Operation Central America

Come and see what is happening on the Operation Central America missions trip. Also learn about the teams and their prayer requests.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Malacatan Day 2

The days are flying by! [sorry - no pictures today. the connection is being difficult again. following is input from some students]

Hello loving parents and supporters! This is Sarah Wiczek from the medical team. I am sitting in a clinic at the moment in the central market of Malacatan. I can hear the people making exchanges, honking their horns, and promoting their products and we are in ther center of it all. Our clinics have been very successful and everyday we have seen many more pacients than expected, which is wonderful! We have had a few urgeries and in the very first one all the students trickled out except for me. I was doing totally fine and talking about getting a snack and then I fainted. I looked at our translator, Alex, and told him I was dizzy then down I went!Ooops:) Don't worry, Mom. My head is fine:)
The team has been amazed with the faith of the Guatemalans. The way they pour out their hearts to the Lord in worship captures my attention. This place, by nature, is so humbling. But so is their worship. I want to be all in, like them. I want to give all that I have to the kingdom! I have to get back to serving. It's my first day I stepped out of the pharmacy and into intake! Woo! Thanks for your prayers!
Blessings from Guate,Sarita Grande
P.S. Momma, will you call Rachel to make that salad for my party? I forgot to ask when I saw her:/ That would be wonderful:)

Hola familia! I've been speaking spanish all day, it's hard to stop. We had our fourth clinic today and we're just about to break for lunch. Other days I worked in intake, but today I just helped give out meds. It's awesome to have a chance to use my spanish! I love being on medical team! I feel like it was totally where God wanted me to be. We work hard, but it's definitely rewarding. Both of my home stays so far have been fine and the people are sooo nice. Okay, I'm going to go eat lunch now.
Love you all soo much,Michelle M
P.S. I haven't gotten sick yet, which is great!!

Hello everyone! we've been doing show after show, but it's been great. The kids have been really responding to our mime sketch, even though we've had many, many technical difficulties. All the kids come and swarm us Americano's and ask us many
questions, but they've been mainly about our personal lives and stuff, so we prayed that our preformances would be completely about God, and not about us. After each show, all of us go and talk to the people who we just performed for, and at our last
performance some of us got to have some great spiritual conversations. One girl said to Carly that she can't see the Holy Spirit, but she can feel it's work in her life, like a blind man can't see the sun but can feel it. Many people are coming to Christ. :) Please pray that our technical difficulties would subside, that those who are a little sick would get better and the healthy people wont get sick, and that God would keep our spirits up. Thanks!
Love you all and God bless,Katie Barrett

Hi Family!! Guatemala has been an amazing experience! We are doing several shows everyday; our record so far is four in one day. Yesterday, When we were on our way to Malacatan, we stopped at a national park which was a rainforest. The waterfalls
were beautiful and it was an amazing way to experience God's creation in a way we don't get to see in Minnesota! I could never predict the impact the mime skits were going to have on the people of Guatemala, but people are coming to Christ every
performance!! Last night we performed for the church of Malacatan and our peers; the room was filled with the Holy Spirit and it was an amazing night. Please continue to pray for our sound system to work and for good health.
I miss you all so much,Amy Greene
P.S. Dad, I got your note this morning and cried tears of joy! Such good news :)

Hello family and friends! I love Guatemala sooo much I never want to leave.Yesterday in San Marcos we went into the rainforest! There was a breath taking waterfall and trees I could never imagine in my dreams. God did amazing things here in his creation. The mountains of San Marcos were so moving and beautiful. Every hill, mountain, stream, and flower are so full of life. Being on the mime team has been such a blessing. I have gotten so close with my fellow "mimos" and I cant wait to do another performance at 3 o'clock. Please pray for our sound system. At our last show we lost electricity and may have busted our extra fuse. Satan is trying hard to stop us from winning more souls for Christ but the Lord is stronger. Also please pray my strength is renewed. I am feeling a little under the weather today. Overall Guatemala has been better than I could ever imagine!I love you so much and miss you! I think of you every single day!Caroline Welch

Hola friends and family,
We are only five days in but it seems like so long. The people here in Guatemala are so kind and they are changing my life every day. Today we started our second home stay. My mime bros and I had a great night hanging out with our host family. We had fresh watermelon, homemade honey, and freshly squeezed orange juice. I have had so many opportunities to use my spanish and it has been truly been a blessing. Miming in many different schools both christian and nonchristian has been a blast. Our team has grown so close and we have spread the truth of the Lord throughout San Marcos and Malacatan. We have had some difficulties with weather and our sound systems but God works the most through the hard times. For all of you that wish to pray for the trip, I would like you to pray for good weather, good sound systems, and good health throughout the trip. We have had so many great experiences so far and I hope we have more to come. Mom, Dad, and Tyler: I miss you so much and I hope you are doing well in Minnesota. I hope you aren't too lonely without me. Can't wait to see how God continues to work in my life!
Miles Book

Heyyyy parents!!! It's Taylor Hansen!!! I am so excited to update you about how the trip has gone! It honestly has been incredible. We've been in Guat for 5 outof 14 days, and its already been life changing. Being on the childrens team, my eyes
have been open to so much. The first day went to an orphanage and my heart broke to see all the childern, but my heart filled will joy when I heard them sing "Mi amigo es Jesus" (my friend is jesus)! :) The kids in Guat are so loving and ADORABLE. The
Childrens team is tiring, but honestly God has strengthened us and energized us so much! I am completely depending on God. Everyday so far, we've had a large group worship service at the end of the day. Each day, everyone seems more and more
passionate for the Lord!! Last night we got our new home stays! Mine is right next to a slaughter house. So every morning at 4 in the morning the steak market is replenished...haha. I chose to sleep with my ear plugs in. Speaking in spanish is SO
much fun. Another awesome thing that i love seeing in the schools that we go to is the smiles they get when we simply give them a sticker that says "Cristo Te Ama" (Christ loves You). They honestly treasure it so much. :) God is honestly amazing. He's provided for us and has truly touched the hearts of the Guatemalans.I miss you all at home! :) i hope jackson jumped far on saturday! hahah. Love you Mamma and Dadio.-Love you so much, Taylor Hansen

David says HI BUBBA!!! and HI MAMA!!! <3-David Kenuston

Happy belated birthday Christina Solfelt!-Elisabeth Solfelt

Helloooo Quinn Family! Rachel here. So as you know, I take French at school...So my new favorite words are: Olah, "aqui?? Aqui?! (for when i hand out stickers to the kids), si, no hablo espanol, je parle francais, etc. But its kind of funny because they can understand some of my french! So at the home stays, we all speak a little "Franespanglais". I already lost my shampoo, conditioner, and soap soooo that could be a problem if you know what I'm saying. (just kidding, I'll borrow) OH and MOM, my "camping towels" are literally the size of a slightly oversized NAPKIN. My home stay mom laughed and gave me a Strawberry Shortcake towel. The kids love that we come visit them and we LOVEE them. they are actually SO cute. They all ask us for pictures and today a kid gave me a duck that he made out of paper. Its preee-tee sweet. My shower last night was in a bucket. Kind of. sort of. And our home stay has a German Shepard that I normally would not be frightened by but let me tell ya..I am scared of this dog. We go on the roofs of buildings a lot and the mountains are SOOO pretty i LOVE IT. We drive through clouds. It's awesome. Oh and whenever i show people pictures of my family they say "bonita" so go translate that! God has been doing amazing things on this trip and I am loving every second of it!! See you lata (asta la vista) LOVE YOU ALL! even whinie. kind of. bye bye bye

Hey mom and dad!!! Im here in Guatemala and I've had an amazing experience so far!! Everyday we go to schools or orphanages and do a presentation for the kids with singing, clowns, puppets and other fun activites! They love it and at every school we
pray with them to ask Jesus in their hearts and its amazing to see how we can impact their lives!! Also we got our new home stays yesterday and Im in a house that has a lot of bugs... and I had to shower with a bucket while spiders were everywhere... it was scary! I am having a TON of fun with the kids and I love to see their smiles and excitment. the church services have been SO powerful and during worship everyone is so on fire for God and it's so encouraging to bring that passion for God back home!! I miss you all!!! See you soon! :) Love you! -Carly Hansen

Mother, father, alyssa, nicole and maddie, hello from Guatemala! It seemsas if the United States doesnt even exist anymore. I am in a completely new world. From a nice warm showerto a bucket filled with cold water. From frosted flakes to warm milk and
corn flakes with fried bananas. What a change! But how awesome God has been to us on this trip so far. Each of our dramas we have performed has made an impact on the children. He has provided when we needed Him most. From providing roofs to allow
us to perform in rain to the use ofa generator for power,God is so good! Also, we visited Queszal (spelling?), in search of the national bird of Guatemala. I found myself submersed in a rainforest, with birds above, vines, rivers,waterfalls, and more! I found a purple snail which i will show a picture to you. All in all we can definitly tell God is doing work in our lives and in the lives of the Guatemalans. Please keep the prayers for continuous good health and to stay strong with sharing the gospel! I miss you all so very much and LOVE YOU!-Jamie Crum

Denice and Danielle, The Childrens Team has been great. Tell Danielle we've been doing El Sapo everyday and the children here absolutely love the song. We have teamed up with clowns from Guatemala, song and game leaders as well as some good
interpretors. We have had to make changes to our programs because of loss of electricity or rain. Even though we've had some challenges, God is good, and we've seen many children respond to the message and accept Christ. We leave for a park
today, something different for this year, but the team does well coming up with ideas to share with the Guatemalans. We are planning on getting some ice cream for a treat afterwards. It is pretty warm here in Malacatan. Love you and miss you,

Mom,Dad, and Sarah,
Hola from Guatemala! Its so beautiful here in San Marcos and Malacatan. I'm having so much fun and have been using my spanish a ton (but sometimes its still hard to communicate). The kids at the schools here love our drama and always want pictures and our autographs. Two days ago we went to this beautiful rainforest, and we swam in a waterfall. The waterfall was super pretty . My first home stay in San Marcos was awesome, the people were nice and the house was nice too. Now, in Malacatan, my house is a lot less nice and has a cardboard roof...but the people are nice and they have 8 day old puppies and a 4 year old boy. Malacatan is super hot, like 100 degrees. I've been making a lot of friends with my disney princess coloring book, all the little girls want to color in it and follow me around all day after I give them stickers. After each of our drama performances, a pastor named William gives the gospel and then we have the kids fill out cards with whether or not they accepted Jesus into their heart and so far hundreds have!! The churches we go to are all very welcoming and they give us good food. I like the food here a lot, we eat a lot of beans, tortillas, and platains. Anyways, keep praying for the team. Love you and miss you guys!-Kalli Thommen

Dear Mom and Sisters,(Amy is giving me a massage right now so we'll see if i can do this effectively...) GUATEMALA HAS BEEN SO WONDERFUL! I haven't gotten sick yet because of the vitamin packet that you gave me so... THANKS MOM! People keep teasing me that it smells but I just keep my chin up and drink it because i respect you and know that it will keep me healthy! (: Mime is going SO well and the team has really learned how to work together! Everybody emotes so well in the parts and i've been told that this has been the best year for mime in guatemala. THANK GOD! During our last preformance the electricity went out and me, ames, and miles were left to finish Goal without music... we did it! Afterwards, even though we couldn't finish the program, we had amazing talks with the children and I think God wanted us to talk rather than preform at that moment... Amy and I are in the most amazing homestay ever! It's a young couple with two children and everything is very humble and beautiful. Even though they don't have much, they have the most amazing love between them! It makes me want to live simply so I can have love like that for everyone! I rewrote my testimony today and I think that this version is better (: i love and miss you mom! I love and miss you Jessica! I love and miss you Michaela! I have pictures of you two in snow gear so I can show them how cold minnesota is... I LOVE YOU!!!!!!! love, Christina Erickson

Mom, Dad, Alex, Paige, Blake -Hola!!! I am having so much fun in Guatemala!!! I LOVE going to all of the different schools and playing with the kids!! It is so amazing and all of the kids love taking pictures with us and learning words in english. Our team is so much fun and all of the kids are so cute and excited to see us! Yesterday on the way to Malacatan from San Marcos we walked around in a rainforest and saw two waterfalls which was really cool. My homestays have been so much fun and the families are so willing to serve us and excited to talk to us. They give up their beds and rooms for us - it is amazing how generous the people here are. They are so passionate about Jesus and are truly living out their faith. The food has actually been pretty good here,
but we haven't had anything sweet so I really want something sweet and chocolatey. It is really hot here in Malacatan, and I took a shower last night with buckets of water in my homestay...it was an interesting experience! I haven't gotten sick yet,
which I am really happy about. Please keep praying for our trip! I love you and miss you so much! Love, Morgan

Querida familia,Miming is great! Every day is a new adventure. Today we had a great response even though the electricity didn't work and without music we had to stop. We just ate pizza for lunch (delish) and later we have one more performance. My homestay is awesome! The family has five children and they really like spiderman and explora Dora. Hopefully I will get to take a rainbucket shower tonight ;) Love to you all, thanks for praying for us!

olo Momma, dad, Bubba, and MaggieGreeting Amerrika (chuckle). This trip has been an amazing experience so far. one funny happening happened during our nature
walk. during this walk we observered alot of neat nature, there was alot of beautiful trees and water falls. Drew and i decided to go off trail and go adventure a water fall. the mission was a success until i slipped and fell into the water. It was pretty neat. the second and final thing i will be sharing with you today is about all the kids we are meeting on this trip. we have gone to 7 schools already, performing songs, skits, puppet show, and just having fun with the kids. I have taken alot of pictures so no worries mom. Love you much!
David Dragon Knutson

Hola, Dad, Mom, Joel, Kyle, Erik, & Dog.My first flight ever was fantastic, I only lost my luggage 7 times! I'm kidding, it really was great taking 2 different planes from MN to TX, and from there to Guatemala city. The experience has been amazing already, and we're only 4 days in! Feels more like 4 months! I have a plethora of stories since the adventure began, and pictures to go with them. I can't help but feel that every time I take a picture, no matter how detailed, I just can't capture the magnificence of God's mountains, forests, and sights here. I haven't gotten sick yet, and i dont plan to, but if it ends up being that, oh well.Basketball has been a success! through making new Guatemalan friends and playing with the teams of the schools, we have led
hundreds of young people to either re-Committ to their relationship with Christ or accept him for the first time. I guess the skit from the drama team, along with the message from Pastor William and a testimony helped us reach this result as well :).
Anyway, my spanish is getting better, I am growing from the time spent here, and the food is muy delicioso. Looking forward to the next 10 days here, and making the most of the time We have left. My prayers are with you Joel, that your transition from home to the Naval Academy would be smooth (Impossible right,) and that Mom, Dad & the hermanitos would keep out of trouble since I'm not there to keep them in line.Keep me in your prayers, hope all is well,- Ryan Davis

Mom,Dad, Emily,Taylor(and Holly) :) ,I have had such a wonderful experience here so far! Every day we perform our drama to new crowds of students, and each performance gets a different response. I have been so amazed at the amount of students who tell us about their faith; and each day, over 100 kids have begun relationships with God! My home stays so far have been so great. The families are so kind,sometimes willing to give up their only bedroom for us! It's been rough not knowing Spanish, but I'm learning! And today I had a very interesting experience.When we went to a bird refuge park a couple days ago, apparently a couple mystery bugs bit my ankle. The bites started to hurt and itch, and then they got bigger and started to look more like blisters. You know about my experience with blisters;). Anyway, so I talked to the doctor today, and he told me that the bugs had bit me and left these barbs in my skin! So the doctor made me lay down on a table as he cut open the bites and took the barbs out. The "mini surgery" hurt a lot, but I had my whole drama team and a few other amazing supporters standing with me, praying, and holding my hands the whole time. I am SO thankful for the group of people here with me and the relationships I'm building! I
can't wait to tell you more about how God is working here when I get home. I love you guys so much and I hope you're having a wonderful week! I pray for you every day, and I MISS YOU muchas! Did you like that expert use of Spanish there? (P.S.: do the roar.)-Hannah Ainslie

Hello!Another awesome day in Guatemala! I am loving the children's team. I couldn't ask for a better "job" than to hang out with little kids and make them smile. I am continualy amazed by the joy these kids have and it is definitely inspiring. Today
while walking through a market I got to see a few skinned, dead chikens and cow intestines and other various insides hanging from one of the stands which was...interesting. We also ate Sarita's ice cream for the first time today and it was fabulous. Maddie Bessinger and I also took a shower using a bucket last night which was a new experience as well. The home stays have been super cool, it's awesome to be immersed in the culture. I am so thankful for all of you praying for us! -Abby EmersonP.s. Mom and Dad -- see Michelle's p.s. and coordinate with Mr. and Mrs. Bluem (:


  • At 2:01 AM , Anonymous Kassie said...

    Thanks for all the amazing letters from the kids. It's so great to hear of all the experiences they are having. Malia...I love you so much and miss you! It's way too quiet here with you away and Andrew gone all day at football and basketball! I hope you are doing well, growing closer to God each day, and leading others to Him as well. I'm so proud of you! Take care! Love, "Madre"

  • At 6:20 AM , Blogger Connie said...

    Sarah W. so glad to hear that the medical team is going strong and providing for God's people in Guatemala. Know that I pray each day for good health and strength to continue to allow God to work through all of you!! Stay strong (no more fainting!!!), drink lots of water!! and have fun. Love you Connie

  • At 8:07 AM , Blogger Ainsliefamily said...

    Hannah, Hannah, Hannah......so glad to hear that you are all doing well (well, except for your feet!) We miss you tons and we pray for you all every day. It is awesome to hear about what God is doing. Emily wants you to know that our God is greater:). Love, Mom, Dad, Taylor, Emily

  • At 8:55 AM , Anonymous Jess said...

    SARAH WICZEK! I love you and I'm praying for you every day! I hope you're having the most amazing trip! It sounds like you're doing some really great things on the medical team, yet again! I'm so very excited for you. When it gets tough keep pushing through it because you are helping so many people, and touching so many hearts, and spreading God's love to people who need it.
    "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me"--Matthew 25:40 (don't forget that girly)! :)
    I love you so much! Have a great rest of the trip! Say hi to Elise, Briana, Mark, Tim, Deitric, Priscila, Justin, and Vic! Stay in the Word (as Vic would say!)

    Jess Theis

  • At 9:12 AM , Blogger TAG said...

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • At 9:51 AM , Blogger Karen said...

    What a blessing to wake up to read all the amazing posts from the missionaries. Taylor, so fun to see your smiling face in the pictures. Reminds me of Trinidad when I see the ministry conditions and landscape. I am sure you are in your element. Prayers are going up for you all to be healthy and grow deeper in your relationship with the Lord. I pray for open hearts to receive the gospel and for energy to serve with your all, even when you have done it over and over again.. BTW Jack jumped 6"4" in the vertical competition and got second in big air. Love you and Miss you. MOM

  • At 10:05 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Michelle B - we miss you! I hope your knee is holding out okay. It sounds like everyone is having a wonderful time in Guatemala and experiencing many new things. We are praying for you to grow mightily in the Lord through this experience. Write soon. Many coworkers, teachers, coaches, friends are reading the blog.
    Love, Mom & Dad
    PS what was your PS to us and the Emersons?
    PPS Herbie and the dogs miss you

  • At 3:26 PM , Anonymous Tawny said...

    Miles thanks for blogging! I was hoping you'd find the time to grab the computer. I'm so excited to hear about your experiences with the Mime team and
    everything that you are learning about the people in Guatemala-- You can change the world, one person at a time!!! Your Mime team sounds amazing even if the sound system isn't working. It just makes every performance an original and straight from your hearts each time!! I miss you... and all of your laundry!! ;) Dad gets home from Ohio tonight, and Tyler leaves tomorrow for Chicago. Stay healthy! Hope you are taking a lot of great pictures--Love, Mom

  • At 6:28 PM , Anonymous Gail Meyer said...

    Michelle M- We loved seeing the picture with you and the little kids- We know you are having a great time and making a difference in so many lives. Thanks for the note- we're sooo glad you are still healthy. Let's keep it that way :) We've been praying hard !!! Love you sooo much! Mom and Dad, Jeff, Tre, Kelsey, Karen, Octavio, Christian, and Alex :)

  • At 10:41 PM , Blogger The Emersons said...

    The Goon - we are so excited to read what's going on with you and the picture of you holding the child was wonderful. We are praying for continued good health, safety and Christian growth for all of you! Maria says hi and she misses you!
    Ma and Pa E

  • At 11:16 PM , Blogger Cooking for Dads by Rob Barrett said...

    Thanks so much for the update, we're praying for you all. Can't wait to see you.


  • At 1:55 PM , Blogger wendy said...

    STEFAN! We miss you, and are praying for you. Fun to read the awesome things that are happening, as well as see you in pictures. Hope you are staying healthy, and having a great time. Love, mom, dad, and parker

  • At 2:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    RYAN D., Absolutely loved your message on 6/17; you always make me laugh so hard, even from a thousand miles away!! We are so glad to hear all God is accomplishing through you and the team; we continue to pray each day. Here's a hug~ Love, Mom P.S... Stay away from the Monkeys!!

  • At 12:20 PM , Blogger Beth said...

    Miss Sarah W... I am so glad that you were not hurt when you fainted. I agree with Connie, drink lots of water and make sure you are eating healthy! I am so impressed by all that you kids are doing for the kingdom of God in your selfless giving in honor of HIM!
    I miss you and am so proud of you! You are going to be a great nurse!
    Love you! Mom

  • At 11:29 PM , Anonymous Eric (Swanny) and Lysa said...

    Sarah S. We love you and miss you so much. It looks like the teams are having a great time. It is fun to see the faces of the children and how you are making a difference in their lives. We are excited for your return. Love, mom and dad


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