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 09, 2008

We made it

June 8, 2008

We made it!

Hey parents and family! We had an early start but have arrived in Guatemala! Our kids did an amazing job of getting through the airports and handling over 100 bags. We made it through customs and baggage in Guatemala city in record time- 20 minutes.

We are staying at the Hotel Pan American in central Guatemala City. The kids are taking advantage of the 1-2 hour down time by napping, doing their devo’s and reshuffling their belongings.

Here are a few comments from your AWESOME AND AMAZING STUDENTS!!

Per the captains orders, (hahahah mom) here is our lovely update on our first six or so hours in Guacamole (thank elle for that one). I’m absolutely exhausted (six hours of sleep in two days is sooo not a good idea) but I’m so glad to be back and forming new experiences. It’s a little surreal being here without Brian, or many of my other classmates, but it’s also very enjoyable to be building new relationships with people…. I’m looking forward to going back to Campur tomorrow morning and observing how our work last year has affected the life of its denizens. I love you all and give whoever is still left in ep hugs and kisses. You’ll here back from me soon mama, I promise.  in the meantime, know that we have arrived soundly and sans stress. A bientot!!! XOXOX

I’m alive---franske

010101010101011101010101000010101000010101010111101011010110101010010100101010101010010101010100001010001010000000010001011010111010101110101010101101101010101101011110101101010101000001011101101010101010101001010101—Bill the computer says “Hello Humans”

Back on the chicken bus. No better way to see Guatemala. The trip down was without incident – most people were able to nap a bit and make up for the 3:30am start. We’re all excited for our first Guatemalan meal, and then off to bed. Tomorrow we are on the road to Campur! Cam and Colin, good luck in your soccer games. – Tim

Happy Birthday, Gretchen. – Alicia

Greeting all of you at home,

After no sleep the day before meeting at Wooddale at 3:00 am to go to the airport, I’m so tired! All I wanted to do on the plane was sleep. I did catch a few zzzz’s at the airport in Minneapolis before boarding the plane. The seat next to me on the flight to Houston seemed to be going empty. I had my mind wrapped around a little extra room to stretch out in, when suddenly a young man appeared gasping for breath and filled the seat. We didn’t talk, until he asked what this “Operation Central America thing was?” Turned out his name was Jason, working on a Ph D in Areospace engineering. He was a “Catholic boy” growing up like myself, so we had a lot in common and our conversation bridged to spiritual matters, which he admittedly said he didn’t know much about. We had a great conversation. Knowland Loo, sitting near by, entered into the conversation and also shared his faith in Christ with Jason. As we deplaned, Jason said; “I actually learned something new on this airplane ride.” We talked about the book “Surprised by Faith” which he was interested in reading along with the book of John. Tired as we may be, The Lord brings people into our path for His own purposes. As we find ourselves willing, we enter into His purposes for ourselves and others. Jason made a flight he was told he was going to miss and I know why. Pray that Jason will realize the same and begin to explore the reality of what a relationship with God through Jesus Christ means. He’s a step closer than he was before. For a scientist, that’s part of the journey- from what I hear.
Chris Erickson

Hi Mom, Marty, Dad, Julia, Mackenzie and the OT,

We arrived safely in Guatemala this afternoon. The plane ride to Huston was very rough, but we survived. It’s hotter than I remember it being, but it feels good. We are staying in the Pan America Hotel it’s pretty nice. I gave Jamie the card from you mom. I told him I was Jan’s daughter and he remembers you and tells me to say hi and thank you. He didn’t open it yet or at least not in front of me but he has it. I am extremely tired and have almost no voice at all. Hopefully since tomorrow is a travel day to Campur I’ll have time to rest my voice. I am thinking of home often, but am excited to be back here. OT I hope you remembered to check your e-mail. I hope all is well with you all at home.

Love Taylor

Hi Mom, Dad, Michelle, Tre, and Kelsey!
It’s hot here and I miss my guitar. 
Love, Jeff

Hi Mom, Dad, Joan, Tyler, and all my friends and family!!!

Today was a great day. Everything went so well; everyone made it through customs and everyone got all of their bags. Hurray! After arriving in Guatemala City, we rode a chicken bus to a Pan American Hotel. No, there were no chickens since it was just our group, but it was still painted the crazy colors, and all of our bags were piled high on top of the bus. It was a pretty comical sight. After arriving at the hotel, everyone had a couple of hours to relax. Now we are waiting for dinner… our first in Guatemala! Tomorrow we have an eight hour bus ride to Campur, and then on Tuesday we will have our first ministry day. Wish us luck!

With love,
Kelly Anderson
Hello Mom and Dad and Allison and Aaron!
We have arrived safely and all our bags. It was fun to see Guatemala City as we drove in the busses. Tomorrow we drive to Campur but it will be a long bus ride. We are waiting for our dinner right now. I am very excited for our first ministry day! I love you and miss you but I will see you soon!
Anna Rask

Hi Mom, Dad, Elissa, Sydney, Kari, and Grandma!!!
Today was a whirlwind of a day; we arrived safely in Guatemala City. We are staying at the Pan American Hotel tonight, and then we’re off to Campur tomorrow. Pray that we don’t get too sick from motion sickness…it’s about an eight hour bus ride. I love it here; the culture is amazing, and I cannot wait to actually interact with the people. I’m praying that God will give me a lot of opportunities to share his love with the people here. Please keep this request in your prayers. I love you guys and will miss you, but know that I am doing great and cannot wait to share all the stories with you guys that will unfold throughout this trip.
All my love,

Well- we told the kids they could head off to bed about 10 minutes ago (It’s about 7:30 pm) and they were excited to get some more rest for the 8 hour bus ride tomorrow. We had a great dinner at the hotel tonight and will have some breakfast tomorrow at 7 and then hit the road at 8- and head to Campur. Your kids are awesome! I’m truly amazed at how great they did today with everything from being at the church at 3:30 to trying new food to managing 100 bags through customs. They are precious!

Thank you all for your continued support and prayers! It’s a true blessing to be working with your students.
Sarah bancroft

Sorry we couldn´t post last night as it was too late to go out. We just arrived in Coban and are at a mall for lunch


  • At 2:59 PM , Blogger Brian said...

    Woo Hoo! You are in Guatemala and I'm so glad to hear that you got there safely! I can't wait to hear what God does in and through each one of you. Thanks for the early post. I can see just where you are in my mind right now. I love that spot in Coban.

    Chris and Knowland - Way to be faithful to the Lord on the plane and share your faith! I'll be praying for Jason. I'm thrilled that this young scientist has had an opportunity to be challenged by your testimony.

    I'll be praying for Taylor's voice and for the rest of you as you try to get energy back with so little sleep!

    God bless you all!


  • At 3:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Taylor Ann:

    Congrats on your arrival! Get some sleep, regain your voice, work hard, continue to astound the world, make a bunch of memories and have some fun, too!



  • At 3:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


    Yippee! You are in Guat! I am glad you arrived safely.

    I am praying that you and the team will be a light in the darkness. May you come to know and trust Him more in the days to come!

    Proverbs 3:5-6
    Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

    in all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

    I love you, Taylor and am extremely proud of you! Get some rest on the chicken bus. Miss you!

    Love you,


  • At 3:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


    Hi there! You have been in my prayers and I hope you are feeling better.

    See you soon!


  • At 4:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


    I'm so glad to hear that you've made it to Guatemala safely. I hope your getting some rest along with your busy schedule. It was a blessing to read about Jason who Chris and Knowland witnessed to. It's so neat when God provides opportunities for that to happen. Take care of yourself now and remember to drink plenty of water.

    God Bless!


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


    I was happy to hear that you all arrived in Guatemala safely. I'm so happy that you are able to experience this once in a lifetime opportunity. I know that the people there will be blessed with your charming personality and your beautiful smile. We will remain in constant prayer for you and Dad. I hope to hear from you soon.

    God Bless and take care of yourself. Remember to drink plenty of water.

    Love you lots,


  • At 4:51 PM , Anonymous Claire said...

    Congratulations on what sounds like a successful few days of your trip! I'm glad to hear everything is going well. Courtney, I can't give you much of an update on what's going on at home because, well, I'm still trudging through finals week. Just one left though! I'm excited to get back to Minnesota and see you when you get home. Sarah, you seem to be taking over Brian's job as blog updater very well...it's quite impressive; those were some big shoes to fill :) I hope that you all have lots of energy as you begin your service days and are able to shower love on everyone with whom you work in Guatemala. And speaking of showering...my biggest mistake my first time in Campur was thinking I could "wait until tomorrow" to shower. What a mistake! Lesson learned: don't pass up a chance for a shower! Glad to hear you're doing well! Stay safe, get some rest, and have fun! Love, Claire

  • At 5:41 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Don't bother praying for any of us scientists. I am sure Jason was just being polite and couldn't wait to take a shower and immerse himself with scientific data. I believe you would call that a "cleansing". Anyway, good luck with your life and your superstitious bliefs. And please, take responsibility for your own actions- don't pawn them off as "God's Will".
    A Scientist

  • At 7:58 PM , Blogger Brian said...


    If it's all the same to you, I'll keep praying. I love scientist, and I love science. Over and over science proves the existence of God. Francis Collins, the famous geneticist and head of the human genome project, and the man most responsible for mapping the human genome is one example of thousands of scientists who have been able to reconcile science and God. You ought to check out his book, The Language of God - http://www.amazon.com/Language-God-Scientist-Presents-Evidence/dp/1416542744/ref=pd_bbs_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1213058992&sr=8-2. It's a good read. Anytime you want to dialogue, I'd be happy to.

    God bless.


  • At 8:23 PM , Blogger Lisa said...

    Hey All,
    Glad to hear you are safe and sound and ready to serve, hope your rest was sweet! We are praying daily...it looks like before you even left the country your ministering began...it will be fun to see how everything transpires!

    Gods blessings to you all!

    Lisa Prindiville

  • At 9:39 PM , Anonymous Gail said...

    Hi Jeff,
    I'm so thankful you all got there safely. Thanks for your post. We love hearing from you. Tre had his 1st lax game tonight. They won!
    Stay healthy. We're praying for all of you. I know God has an
    amazing journey planned for you!
    We love you and miss you.

    Love, Mom & Dad, Michelle, Tre and Kelsey

  • At 9:52 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hey Mini Muffin I am so glad you wrote and so thankful you are all doing well. Stay focused and positive. May you all honor God in everything you do. I can tell you all that your comments so far are doing exactly that. Love you.

  • At 10:40 PM , Blogger John McMunn said...


    I hope you are having a fabulous adventure! Hey, I just attended the EPHS Track Banquet, and you were named one of the 'Captains' for next year's team...Congratulations! 'Swanny' presented the honor to you, and made some nice comments.

    I am praying for you daily, buddy. I love you.


  • At 11:01 PM , Blogger John McMunn said...

    To All of 'My Boyzzz' on the B-Ball Team!

    I miss you all in a big way! Everytime I look at all the un-eaten ice cream (I mean 'I-Cream) in my freezer, I get a little tear in my eye...

    Hey, at the Track Banquet this evening, Kiv made mention of Josh, Travis, Andrew, CJ & Jake, all serving on a Missions trips, thereby making the point that there's some high quality young men on the EPHS Track Team. So, you guy's are making an impact right back here in EP, with your witness! There were a couple hundred people in attendance when he made that comment.

    I do hope you guy's remember everything I've taught you about the game of basketball, as you begin to 'whip up' on the competition (while spreading the love of Christ, of course)

    I love you guys...God bless you!


  • At 11:04 PM , Anonymous Russ & Cindy Weybright said...

    The mower is fixed for less than $35! We miss you already, but are excited about your journey. We'll pray that He works through all of you and that lives will be changed.
    Last night all of us said at the same time, "We miss Brett..."

    Love and prayers,
    Mom, Dad, Grandma and Becky

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

    Hey Andrew!

    Glad to hear ya'll are there safely. We all miss you so much already and are so proud of you all! Hope you get lots of good rest soon. We are praying for you. Morgan and I leave for Chicago early tomorrow. I'll keep checking in with Dad about the blog....will write again when I get back.

    I love you,
    Mom (Sharon)

  • At 1:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hey Taylor,

    I am happy that you are safe, and i hope that you are having a great time. I did forget to check my email, so thanks. Get some sleep and feel better. MISS YOU


  • At 6:43 AM , Blogger Kurt & Lynne said...

    Hey Lucie Sarah,We are confident the second group arrived and you have met up. Happy Moments-PRAISE GOD, Difficult Moment-SEEK GOD,Quiet Moments-WORSHIP GOD,Painful Moments-TRUST GOD,EVERY MOMENT THANK GOD! We miss you. House is to quiet. Swimmings Lessons start today. Its beautiful and sunny. Praying and missing you. Love you More ,Mom Dad Brett and Ruby

  • At 7:38 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Elizabeth - Glad you made it safely and hope you got some sleep on the way down. I hope the medical team reaches many people in need. We love you are praying for all the teams. God Bless You and Keep You!
    Sheryl and Gary

  • At 7:49 AM , Anonymous Sharon said...

    Hey Anna, thank you for the message. It's so good to hear from you. I love reading all the posts and messages. It is so exciting for us back home. Glad you are doing well. Nothing new here. We miss you but know you are having a great experience. We love you so much.
    Mom and Dad

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

    Hey Ashley,

    It sounds like you all made it safely. Hope you got some rest on the way down and are ready to serve. Remember to seek God in all things. We are praying for you and are excited to see how God will use you to minister to the people you come in contact with. Keep a smile on your face. We heard from Travis last night and he made it to Texas okay.....Then onto El Salvador in a few days. Pray for him during your quiet time. Love Mom and Dad and Holly too! We misss you!

  • At 8:52 AM , Blogger Nate said...


    I hope you're having a great time with all the kids! It must be a great feeling to go back year after year and see how the area has developed and the work that God has done there.

    On a side note - we're still undefeated - we won last night 13-7.

    How was Houston?? ;-)

    Take care - I'll be keeping up with the blogs.


  • At 9:36 AM , Blogger Julian said...

    Hi Jess!
    Mom is checking the site every 5 minutes for updates. Gina started skating again yesterday. She was quite sore and tired. The Twins lost four in a row to the White Sox. Colt and Zeus("Kitty") are still the same. We all miss you and love you. Take Care.


  • At 9:47 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    We're back! Been off line for 3 days fighting water battles. Many folks in Humboldt with wet basements. Over 7" of rain in about 30 hours, We have been able to to keep the carpet dry... a 42 hour battle. My office all torn up and had to move the PC to the bedroom. I need to change the OHBC sign to "Count Blessings, not Burdens" rather than God showers us with Blessings. Glad that we're able to stay in touch now.
    All is well otherwise, thinking of you and praying for your trip. Love, M & D

  • At 10:53 AM , Anonymous Kim Vettrus said...

    What up senior highers!! I am so stoked for you all to be in Guatemala! We prayed for you guys Monday morning in staff chapel and it's good to hear you are all okay. I'm so excited to see what God is going to do through each of you, how He's going to open your eyes, and how He's going to touch your hearts...though at times it'll be hard to see. Hope you're having fun!! It's VERY quiet back here without all of you...kinda creepy...


    P.S.-Josh says I love you, Lori (in a creepy voice), and I am "donating" my leftovers to him.

  • At 11:17 AM , Blogger Gail I. said...

    Hi, Nik,

    I'm so glad things have gone so well so far! I hope you enjoyed your first Guatemalan meal and got plenty of rest your first night before the long bus trip yesterday.

    I am praying that God uses you today as you bless others with your work with the children today. Savor the experience, Nik!

    I love you,

  • At 12:11 PM , Anonymous Mom Brooks said...

    Hi Derek!
    It is quiet around here without you and we really don't like it at all. You are missed. We pray continuously for all of you and picture you helping and loving people in your scrubs. We are getting everything ready for Charlie. Trudy told us again today what a nice personality he has! Today is Grandma's birthday. We are all getting together for Dani's soccer game and then a DQ treat. We promise to get you a blizzard when you arrive home. Take care, Derek. We love you very much! Mom, Dad, and Dani

  • At 12:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


    HEY! I'm glad you made it safely!! I hope your having a good time, because i'm having a horrible time without you :P but im excited you get to experience such a cool trip. only 12 more days til i see you! I can't wait til i get to see you and hear about everything. I love you very much :)

    Love, Nikki

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

    Lori A.
    Glad to hear your amazing journey has started out so smoothly. You and the entire team are in our thoughts and prayers every day -"well actually" several times a day. Thank you for making the commitment to share your gifts of love with others. We love you and are so proud of you.

    Dad...and your extended family.

  • At 1:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hey Hannah Bo Bannah
    I've been thinking so much about you and I hope that you've been getting some sleep. I know that the Lord will bless you through this whole experience. It will be exciting to hear all the stories. I miss you!!!!!

    Love you,
    Auntie T

  • At 1:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi Sica Rae,

    I'm so glad to hear you all made it safely to Guatemala!! Have tons of fun and make loads of memories -I can't wait to hear all the stories!

    I miss you...I love you.


  • At 1:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Auntie Sarah - just wanted to say hi and that we're praying for you. We're very proud that you're back in Central America sharing the love and truth of Christ. Make sure to have a GOOD, GOOD TIME!!

    We love you,

  • At 11:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi Linz, It was so good to hear from you, we are so glad everything is going well for all of you and made it there safely. Syd is in acting camp this week and met John who worked with you on State Fair she is having fun. We are all okay. We are praying for you, can't wait to hear what God is doing in all of you on this trip. Love YOU! MOM

  • At 11:49 AM , Blogger Mohamed said...

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • At 8:29 PM , Anonymous david hondlik said...

    hey Pokey Hondlik,

    What's this is I hear you getting sweaty, and seeing more people than you're supposed to? Do you want me to talk to someone in charge? I could probabaly arrange for special air conditioning to be flown in... just give me the word!!! Sure, we're proud of you, in every sense of the word, and are thrilled that you are giving up your comfort zone to reach out to others... but SWEATING, what can the Church excpect from you. For Pete's sake, please let me know if I should intervene!!
    Mom and I and M and M had a great long weekend in Medora, they were thrilled, I was reminded again of how God shows us his handiworks, and Mom and I spent much quiet, relaxing, energizing tme together. The weather was great, but the only problem is, when we went on a horse ride with the boys, the Wrangler saw my inner talent of communicating and controlling large animals, and asked me to come work with him as a parter. Of course I said "no", but I do have a contact to buy a Mule (which I'll name Donkey" when the time comes.) God works in mysterious ways, and we are praying that He is working in your life, just like we are praying He is working in ours. I love you, and (honestly) miss you, I cannot wait for you to come home with the special gifts and attention that you weren't allowed to send on Father's Day Week. I love you. I miss you. I want to take walks with you, and learn from each other.
    Peace be with you,


  • At 11:51 AM , 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!


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