Well, we are back at our 'home' in Guatemala City, Telma's missions house. We arrived here tonight after spending the afternoon shopping and sightseeing in Antigua.
Yesterday we had a nice day at the Posada in Santiago Atitlan. It was very nice in the morning so we walked into town and did a little shopping. After lunch the service teams spent some time debriefing the two weeks, talking about their experiences and how each had grown during the time here in Guatemala. It had started raining shortly after lunch, so the bulk of the afternoon was spent playing board games and just talking. After dinner the whole group got together for some worship and sharing time. William, our evangelist from El Salvador, also spoke to the students, encouraging them to continue their efforts to grow their faith even after they return home.
We had the extra entertainment of having a couple students spend the night under observation at the local hospital (5 minutes from the hotel). Oour nurse and one fo the other leaders who is fluent in spanish spent the night with them. One was pretty dehydrated and we wanted to make sure whe was feeling good enough to travel home, and the other had come down with pneumonia. But after the night of care (and a good sleep) they were much better today and were able to participate in the shopping day in Antigua. One of the praises of the trip is that God has provided medical resources every time our staff has needed additional support.
Tonight all of the students are pretty tired but are in good spirits, aniticpating getting back to all of the things they have missed. Things like sweat pants, cell phones, cold milk and friends are all high on their lists. Many are excited to see the reaction of the people they purchased gifts for or to show off their ponchos, soccer jerseys and machetes.
We are planning to be at the airport by about 11:30 for a 2pm flight so hopefully it will be a realtively low stress process of getting everyone checked in and onto the plane. We will all be happy to be done dragging those black bags on and off the bus! We will have a 3 hour layover in Houston so there will be time to get through customs and grab some American food before the last leg to Minneapolis. We will look forward to seeing all your smiling faces at midnight tomorrow.
Thanks again for your prayers. We could not have done it without your support. Here is a poem that sort of captures the experience....
Rain again, yet I rejoice
Although it soddens beast and man.
I know it that whether soft or fierce
It is important for God's plan.
Trees grow tall and mountains rise,
Woundrous vistas to behold.
But hidden in the clefts and leaves
Is where true beauty does unfold.
There each one in perfect form
(According to the Maker's eye)
Begins their journey yet unknown,
Not knowing if they'll crawl or fly.
Each has a choice to trust the rain
And find in it renewing grace
Or curse the skies and bar the door
And search on for a sun to chase.
As for me I'll stand my ground
And each storm face (though hard it be).
For through it all the Son shines bright -
I know it is God's plan for me.