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 20, 2012

On to Santiago

Well, we are officially on R&R today.  It rained through the night and was still drizzling as people came down to breakfast at 8:30.  As we were getting ready to start loading the buses the clouds began to clear, however, and within 15 minutes the lake and surrounding mountains came into clear view.  What a spectacular vista. 

Before we left we lined up with all of the children from the orphanage to shoot a video promoting the school and orphanage.  We intermixed our team with the children holding hands in a long chain which stretched the equivalent of about 3 city blocks.  Our being there blessed the facility because it brought in income for them to buy food and supplies for the children, and it blessed us because it gave our team an opportunity to minister to children you would think have a bleak future but yet have hope for som3ethiing more through God's mercy in the form of the orphanage and its staff.

We drove about 5 miles down the hill to the town of Panahachel.  There we boarded a cruise boat (similar to the dinner boats on Lake Minnetonka) for the hour ride across Lake Atitlan to Santiago.  The skies were still clear and the lake was smooth so the team had a great view of the volcanoes surrounding the lake.  Most of the team was on top of the boat, enjoying the sun after all the rain of the past several days.  When we landed in Santiago we walked about a half mile up through the town to our hotel - the Tiosh Abaj (they have a website).  After getting room assignments We had a great lunch of hamburgers and french fries.  By then the
buses had arrived with all our bags (the roads they had to take around the lake are narrow and winding so it is longer to drive than to boat).  We hauled our bags to our rooms and then had the rest of the day to swim in the pool, enjoy the hotel gardens or shop in the nearby market.  After a nice dinner we gathered for some team time of worship and sharing what people had learned over the course of the trip.  Lynn Martinson, one of our childrens team leaders taught briefly on the topic of trusting God and guarding our faith.  The key text came from 2 Timothy 1:12-14 - "Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you--guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us."

We are continuing our theme of making the experiences of the trip a foundation for how they will face the realities of the coming return to friends and pressures of life.  Everyone on the team wants this to be something more than a 2 week diversion, and so we are identifying both what we have learned and how we are going to sustain that learning.

Tomorrow the individual service teams will have the opportunity to debrief their particular experiences, and then Mark has an exercise for each of us to do on our own.  Then the afternoon will be open for shopping or swimming or whatever.  After dinner we will then have the opportunity to worship together again and hear from William (our evangelist from El Salvador who has been travelling with our sports/drama team).

Here are a few entries from team members, followed by some pictures from today.

Wow. Only 2 days left on this journey, and what a wonderful journey it has been. So many awesome adventures throughout the past week and a half. We made it to Santiago and have started our R&R at the hotel. Most of us are in the process of enjoying the outdoor pool and taking time to simply sit back and process through everything. Serving has been so incredible. Seeing how God moves through all of these teams is crazy awesome. Going to the schools and presenting the gospel through mime has been such a fantastic opportunity. At one school in San Marcos after presenting there were students that were even interested in starting their own mime team. Crazy how God can work. :) Our "mime mother" Chris Erickson is here sitting enjoying a chocolate milkshake - which pretty much sums up these few days. Thank you so much to everyone for your continuous prayer, we appreciate it so much!:) - Mikayla Coxe (P.S. - Dad, love you so much, give Dusty a hug for me :) )

Hey Mom and Dad
I Can't believe that there are only 2 days left before I come home. Today we traveled from a orphanage in Solola to Lake Atitlan where we are spending the R&R days.I am sitting here right now laying here by the pool at the hotel. Its so nice to have the next couple of days to decompress before traveling home. This trip has shown me so many opportunities to share the love of the Gospel to the Guatamalans. I can't wait to see you guys on Saturday night.
-Love, Leah Jordan

It feels so wrong to know that our scedualed service is over. How on eath did we already finish? Finally, though, we have some down time to reflect and get in some God time. The clouds and mountains around the lake never stop amazing me. It makes it really easy to see God's glory when you're surrounded by the most amazing scenes that could never happen back in Minnesota. I guess we'll be home very soon then; everyone here is anxious to see you guys and to flush toilet paper again.
See ya'll reall soon. - Wesley Nawrocki


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