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 22, 2012

The Last Night in Guatemala

Our last night together in Guatemala as OCA 2012 draws to a close.  We got up early (7:30) in Santiago so we could be on the road by 9.  After a drive of 3 hours or so we arrived in Antigua.  The students were given money for lunch (there are lots of familiar fast food restaurants in the town) and set loose for 4 hours of sightseeing and shopping in the market.  The leaders had lunch together and took the opportunity to honor the work all of the Guatemalans on our team had done for us.  After we ate we joined the students in the market. It was an entertaining afternoon of bargaining and engaging the local people (and tourists from every corner of the world) in conversations.

By 5:30 everyone was shopped out and ready to head to Guatemala City and dinner.  It is a drive of less than an hour so we were soon at the door of our hotel for the night.  Yes, we are in the Panamerican again in case there are any alumni reading.  After the usual tumult of assigning rooms and finding bags we settled in for dinner followed by one last team time. We also started saying goodbye to our Guatemalan brothers and sisters as they return to their homes here in the city.

It has been a tremendously productive trip in terms of what the teams have accomplished - over 1500 people seen by the medical teams, at least that many people exposed to the gospel through the programs put on by the childrens, mime and sports/drama teams, and several families blessed by the work performed by the service team. We saw hundreds either recommit their lives to God or invite him into their life for the first time.  We renewed our relationship with the church families in Guatemala City, Malacatan and San Marcos.

Most importantly, it was a productive trip in terms of the impact on our students.  They were stretched emotionally, physically and spiritually and responded admirably.  We are praying that what has been learned/discovered/developed will continue to grow once we return home.  New realtionships have been formed and existing ones strengthended and deepened through our adventures.  I would  love to be able to capture the emotion of the praise singing - it is a reflection of closeness the team feels to God.  Which raises another prayer request: that the team members individually and collectively remember not to let all the distractions of the life we are returning to dampen that connection to God.

I will close with the chorus and first verse of a song that is a favorite of the team.  It expresses our prayer as we head home tomorrow morning.  See you all tomorrow night!

   Bless the Lord, oh my soul
   Oh my soul
   Worship His holy name
   Sing like never before
   Oh my soul
   I worship your holy name

   The sun comes up
   Its a new day dawning
   It's time to sing your song again
   Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
   Let me be singing when the evening comes
  (10,00 Reasons)


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