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.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Father's Day extended!

Hello family! I’m having the most amazing time in Guatemala- I have so much to tell you guys when I get back! The homestays have been great so far and I’ve been using my Spanish a lot. The food has been great and I’ve met lots of adorable kids while on children’s team. I can’t believe that we only have six days left! Dad- happy father’s day; I love you so much, and we’ll celebrate when I get back. Mom- I love you so much and I miss you! I’m wearing lots of sunscreen J Erika- I miss you SO much and I can’t wait to hear all about Colorado. We have so much to talk about and I can’t wait to see you again. William and Andrew- I miss you two so much and I have lots of cool stuff to tell you about when I get back. To the whole fam- I love you all so much! Tell Lucy that I say hi. See you Saturday! –Alexa Bussmann

Hey Everyone!  Happy late Father’s day dad and I hope you had a relaxing day.  Guatemala has been such an amazing trip and I can’t wait to share all of the stories with you all when I get home.  To share a few, I have shared my testimony multiple times in smaller groups of about 40-60 people twice in English and then once in Spanish.(Had no preparation for the Spanish one and God totally brought me through it!)  And I also was able to share it in front of a large group of around 300 people at a soccer camp.  Last night, 6/21, we had a great worship service and I spent a long time just watching the stars and looking at the mountains surrounding the church.  I miss you all and can’t wait to share more memories when I get home next week!  -Dad, I decided to try growing a mustache… it’s not as full yet but I’m getting there.  Love you! -Jonathan Shirley

Hi hi hi family! Happy late father’s day, Dad J Being here has made me realize more fully how much of a blessing it is to have a dad like you that works so hard for our family and cares to such an extent. Love you lots. Today is our second service day in San Marcos… The mime team has two presentations. This country is so full of love and the people are so caring. We’re having such a good time serving them. Over 200 people have come to Christ from the mime presentations-WOW! And our team is bonding like crazy. I’ve managed to stay healthy and to enjoy every second that I’ve been here. Thank you for your prayers and support!! I love you and miss you—can’t wait to see you! –Holly Beachey

Hi family!!!! Guatemala has been so much fun and I am having such an amazing time! So far my homestays have been fun, each is an experience within itself. Even though I speak zero Spanish it is still fun and easy to play with the kids. Today is our second day in San Marcos and each day we go to 2 different churches or schools to play with the kids. Children’s is an awesome team and I love all the people on it. Every time I see one of the kids smile because we play with them makes my entire day. Dad-Happy Father’s Day, I wish I could have been there to celebrate with you. Mom- Yes I am alive and healthy ;) I miss you a lot! Sarah, Allie, Tommy - I miss you all and can’t wait to share all my stories with you. Can’t wait to see you!!- Amy Denn

Hi family!!! Guatemala has been super fun so far and I have yet to get sick!!!  (Thanks for the prayers Mom)  My favorite part so far has been performing our 30 minute program.  After reading our response cards from the first school we went to in Guatemala City it was so cool to hear that the performance really pointed people towards Christ.  At first I was nervous that people would be so distracted by our makeup and matching clothes that the message would be hindered.  Thank goodness I was wrong!!  I miss you very much especially on this third Father’s Day in a row that I’ve missed.  Happy Father’s Day Dad!!!!  Can’t wait to see you guys Saturday!! –Marissa Ripple

Hello. Happy birthday, Lydia. I hope that everyone in Minnesota has been staying cool and hydrated; we certainly have. After a little more than a week in Guatemala, I am feeling good, and so are most of the other people on the trip. All of the hand sanitizers, probiotics, and acid reducers seem to be working. I am having an enjoyable time working with the service team, and we have been able to complete a fair few projects during our two days in Guatemala City, two days in Malacatan, and the first of our three days in San Marcos. The food here is certainly different than that in Minnesota, but each one of our hosts has done their best to make us feel at home by providing what they would consider to be American meals. So, we have had our fill of hot dogs, fried chicken, hamburgers, and French fries. Overall, Guatemala has been good, and this trip, so far, has been a very positive experience for me. I will, however, be excited to return home at the end of the week. See you soon. (And also, Mom, I hope that you managed to receive my package!)
-Caleb Hay

Happy belated Father’s Day Daddy! I hope you guys are having a good time in Florida and not missing me too much (if you even notice that I’m not there J ) I’ve been doing lots and lots of painting and I’ve gotten some in my hair every time. In Guatemala City, we painted the entire parking lot/courtyard of the church, plus the kitchen/dining room. The boys broke up and poured concrete so there would be a space for a car wash. In Malacatan, we built a tunnelish platform thing on the roof of the church. It was really hot but we were in the shade and there was a really nice breeze since we were up high. So far this is my favorite city though (San Marcos). Everything is so pretty and colorful. Yesterday we painted an entire church inside and out while the boys built a really nice enclosed kitchen room for a family. Today we’ve painted the inside of the service building/room where they will prepare the bodies at a cemetery. It was kinda funny in a strange way. Well I should go finish eating lunch. By the way, when I come home, can we please have something other than chicken? At the beginning of the trip we ate it for lunch and dinner almost every single day.
-          Lily Bjorlin

Hi family!! Happy belated Father’s Day Dad! Hope you had a good day and enjoyed my card. I’ve really enjoyed my time so far in Guatemala. The food here is different, and I’ve tried a lot of new foods, you should be proud of me for that. I’m enjoying learning about and experiencing Guatemalan culture. So far I’ve managed to stay healthy and hydrated. Don’t worry Mom, most of our projects have been in the shade, so I’ve managed to not get sunburnt. I can’t wait to see you all and tell you about everything. Give Daisy some hugs from me. See you Saturday!!! (Hope you can stay awake that long Mom.)- Greta Deutsch

Hola familia! I know I already got to say Happy Father’s Day and update you all but I wanted to give you a quick shout out on the blog! So I hope everything is going well- that New York is awesome, Sophie is having fun at work (remember to bring home ice cream so we can bring it to Island View and I can eat it, because I miss ice cream please:-) ), and Blitzy is having a good time playing outside. Again, Happy Father’s Day dad!! I am sorry I can’t be there but (like I said before) we will celebrate at Island View! I miss and love you all! I will see you guys in 5 days!! Have a good rest of your week! I’m adding something after I went to the second school today. There was this cute girl who was kinda similar to when I was a kid and her name was Graciela! One of her best friends was a year younger (5 years old) and her name was Sophia! So it was Grace and Sophie like Sophie and me! I spent the whole time with them and it was super cool. I wanted to let you know that before the blog got posted. I will tell you more when I get back, adios! –Grace Willman

Hello Whelan family!  I am having such an awesome time playing soccer and presenting our drama here.  I have so far remained very healthy.  I have tried so many new things and it has all been amazing.  I cannot wait to get home to share all of the stories that I have experienced here in Guatemala.  Hasta Luego!  –Nick Whelan

What’s up Mark and Patti! This trip has been a good experience. Mime squad has been chill! I am a healthy person as I type right now. Can’t wait to come home to the fam. –Aaron Johnson

Hello Dave, Beth, Nick, and Alex! Happy late father’s day Dad. I hope it was great! Guatemala has been really good so far. It has been cool to see how genuinely nice every Guatemalan that I have met is! If I return home I will be so happy if a Toyota Coaster Turismo is parked in the driveway. Hope to see you all soon! –Jake Orlowsky

Happy Belated Father’s Day Dad. I got you a card but I don’t remember where I put it. Hopefully Mom found it and gave it to you. If not, I’ll hopefully find it when I get home.  I am meeting amazing people here in Guatemala. Cole says “hi Steve”. Also, hi Ellie. –Luke Eidsvold

Happy Father’s Day Dad! Hope you had a great day. I’m having a great time here in Guatemala miming it up and sharing the gospel. Can’t wait to see you all soon! I’m so excited for South Carolina! Best wishes –Cole Harris

Happy Father’s day!  I hope you guys have had a good week.  I hope Olivia had a great time in Colorado.  It’s been an amazing experience sharing the gospel across Guatemala.  I’ll see you in a week! –Isaac LaLuzerne

Hi family! You all would be so proud of me because of all the new things I’ve tried. I ate papaya, (almost) killed a cockroach and miming in general is a little outside of my comfort zone. Our team has gotten so close over the last 9 days and each day it does not get old seeing how God is changing lives through the ministry of mime. Today in San Marcos I gave my faith story to over 500 people! I miss you and can’t wait to share all the stories J -Aly Halbakken  

Sup Smiths! Happy father’s day dad, I hope you guys had lots of fun and did something fun to celebrate. Everything is going good in Guatemala and I’m having lots of fun playing soccer every day and doing the drama. The country is very different and interesting and I can’t wait to see you guys when I get home and here about how Katie’s trip went in Chicago. Love you all and don’t forget to get me at the airport (no signs) –Drew Smith

Mom, Dad, Lilli, Erik and Ellen! I miss you guys all so much and can’t wait to see you all again!! Guatemala has been amazing. I have been extremely lucky and have had wonderful families take me into their homes. The food has been somewhat decent and the weather has been hot, cold and rainy. I’ve been working pretty hard over here painting churches, houses, mixing concrete, and building a playground for a church. I can’t wait to get home and tell you all about it! Love you all and see you Saturday! P.S. Happy (late) Father’s Day Dad J -Lauren

Hey Mom, Dad, and Petie!!! I miss you guys and hope you’re having a good time at home. It’s been so great here and I’ve had a great time. Happy late Father’s day Dad! Sorry I couldn’t be there, but I’ve met so many great Guatemalans here and they have welcomed us into their churches. Children’s team has been great and I’ve had so much fun with all of the little kids. They are so cute and many of them are accepting Jesus into their hearts for the first time. Malacatan was extremely hot and now San Marcos is cool and very beautiful. I will see you on Saturday I love you guys! And tell Oreo and Gus hi for me haha J –Rachel Knutson

Hey there Mom and Dad, Syd and Savannah!  I hope all is well back in Minnesota.  I just wanted to say hi and tell you a little bit about the trip.  It’s an amazing experience to see God transforming the lives of so many kids here in Guatemala through the work that we do.  The soccer is fun, although most times the Guatemalan’s skill with the ball carries them to the win, but ultimately the drama and presentation of the Gospel never get old. I can’t wait to see you all soon!  To Savannah: Thanks again for the bracelet.  I have been wearing it most of the time and it always reminds me of you when I see it.  To Syd: Thanks for the “donut” and the lovely note.  –Mason Kiffmeyer

Hi fam! I just wanted to say hey and give you an update on what is happening here in Guatemala. Everything here is going well. I’m on the children’s team, so every day we go to two different schools and do a program for the kids. It involves games, songs, puppets, testimonies, and a teaching. The trip has been a lot of fun so far! My home stays have been good also. I hope everything is doing well in Minnesota. Mom, you will probably be the only one looking at this so say hi to Loj and Luke for me. If you do read this Dad, happy late Father’s DayJ I miss you all!! Love your favorite daughter Lexi

Hey Mom and Dad!! Just wanted to give you an update on what’s happening here in Guatemala! First of all I want to say that this trip has been an amazing experience! In the past week, we have served the people of Guatemala City, Malcatan, and now San Marcos. I have to say the weather extremities are very broad here. It ranges from the 90’s to down in the 50’s here in San Marcos. I have had no stomach issues nor any eating issues (Obliviously ;) ) More importantly, this trip has definitely opened my eyes to see both the beauty of God’s work as well as God’s work within me. In addition, this trip has made me realize many of my weakness and faults. I miss you all very much. I’m so sorry that it’s late but Happy Birthday Mom and Happy Father’s day Dad!!!! J Looking forward to seeing you again! And John vlogging is a lot harder than expected sorry!! Love Always, y te amo mucho mucho!!! – Matthew Lim (Kar-woon <3 o:p="">


  • At 9:38 AM , Blogger Amy Denn said...

    Good Morning! We get up every morning excited to see what has been posted. It is so fun seeing all the pictures of your sweet smiling faces and hearing how God is working.
    Amy- hi cutie! :) We have all read your note posted - loved loved loved hearing from you! Soooooo excited to have you home to hear all about this amazing experience. Please take lots of pictures so you can remember it ALL. I am sure all those precious little ones are touching your heart....... We get to see you in 4 days, can't wait. Yippy! Have fun!
    Love you- Mom, Dad, Sarah, Allie and Tommy


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