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.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

First full day in San Marcos

Another day has passed- our first full day of service in San Marcos. It started out beautifully sunny and promised to be a very warm day.  All morning the skies were clear and everyone quickly shed their sweatshirts and jackets in favor of t-shirts.  Childrens team went to a church in a town just outside San Marcos.  Being Saturday there was no school, but it was the date for this month's growth tracking census for that area so there were a lot of kids there anyway (Compassion International runs a feeding station there and they weigh and measure the height of every child every month). It was a great program, and afterwards the team got to go across the street with the children and play soccer, jump rope and parachute in the school playgrounds.  Mime performed at a church outside of San Marcos as well, doing their 30 minute program for a good-sized crowd.  Drorts took a long drive up into the mountains to play at a school- they got good response to the drama, but were out-futballed by the local kids.  Medical set up clinic in our host church (they loved not having to haul bags today!) and service split into 2 teams to replace a roof and dismantle a bathroom from the side of Pastor Neri's house.

We all returned to the host church for a lunch of hot dogs and tortilla chips and checked for sunburns. So far, at least, no one turned up with sunburns. They seem to have listened to the fact that being this high up on a clear day you can burn very quickly even though you are not at all hot.  After lunch Drorts headed out for another game. Due to some directional challenges they did not get back until 8pm (at which point they were warmly welcomed by the rest of the teams).  They did have a good audience at their game, though, so it was worth the time on the road. Mime performed their skits twice in the San Marcos public square.  They had decent sized crowds for both, even though it had not been advertised.  Childrens stayed with medical and performed their program after the clinic closed up about 4.  And service completed their respective projects.  One cool thing that happened is that the clouds started piling up about 2, and it was a sure bet for rain.  Both service and mime would have been unable to do their thing if it rained, so they prayed and the rain fell all around but there was none at either the town square or the 2 sites service was at. God is good!

After a nice spaghetti dinner we had some time of worship, during which one of the songs was "I Need You" (which talks about how we need God in every aspect and every moment of our lives).  After that song Mark asked people to share 1 or 2 words that expressed the reason we need God in our lives. The team members shared words like 'grace', 'mercy', 'forgiveness', 'ever-present', 'our very breath', 'to give sense to life', 'friend', 'savior' and 'love'.  It was a powerful reminder of the nature of our God. The team also had the opportunity to share the moments that had made them feel most alive or most frustrated, and then to pray and thank God for both in that both are important components to the development of our faith.

Once Drorts returned and had their late dinner everyone was transported to their home stays.  It is nice to go 'home' so much earlier (8:30-9) so everyone would have some extended time to interact with their host families.  The people here, as in the other towns, are very gracious and are working hard to make our stay here delightful and rewarding.  Tomorrow is Sunday.  During the day the teams will be doing service, and then in the evening we will have a youth service where both Pastors Neri and Mark will speak.  In addition both our drama and mime teams will perform as well as the local performers (mime and music).  It should be a great night of fellowship!

Our Word for today both reflects the teams' attitude tonight as well as the anticipation of tomorrow's service.  Psalm 150 says "Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tamborine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!"

I will check in tomorrow again if the service does not run too late!  The primary prayer request at this point is renewed focus and energy for the teams.  The last couple of days of the trip are always tough, after having performed and worked at the same things for so many days in so many circumstances and conditions. Health is always a concern, but with the cooler weather everyone is getting back to feeling well.  Thanks for your continued support!

Here are a few more contributions from the students:

Hola friends and fam! Haley and Chantelle here representing El Equipo de los ninos. We started off the day visiting a church that was hosting kids that are financed by people back in the US. It was a great experience and our dancing skills have increased immensely. It's been rad getting to know the children of Guatemala! It's been spiritually enhancing sharing our faith with the young ones. It's been such an eye opener for the children to hear our testimonies because it truly connects their stories to ours. We have had a couple of awesome service team members (Tony) join us for a few dances at the church.

We want to give a quick shout out to Robbie who ended up not being able to join us on the trip.  We miss you and hope you are feeling better!

We both miss home and Macaroni from Noodles. We miss our superfam and superfriends back in Minny! We hope y'all are having a fantastic week back in the states, but not too much fun. Hope you all are missing us tons. :) Love you all so much. Peace and blessings... and noodles. :):):):)

Ron and Jessie:
Being on med team has been truly an amazing and eye-opening time. At each of our daily clinics we have seen a wide variety of cases ranging from  headaches to Parkinson's disease. But the cool thing about our clinic is we provide not only physical healing but spiritual healing as well. Patients have come with stomach aches and left with hope, peace, and love from Christ.

Although med team can be very serious, we always enjoy ourselves, from singing Mulan "Let's get down to business" while handing out meds to playing soccer with the kids. We can't wait to continue spreading hope and love to many more Guatemalans.

Shoutout to Ron and Christina for being awesome Spanish speakers at intake.
Shoutout to Jessie, Katie, and Jill for knowing their way around the Pharmacy.
Shoutout to Jack, Jonah, Eric, Caroline, Valerie, Rayna, Kennedy, Alannah for being a great part of med team.
Shoutout to Lisa for organizing all of us
Shoutout to Dr. Sofelt, Laurie, and Kari for being great with their patients
Shoutout to all the shoutouts, because med team is the BEST by far:)

Peace, Love, Ibuprofen


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