say Hello and I miss you at work!! Don't worry I talk to Henry about you... :) I am glad you are having a blast! You all are in my prayers for saftey and having fun!
    Lotsa Love,
    Amy Thunselle

  • At 8:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    hi everyone! brittany i'm really excited you're sharing your faith story i'm REALLY bummed i won't get to hear it. i'm super sad to be home i shouldn't have come home early but keep having fun and doing all the good work you are doing there! i miss you guys a lot.. minnesota is still the same it's kinda cold too.. AND gas is like 3.98 a gallon. but i really miss you all a lot and i'm sad i'm home but keep me posted on everything you do. Lori- i read the suspicious looking mole joke/comic thing on the plane today.. hahaha i really miss you all so much and love you all talk to you in a week! much love,

  • At 8:59 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Tim- It sounds like everything is going well. Know that we are thinking and praying about your experience there. We went to Lion's Tap tonight because Cam couldn't figure out how to boil ribs and then bake them with BBQ sauce. A project for later tonight so the boys can eat before soccer games tomorrow. Yes, I am going to have him help me. Kieran's back on hard food...we are keeping our fingers crossed.

    It sounds hot there. The weather here is beautiful. No rain predicted until Friday. Teddy is staying overnight. BB camp is going well. Cam's helping out at VBS tomorrow at Libby's request. Bret is long boarding to Marcelo's. He seems to like nannying. Kyle heads to Bemidji on Thursday. Bret will be picking you up since I'll be with Cameron in Lakeville for a soccer tourney this weekend.

    Clinic is busy. I'm taking Cam to the chiro tomorrow. Apparently there are some concerns and they wanted me to come to the second visit for recommendations. All is well here...at the moment. (We'll talk about the vet bill later.) Hope you are staying healthy and somewhat rested.


  • At 9:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi John Cramer!
    We have loved the pictures of you and your team. It sounds like everyone is having a great experience. We hope that you are staying healthy and that you don't miss us too much.
    Rachel left for New Jersey today so the house is very quiet.
    We continue to pray for you daily. We hope you have a safe rest of the journey and we look forward to seeing you on Sunday!
    Love, Mom, Dad and Princie

  • At 9:41 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hannah James,
    Glad to hear all is well and that you are missing home. Think about this time when you prepare for CA. Am looking forward to hear about your seervice time. We will keep praying for you and your team.
    Papa & Grandmother

  • At 10:08 PM , Anonymous Sharon Allen said...

    Hey Andrew!!
    We hope you are feeling MUCH better...let us know..ok? Did you miss any games? It looks hot there!! Love all the pictures. Morgan leaves for Florida tomorrow morning (Tues). She said to tell you hello and bye and that she misses you and not to forget that thing she wanted you to buy. We are praying for ya'll. How is your home stay? Take lots of pictures. Dad said he is going to teach me to drive your car while you are gone-ha.Write soon.
    Love you bunches,

  • At 10:11 PM , Anonymous Father Hondlik said...

    Hey Pokey Hondlik,
    It's a good thing Father's Day is celebrated for a whole week in our house, because it should give you plenty of time to email me and tell me how much you love me, and then I will write you back (either way) and tell you how much I love you. I do love you so.
    Today Mom and I got back from Medora with M and M. Mom and I had a real adventure, complete with Buffalo too close, horses that wouldn't cooperate, and plenty of time to talk and reflect. We are becoming more aware of how God shows His handiworks through the beauty of nature, through the relationships we are blessed with, and how annoying little boys can be.
    We love you, we love you. We are proud of you, and I can't wait to go for walks and just listen to what God is doing in your life.
    We pray for you, (heck, we pray for all of us,) to become aware of the world around us, how we interact as a family, how we can all pull together to make us as great as I think we are.
    P.S. You should have seen Mom on the horseback ride... I have never heard such a scream echo throughout the canyons as I did when Mom saw a "wild" Prairie Dog.

    Of course, when the Head Wrangler saw that I had such a way with spirited, beautiful, powerful, stubborn, yet perfect horses, he of course offered me a job. I had to say "sorry", "I think God is trying to teach me how to be a better Father", and I don't think I have time to be both, he understood.
    I love you and I miss you (seriously) and we can't wait for you to come home!

    Love, Dad

    P.S. Mom says "Hi".

  • At 10:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


    How are you. I just figured out how to write you a message. Glad to hear you are doing well. Hope you are feeling better. All is well here, the weather is wonderful lots of sun. We've enjoyed the pictures and all your notes. We miss you and look forward to seeing you this Sunday. Love, Dad

  • At 10:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi Hannah

    I can't believe after 14 years I finally found out who Pookie was. I never heard you call MaKenzie Pookie. I guess you learn something new every day.
    Just to let you know we had 112 degrees here in AZ today, just a little warm, but you know that I like the heat.

    Take care and hoping your taking pictures, so I can see them when I come in July for the holiday.

    Love you,
    Grandma James

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

    Hey i am back, it was great to see everyone again! OH and to get a day off, to see my grandma.(I drove over 6 hours to go and see her.) My brother won me a stuffed animal that is now in savy's car seat, but i did not go so i dont have one for you. I hope that you are not mad...sorry. It sounds like you are having a great time. I can't wait to see all the pictures and hear all your stories. oh today was kristin's birthday and we all went out to eat and than had a fire, but i only made it to about 20 min of it because it is joe's birthday today also and i had to watch savy. well, sleep good! MISS YOU!!

  • At 12:01 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Taylor Ann:

    Thanks for the Father's Day message. I didn't drive your car very far and don't worry - the guys at the garage said they can match the paint perfectly! :-) :-)

    I love you bunches!


  • At 12:08 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi Jeff;

    Good to hear from you again. Sounds like you are doing well and will look forward to stories from chapter 2 when you return. Possibly you have taught Cole and the others how to play the long neck. I tried to show Tre but he thought I was crazy or something. He says he will take lessons from you instead!
    Love, Dad

  • At 6:35 AM , Anonymous Carol Hondlik said...

    Good morning Kate
    It is Tuesday and I am waiting for the coffee to finish; the rich smell and the thought or morning hugs made me want to send off a special wish.

    We love you and think of you so much. It was great to get your note and hear how things are going. I am glad to hear you have not gotten too sick - hang in there with the caffeine headaches; hopefully they will subside soon.

    We had a great time in N Dakota and think you would really like the cabin we stayed in. As far as dads story re me screaming at the prairie dog...not true, it was more like the horse got spooked by something in the bushes. Regardless, it was a great trip, perfect weather and good time together.

    We keep you and your travel partners in our prayers daily. May God bless you with good health, great opportunities to service and be serviced.

    Let us know what you are craving and we will have it for your homecoming meal.

    Loads of love,
    Mom (and Dad too)

  • At 7:18 AM , Blogger Tyler said...


    Thanks for the recent note! Glad to hear that things are going well for you, and the B-Ball Team...I remember when I could 'slam' on a 9-foot hoop...or was that 8-foot??? Now, I am lucky to dunk on a 7-footer! But, I can still kick your tail, Tage...As well as the rest of 'your Boys' down there in Guat! (you tell them that!)

    Anyway, I mentioned to you (prior to your departure) that this trip will "change your life'...I do pray that that is the case...And, that God is using you to change the lives of those that you are meeting. This is what it's all about, Ceej.

    Hey, Kid Tynomite sends his love, and misses you a ton! He's already had several football practices...(we start real early here in EP!)

    Stay healthy, stay strong, and stay fearless when you 'drive the lane'! I love you, CJ.

    Papi! (Tyler too)

  • At 7:30 AM , Anonymous Sheryl and Gary said...

    Elizabeth - Hang in there! Have your experiences in Guatamala been different than in El Salvador? We continue to pray for you. I start teaching a SS class this Sunday based on the book "The Bible Jesus Read" by Phillip Yancy. It is a study of the Old Testament. I am not an OT expert so I have to study very hard. Take care of yourself and we look forward to seeinf your pictures when you return. Love you lots, Sheryl and Gary

  • At 7:52 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Sarah T,

    Thanks for the blog! I can't wait to hear about your experiences. I have kind of pieced together more about your home stays by reading the other messages.
    Your sure are learning some different things. God is the best teacher and opens our eyes to see life through other people. I can't wait to hear what He has taught you! Love you.


  • At 8:31 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Taylor VC

    Just wondering how you are doing as you enter the home stretch on your journey. You didn't mention anything about your home stay-did it go ok?
    How have you been feeling?
    We miss and love you lots!!!

  • At 8:58 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hey everybody!

    Well I'm back in MN and at work and I'm missing being with all of you. It sounds like your first ministry day in Jutiapa went well. I'm praying for you all to stay healthy. 2 days left and then R & R- finish strong!! VC & boys- LA won on Sunday 103-98, Game 6 is tonight.

    Sarah Bancroft

  • At 9:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi Ashley,

    Tell Erica she can send us updates on how the medical team is doing. I sent her a blog last week but I haven't heard back from her. We hope you are keeping healthy and haven't gotten sick. It looks like your team has been very busy with building and painting. You will be in shape when you get back. Keep smilin for Jesus. We love and miss you.

    Mom and Dad

  • At 9:28 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Kelli M

    Hi Sweetie! It was great to see your picture along with the rest of the medical team. Sounds like Metepan was crazy busy, so it must have been nice to have a quiet day to rest up. We are praying for all of you to stay strong and healthy for the rest of your trip. Can't wait to see you and hear details about your experiences.

    CJ, we hope you're ok after your mishap. Hope they could find some ice for you. Keep dunking. We're enjoying your posts too.

    To Kelli from from Robbie: I hope you're having a nice trip. We will have a nice, hot plaintain dinner waiting for you when you come home.

    Love you Kelli!
    Mom (and Robbie)

  • At 10:01 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Tay Tay-

    What's shakin bakin? I'm glad to hear that you are still having fun and that things are going well. Although, I am laughing at the idea of your stomach being squirmy. I think I'd throw up if I were you. But, I'm glad you're hanging in there.

    Dad is messing with you, he didn't take your car anywhere! But, if he needed it, I'd let him take it! (Just for the record)

    Our house has cabinets now, wait til you see it!! Mom was being paranoid when she thought we wouldn't have enough of them, because they are HUGE! It's SWEET and I'm WAY excited for you to see it!

    Preparations for your grad party have begun, it's been a lot of fun to try and figure out. Mom actually did run around the house saying "Tay Tay R U" Just like Reagan used to, and I did (and do) think she's crazy. But, she misses you terribly (who'd have thought?)

    I kinda of miss you still, I'm starting to get bored. There's no one to watch movies with- I saw the bucket list this weekend, and cried. I'm SUCH a baby.

    The Dawley's and the Bendell's have asked about you, and they are all thinking about you. And don't worry the kids haven't forgotten you, we ran into the Scanlon's at the mall and Jack ran up to me saying "Taylor! Taylor! I just went to see Kung Fu panda!" It was super cute so I played along.

    Wow, this got long quick. Back to work.

    I love you!


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


    Don't forget to put on sunscreen. I want an actual hug at the airport this year when we come get Tay.

    Love you!


  • At 10:12 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hey Tolentino:

    I saw your entry on the blog and was really excited to see that it was you writing. There apparently is a Derek on the trip with you which was getting me a bit confused last week.

    I found you in two photographs and you looked happy, which then made me feel really good, and a bit less stressed.

    Yes I did get your voicemail, but I did not pick it up because I was in a movie and knew that I didn't know anyone in the "502" area code. So I figured it was a sales call only to discover that it was Derick calling. What a bummer.

    Reading all the blog entries helped me to relax. I sounds like everyone is having a good time and are healthy and busy.

    It is really hard to believe that you are already coming home at the end of this week. Time flies.

    McKinley wondered why you haven't been around petting him. I explained that you were in South America and he just looked at me and then wagged his tail.

    Now that I have figured out how to do a blog I am excited to read all the comments. Post another one for us when you get a chance.

    I am so proud to be a member of Wooddale church as I watch you and your peers go on this trip.

    Jan and I will be waiting at the airport for you on Sunday. Have a wonderful finish to this great adventure. Also remember that Jesus is walking with you each and every minute.

    We love you so much.

    Peace, Dad

  • At 10:12 AM , Blogger Gail I. said...

    Hi, Nicole,

    I was so encouraged to read that you are finally getting hot showers - and I bet the rest of your team is happy about that too! Pe-ew! Just kidding! Isn't it amazing how a simple thing like a shower and clean clothes can make all the difference? I hope you are practicing being thankful for what we ususally consider the small things. OK - Mom lecture over! I can just see you loving that dog in your homestay home! I'm sure you are enjoying that.

    Looking at your schedule, it seems to me that you have a couple more days of ministry and then on to some relaxation at Lake Atitlan. From the pictures I saw when Josh and Dani went, it looked just beautiful!

    I can't wait to see you on Sunday and hear all about the trip! I love you and am praying for you and all of the group. Stay healthy!

    Love you much,

  • At 10:34 AM , Anonymous The Zahorskys said...

    Hi Elizabeth,
    Sorry we haven't left many comments, but am glad to see Cate and Sheryl and Gary are filling in the gaps. Sounds like your trip is going well and your home stay family was great. You must be pretty healthy from the sound of it. We will continue to pray for you. Emily's shower went well. Danae has had soccer daily for 10 days straight with 2 more to go. Dad is working most of the time and Aunt Marlene continues to fly in and out-she will be here in Mpls this weekend. I, as always, continue my taxi service! We miss you and look forward to seeing you and hearing your stories when you get home. We love you, Mom, Dad and Danae

  • At 12:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hannah J,
    Thanks for the Father's Day greeting, I really appreciated hearing from you. Sounds like you have seen a great deal of the culture and experiencing many thing not in Minnesota - what a memory to have for life. We miss you as well and excited to see you on Sunday. Have you been working on your tan? Looking forward to tapping into your painting skills.

    love Dad

  • At 12:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


    You haven't missed much on the fishing front. Got one bass this weekend. Becs played very well at the AAU Summer Jam and team was 3-2. Their first game was against a front line of 6-5, 6-4, 6-2! They were big girls and Becs didn't win that one, altough she took it to the paint with no fear.

    Make sure you take the time to know the people. I am always humbled by the happiness I see in the lives of those who don't have much by worldly standards, but have it all by heavenly standards. Let them in to your heart and you will be touched.

    Let us know what you'd like for dinner first night back.

    Love, Dad

  • At 1:12 PM , Anonymous Tyler Anderson said...

    Hey Kelly!

    It's good to hear that you all are doing so well and that you are having such a great time. I love looking at all of the group's pictures! I must say, the medical team's outfits are just stunning; you should consider doing a catwalk along with the mime production. Looks like you are having really fun and unique experiences as you are helping those in need. I can't wait to hear all of your stories, minus the surgeries. (You can save those for dad...) ;-)

    Oh yeah! By the way, thanks for the good luck wishes with the room; I'll be needing it in order to clean out your room by the time you return! :-)

    Stay safe and healthy!


    PS: Mrs. George wanted me to let you know that she has been praying for you every day, that you would touch the hearts of those around you and influence them, and that they would also influence you in return.

    You have a lot of people praying for you little missy; GO GET 'EM!

  • At 3:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Saw your note today and thanks for that. I left one on Sunday night for you addressed to Jon...Dad left some at work, but not sure it worked. At Florida we saw the Kennedy Space Center for 2 days-Dad loved that place and saw a rocket go up Wed. and then went to Cocoa Beach for the evening-Paula liked that and picked up 40 shells for her preschool students. On Tuesday we went to Daytona Beach. It was warm and nice. Glad you could play some BB and work on the service ministry. Listen to the Holy Spirit's prompts and do what He says!! We will pick you at the airport Saturday. Did you get sick? Love, Mom, Dad, and Mark

  • At 3:53 PM , Blogger Mike2321 said...

    Hey Ashley,
    I finally figured out how to use this, anyways, i hope that everything is going well down there, it sounds like it is, payton says hi. Danny says that he still is afraid of "cooties" and yea. I cant wait to see you!

  • At 3:57 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi Hannah James,
    I think the rest of your family is coming out tonight to watch Tyler play baseball...I wish you were coming too. I'm sure you are experiencing all kinds of unique things, just be thankful for them, even if they are kinda "uncomfortable" for you. Just have a blast girl, and bring back memories to last a lifetime...and if somewhere along the way you can glorify God in the process, how awesome would that be.
    We'll be seeing you soon my little bo bannah.
    Love you,
    Auntie T and the other T's

  • At 4:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    hey kelsey!!
    i am soo proud of you!!! hope you are having an experience of a lifetime(i'm sure you are!)can't wait to hear all about it!!! you are in my thoughts and prayers all the time. i will continue to check up on your groups progress!!
    love you,
    Auntie nay

  • At 4:06 PM , Anonymous Karin Anderson said...

    Kelly (Anderson)-
    Hi sweetie! Enjoyed your most recent posting ... I've always thought you might be an author. It is so heart-warming to read what all the teams are accomplishing. So many blessings! What an awesome opportunity. You must be counting the days (5, in case you don't know what day it is!). I'm sure you have mixed emotions about this adventure coming to an end. This experience is now imprinted on who you are and will remain a part of you forever.

    I'm thankful that you are healthy, safe, and happy. Take care.

    Love, Mom

  • At 4:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Taylor and Adam,

    Hope your trip is going well! Taylor we have enjoyed reading about your experiences as well as those of all your peers. Hard to believe the trip is almost done. Looking forward to seeing you both.

    Luv & Miss you both!!!
    -Mom & Dad

  • At 4:54 PM , Blogger News team assemble said...

    Guten tag Samuel,
    It’s so good to hear from you! I missed you on Father’s Day, but knowing you are having a great experience working for the Lord made it okay. It sounds like you are having an amazing time! I can’t wait to hear all your stories. Did anyone bring a camera so that you can record your mime performance? Maybe you can put it on youtube with your other video. Glad to hear that you’re staying healthy and had a good night’s sleep last night. I wish I could have heard you on the radio, but we were up at the farm and you know how slow their google machine is. David is busy this week at AHA doing football camp in the morning and baseball camp in the afternoon. He’s getting totally ripped! Mom is working in the garden again, she’s becoming gramma. Keep up the Good Work, and I can’t wait to see you Sunday!
    Love ya,

  • At 4:59 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    hi it's chelsey again i really miss everyone lots and lots. derek i saw your dad at target today so we talked how's the medical clinic going? i hope it is all going well and you're seeing lots of patients! lori i am listening to our new song the one we designated on the bus on the way to jutiapa by caedmon's call i really miss you and i want to talk when you get home i've figured things out! kels i realized i never really said bye to you but i will see you soon- 6 days i'm counting down! sammi i miss you lots and it was really fun coming back with your dad and i saw your mom and brother at the airport! i really look forward to hearing about everything going on in jutiapa and i'm sad i'm not there to expirience it with you! brittany backlund it is so cool you gavge your testimony i'm bummed i missed it!!! taylor PLEASE call me on your birthday if you can! but make sure you watch the video it's amazing! basketball team i hope all is well and still doing great tell william i say hi and miss him lots! and victor and marlon and josh and kike and tessie and sara! well and everyone because i miss you all lots and lots!! tim fox thank you so much for the card i really enjoyed reading the verses you wrote for me. kelli m- i texted you! anyone who i didn't write to specifically i still really miss you!!!!!!!!! ok well i will let all of you go i know you are doing great things! can't wait to see you soon! love you,

  • At 5:27 PM , Blogger Brian said...

    Wow! It just keeps getting better and better. I'm so proud of you guys. Brittney, I'm proud of you for doing your faith story too! I know that you must have done a great job. Keep up the good work, everyone!

  • At 10:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hey Nicole Iskierka,

    It's great to hear you had a warm shower. It is an answer to prayer that you are still healthy and excited on your trip. I can image the sites are breath-taking. Take it all in because we want to hear all about it when you return. You should show the children your bandana, chain, and grill. I cannot even imaging what they would think .... probably the same as the first time I saw you wearing that stuff. Anyway, we're looking forward to seeing you on Sunday.

    Missing you in Minnesota, USA,


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

    Nicole Iskierka-

    Hahahahahaha that made me laugh so hard and long. I love reading your little blogs. ONCE AGAIN - i cannot wait til you come home! i love you pumpkin head ;)

    Love nikki

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

    Again thanks for your last note! Write again, but I know you are working hard. I can just picture you carrying cement and painting. Glad to hear clean-up is improving!
    Take care at R & R-Take some pictures for us. See you at the airport Saturday!
    Love ya,
    Mom, Dad, and Mark

  • At 8:38 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    It has been so great to be able to share this trip with you and see the pictures of you and the team! We look forward to hearing your stories and viewing the pictures you have taken once you get back. How wonderful it is to know that you have been able to stay healthy as well! Your father was pleased to have your special greeting. We spent a very nice Father's Day with Tyler. Take care, Little One! We love you much! Dad and Joan


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