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.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Buenas dias from beautiful Lake Atitlan.
We had an uneventful trip through the clouds from Malacatan yesterday, arriving at Camp Eden juts outside Santiago about 6:30. It truly is an Eden - beautiful flowers and trees everywhere, surrounded by high (and dormant!) volcanoes. The camp is is enclosed within a high cement wall and so is very secure and quiet… at least until our students got there. We are all staying together again in the dormitory-like rooms. While I think everyone enjoyed their homestays, they like to be able to come together at the end of the day and share stories, and it is nice to start the day sharing plans (more like guesses) for the day.

Sorry I was not able to post a note last night. There is not internet at the camp, so I had to come into town this morning to post this. I will not post another note until Thursday night when we are at our R&R location, so please be patient.

The students and leaders are doing great both in terms of health and behavior.
Thank you once again for your prayers. God has been gracious in His providence for the team and generous with opportunities for each of us to meet Him in new and challenging ways. Please pray that we will all finish the next day and a half of service strong and committed to our purpose, and then be able to enjoy a well-deserved R&R time.
Following are a few notes from the team and a couple pictures from Malacatan and Camp Eden:
Guatemala time is an approximation. Today, we’ll make it to Santiago after a 4-8 hour bus ride. Nobody knows due to traffic and landslide hazards. But I’m convinced nobody knows anyway.
Same with our ministry. This absence of knowing what’s going on has acclimated us to a Guatemalan style ministry; knowing neither its next form or function. We know we’re going to share the Gospel, but often times we’re not quite sure how. In Malacatan, the service team (and recruited help) painted the worship center of the church. While we weren’t sharing God’s word firsthand, we prayed diligently for the mime team and their precious ministry. Hopefully our painting and prayer for the church will help them be welcoming both physically and spiritually, respectively.
I have seen countless example of students quick to volunteer for all forms of service. Either to each other, our Guatemalan team, or strangers, please know, our students are present and willing. Please expect us to come home changed for the better… for God’s glory.
We’re driving through a cloud now, and I cannot see the road out of the front window, nor do I know how God will bless us this travel day. I am trusting for both. And hey, we’ve only got 1-5 hours to go.
-Justin Satterberg
NOTE TO THE DAVIS & GRANLUND FAMILIES: Write back to your daughters from previous days. They’re important. We miss you <3
I miss you a lot! I’m excited to see you.
I have a few favors…
1. Could you possibly figure out what nights I’ll be at Jessi’s cabin…and POSSIBLY call my work?
2. Could you possibly email Heather Flies and tell her I am for sure in for summer camp. I forgot to email her back and she emailed us the day before Guat.
I have many stories for you and I’m really excited to see you. My last home stay was super nice and the people were so sweet. LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU! See Sunday!
I am so happy that you finally wrote to me! I was getting a bit nervous. My home stay was super funny. The family just loved to laugh at me trying to speak Spanish. The aunt who was only twenty thought Jack was very bonita! The mom was only twenty one and she painted lady bugs on all of my nails and then today when we left she let me pick out a ring and bracelet! Yesterday we had five performances in mime and so today we are super tired but excited for the new town that we are traveling to right now. I can’t wait to see you guys at the airport and tell Jack to tell lisa that I read her letter and I loved it! Ok see you guys soon!
Love Brianna
Hey familia
Jon here. I've been having a great time in Guatemala. I also have experienced God in a unique way. Our service team has painted at least four buildings and it is so powerful the way people pray for people. I have been growing stronger in the word every day. I also got to help out the medical team and got to see a tumor being removed. Ok. That’s all for now
Hi Kyky! And Mom! And Nana!
I am having so much fun here in Guatemala. We are on the bus right now, driving to Santiago! The drive is so beautiful. We are surrounded by mountains and everything is so green. It is also awesome singing all of my Latin American Studies info in reality! Like, right now, I am looking out on hills and hills of terrace farming. I learned about that! Anyways, service team is really fun. We painted the entire inside of a church yesterday. We started at nine in the morning and ended at seven thirty. Long, long day. I can’t believe that we only have a few days left, it is going to be weird to come home, but I’m excited none the less. Mom- can I please get my hair cut when I get home, asap, like this upcoming Tuesday J thank thank thank you!
Love you all,
Hi family!
I’m having such a good time here in Guatemala. So far I haven’t got sick (knock on wood). I have too many stories to write down in this message so I will tell you about all of them when I get home. I just woke up from a nap on the bus and the view from my window is beautiful! Today we just left Malacatan and my host family was the best. The father of the family owned his own television station and he also owned a ranch so they were pretty wealthy. Their house was beautiful and so was the family. My host mom was young and last night we stayed up and talked for at least an\hour. She gave me her address, email, and phone number so I can write her letters, send her pictures, and the next time \I’m in Guatemala I can call her and visit her. Love you guys so much and I will see you in five days! Oh and Jo, Brianna Coleman was wondering if you were going to be at the airport to pick me up because she wants to see you. You don’t have to come if you don’t want to but if you do great! And the little kids love my hair!
With much love,
Mom and Dad,
Hi! We are heading to Santiago and Lake Atitlan. I am so excited to see the lake, everyone says it’s so pretty. I hope you guys are having fun painting the house. When I get home, I would love some fresh fruit like strawberries and raspberries. Just don’t make me chicken, rice, or pizza when I get home J . We’ve been eating a lot of that here! I love you both, see you soon!
P.S. Aimee says please make a haircut appointment with Ian as absolutely soon as humanly possible. (I believe he works Friday, right?, and I have nothing currently planned for that day.) AND please stock up on strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries (and don’t let dad eat them all before I come home) THANKS! (and yes, I survived another day).
Hi daddy
The trip has been a lot of fun. The medical team is good, I will tell you the stories when I get home because they are long and as you know, I have trouble getting my words out J I can’t believe Heather and John are engaged! Kevin is married to Sarah members? But that’s so exciting! I guess my pep talk worked at the wedding. See you on Sunday
Love, Nellie
Hey Erickson Girls,
Hope you might have a chance to read this. I miss you three very much! Thank you for letting me go by understanding that this is what I am called to do as a missionary. Michaela, you asked me over the phone how many people have come to know Jesus. I love the fact that you cared enough to ask. Hundreds Michaela…hundreds of people have come to know Jesus! God has answered our prayers in a way that goes beyond our expectation. Jessi, everyone here is crazy about the World Cup. They are soccer fanatics and watch it everywhere. I’m sure you would love the excitement that is always in the air. You would also love all the opportunities to do the mime programs here. I’m sure you would get a lot of attention as a younger team member, like you did the year you were on this trip with me. Maybe next year? J Christina, I know you are serving the Lord in Chicago. I’m very proud of you and look forward to you being a part of this trip next year. The mime team has been great! They have presented 20 programs and have witnessed to more then 5,000 people. I’m very proud of each of them and the way they have handled themselves here. I’m sure the Lord is working in each of them as they serve Him in this place. I know He’s been working in me J The whole OCA team has been great with each person working within their own team while supporting the work of the other teams through prayer and encouragement. This is a very unified group in spirit and purpose. It has been a blessing to be with them and share in their struggles and their victories as we’ve served together here in Guatemala
Looking forward to seeing you guys and wrapping my arms around you. I’m missing you, that’s for sure!
Love you tons,


  • At 12:35 PM , Anonymous Laura Jordan said...

    Becca - I'll stock up on berries for your arrival home. We haven't done any painting, mostly due to rain. Your dad is golfing today with Mr. Backlund. I'm off to Darcie's cabin to celebrate her birthday with a sleepover. We're going to play records and talk about boys. Ha Ha. Enjoy the Lake Atitlan area. That's where I was 2 years ago! Miss you tons!

  • At 12:39 PM , Anonymous Brynn Unger said...

    KATIE UNGER! It's your sister. Seriously I'm so pumped that you're in Guatemala right now. I miss you SO MUCH but I think that this experience is one of the best you ever could have done. I am praying for you and your team daily- I'm sure your impact in great, because God is great. I really look forward to hearing about it from you! Katie I got so sunburned on my first day at the Rushes... but it's ok because hopefully it'll turn into a nice tan (ha! tough luck to me). There's so many things I can tell you about but I think I'd rather wait until you're back and we can actually chat! Katie let's travel around South America together... I'm serious.... OK BYE LOVE YOU! Say hi to Scott and Kendall for me.. and whoever else I know but don't remember... bahaha! LOVE BRYNN!

  • At 1:42 PM , Blogger Rollie Mattson said...


  • At 1:45 PM , Blogger Nancy said...

    Mary and Jessica -
    Hope you are doing well and holding up. Don't know if you saw our comment from the other day but you now have a squirting donkey and S Fraser graduated from his class. He was asked to give a few remarks to the class and provided a valedictorian woof.
    Love Tom, Nancy and SFL

  • At 3:25 PM , Anonymous Craig Granlund said...

    Maria - we are thinking about you and praying for you to be safe and have a great time as well. Thank you for your notes - it is so great to hear your humour and know that you are doing good. We love checking the blog in the morning to hear what is going on with you and others. Be safe the last few days - everything is fine at home here so no need to worry about anything here.

    While you have been gone we finally decided to quit our jobs and become rock stars. Alyssa is going to sing and I am going to wear face paint and do background dancing. Will you support us in this?


  • At 3:38 PM , Anonymous Roger and Margaret said...

    Hi Maria!! We are enjoying your notes about the trip, the pictures, etc. What a great trip you must be having. You'll have lots of funny stories (serious ones, too) to tell us when you return.

    Your Mom and Craig are here now. Can't wait 'till you are, too!
    Margaret and Roger

  • At 4:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi Ashley,

    Got the message to write...I only posted twice, didn't want to be too much (like mail at camp). It has been wonderful to read about everything you are doing! We love looking for your photo each day. Loved the one of you coming off the slide! Grandma and I are always calling to be sure the other saw the latest news. We are looking forward to seeing you on Sunday. You can be sure I will hug you for far too long :) John does not have internet, but sends his love. Hanna is sleeping in your bed, cuz she misses you, Mantha is still Paying for Ashee in Amala :) I am so proud of you.
    Love, Mama D.

  • At 5:05 PM , Blogger Rollie Mattson said...

    Nellie and Dana - I love following your adventures on this blog. Hey Pooh Bear - I guess my memory is going faster than I thought - yes, it is JOHN who is engaged to Heather - I was just proud that I got on of the names right. The Las Vegas conference is going like all Vegas trips - hot, humid, and overpriced. Next year's mission trip should be to Vegas - they need the prayers. Under the you can't make this up category...there is a buffet in Mandalay Bay that offers an ALL DAY PRICE. Yep, that's right - for $38 you can eat all day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. That's a whole lot of carbs and jello. Travel safely - I am praying for all of you. Daddy and husband XOXOXO

  • At 5:20 PM , Blogger Rollie Mattson said...

    Dana - one more quick question - I went into a store here in Las Vegas. They have Bonnie's (as in Bonnie and Clyde)shotgun for $85,000. Can I take $$$$$$$$$ out of Nellie's college fund to buy it? College is overrated anyway, agree?
    Please let me know ASAP because I have the gun on hold. XOXOXO

  • At 7:10 PM , Blogger Mary and Kylie Potuznik said...

    All of the messages from Guatemala sound so exciting and filled with marvelous days filled with hard work for the Lord. All of you are putting a big smile on God's face!!! There's nothing better then working hard for the Lord. Sounds like many prayers are being answered every day. Kimmer, I hope you are taking tons of pictures and using your spanish!! We all miss you soooo much and love you to the moon and back times 4!! Can't wait to hug you!! I made the hair appointment. Hope all of you have fun with your R&R time it is well deserved!!

    PS Looks like fun riding in the back of the pick up!!

    Love you, Mom, Kylie and Nana

  • At 7:30 PM , Anonymous Beth Neubrech said...

    Kirsten - Only a few more days left. Make them count! The experiences we've heard about and pictures we've seen on the blog have been awesome. I can't wait to see you and hear more stories. Continue to be the hands and feet of God. He has blessed you with so many gifts. I know He is very pleased that you are using them for His glory!
    Love you, Mom
    Dallas is hot too... 100 degrees.

  • At 9:49 PM , Blogger G-ma said...

    Maria, We are so glad you are having fun. We hear from Crystal almost every day. It would be so amazing if you and Crystal ran into each other. I can hardly wait for you two to compare stories and experiences. I hope you are keeping a journal. We think of you everyday. Be safe. Your cousins all say hello.

    Love, Grandma and Grandpa.

  • At 10:38 PM , Anonymous Laurie Muehlbauer said...

    TYLER! It was great to see the picture of you in the pickup truck. You all look so happy! I'm so thankful to God for each and every one of you on this trip. Finish strong, and shine on! Can't wait to see you on Sunday. Say "hi" to Sam, and thank all of your wonderful leaders for us. Love, Mom

  • At 8:53 AM , Blogger JRT said...

    Hi Jackie! AND a special hello for Sophy too. Waiting to read a note from you. Kiddo, yep - I'll take care of your action items. And, I'll also get a bunch of fresh strawberries for you. Remember my trip on Monday - It's going to be so hard to have to leave early Monday but at least I was able to switch it from a Sunday departure. And - remember it'll be hard coming home after this experience. I'm here for you.

    We love you - We really miss you.

    See you in a few days - stay healthy - tell Sophy to write a note. There's a song we're singing this weekend called "Follow you" - one of the lines says "follow you into the homes of broken, follow you into the world - meet the needs of the poor and the needy God, follow you into the world." That's what you're doing - following Him.

  • At 8:57 AM , Anonymous Angela Carlson said...

    Hey Kirsten- Just want you to know that I am thinking about you during this wonderful trip of yours and how proud I am of you. Continue to promote change and make differences in people's lives. You are one of the most compassionate people I know. Stay safe, I love you!


  • At 8:57 AM , Blogger JRT said...

    Yikes - i just wrote a note but it disappeared so you might get this twice - let's see if i can remember! Say hello to Sophy - Would love to read a note from her. Tell her i'm praying for her. We miss you. I'll take care of your action items :) Remember - i have a trip Monday morning. It's going to be so hard to leave you but at least i was able to change it from Sunday. Coming home will be hard after this wonderful experience - lots of emotions - i'll be here for you. Can't wait to hear it all.

    We're singing a song this weekend at church called "Follow You" and one the lines says "Follow you into the homes of the broken, follow you into the world - meet the needs of the poor and the needy God - follow you into the world." That what you guys are doing - following Him.

    I'm praying you all - for health, for energy and for God to bless you and all the people you guys have touched over the last couple weeks.

  • At 9:10 AM , Anonymous Vicki said...

    Opps, I was also going to share a verse I read today that made me think of all of you!
    “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

    Autumn's mom (Vicki)

  • At 9:49 AM , Blogger Kathy Sommerville said...

    Sweet Aimee! I can tell you are getting tired. Finish strong. Sounds like you are learning some good life lessons. Remember
    I Thess. 5:18 "give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." Haircut appt. has been made, berries will be waiting and your pillow and bed can hardly wait to see you!! Tell whoever has been posting updates "THANKS". It has been fun to hear snipets of your days. Proud of all of you! Give Becca a big hug for letting you post P.S.'s on her days to write.
    Enjoy your R & R.

  • At 10:34 AM , Anonymous Vicki said...

    Apparently, my initial post didn't post the 1st time...
    Reading about what you all are experiencing has been very moving. I hope you are taking a lot of pictures and enjoying God's beautiful scenery! I can't wait to hear about all you've experienced. I'm really looking forward to coming back home!
    I'm thrilled the team has unified so well and been able to bless others as well as each other! God is so good!!!
    Bowe and Rayna have shared they like it better when all the kids are home! Sydney's Colorado trip has been going really well too!
    God bless you...I Love you so much,

  • At 1:24 PM , Blogger Coleman said...

    Hello to all - Hard to believe your time is wrapping up and well deserved R & R is soon to come. We are enjoying reading the updates each day. Marissa keeps asking has Brianna written yet? Sydney made up a calendar today and has started a countdown. Jack finishes his law class tomorrow. You are definitely missed cutie. We are so excited to hear about your experiences and proud of you as well. The fridge will be stocked with fruit awaiting your return. Apples, strawberries, peaches, kiwi, hmm...banana bread as well. Imagine that, you're even making people laugh in another country. Your friends will love hearing that one. We love you - Mom

  • At 1:30 PM , Anonymous Russ L said...


    Looking forward to seeing you Saturday night. The time has gone quickly for us as I'm sure it has for you. Everything is fine here. Rose misses you too! I love seeing all the pictures and reading the postings. My hope is that visiting with the beautiful people there that your view of God's love for ALL of us has grown. I'm glad you have been healthy! Just don't let down because you haven't gotten sick - stay disciplined! We need you healthy for a Sunday pool party!!! Finish strong and enjoy the remaider of your service. Love Dad.

  • At 2:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Jessica K,
    Want you to know we are reading the blogs daily. I am printing them out for grandma as well as the pictures. Going through lots of ink cartridges. Just want you to know we are thinking of you constantly and praying for your safe return. We know you are doing good work and in God's hands.
    We love you and miss you and will see you Sunday night.
    Say hi to Mary and if you have any special requests for when you get home let us know, we will see if Grandma is up for it.
    Love you and miss you.
    Sue, Grandma, Jonathan.

  • At 3:38 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi Sophie!
    I can't wait to give you a big hug. I miss you. Many blessings to you and the group. Prayers for a strong finish. Mark, thank you for the daily updates. I look forward to reading them.
    Love Dad
    Mike Faiola

  • At 3:34 PM , Anonymous Jennifer Howison said...

    Hey Jon!
    I am so happy to hear that you are doing well!!! I just got home yesterday from Israel so I'm still pretty tired, but it's nice to be home! I'll tell you all about my trip when you get home. You have been in our prayers constantly and it's amazing to see God at work! I can't wait to hear all about your experiences when you get home! Enjoy your last few days!

  • At 3:37 PM , Anonymous Bruce Howison said...

    Hi Jon!
    Everyone is so excited to hear all about your experiences!It sounds like you are having an incredible time! the two weeks have gone by so fast. Have a great day of R&R tomorrow, and remember everyone is praying for you!

    Love Mom and Dad


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