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Guatemala Mission Trip Day 4

Today was our first day visiting and worshipping with the children of Tecpan, Guatemala. We quickly learned the geographical and cultural differences between Verbana, our previous location, and here. 

After driving more than 6,000 kilos up into the mountains, we are visually seeing the differences as we’re surrounded by volcanos, mountains, and endless fields for farming.

While the views are beautiful, it is evident that the fields are the most important part of this community, as it provides all financial means and job opportunities for all members living here. 

As opposed to the “city vibe” of Verbana, we are not immersed into a more native Guatemalan culture where Spanish is the secondary native language behind Cakchiquel. The landscape of homes has changed where the primary surfaces are concrete and dirt, with little surrounding walls and protection. We learned that males typically are pulled out of education after the ninth grade, and females do not often get to continue school after sixth grade. Working in the nearby fields and housekeeping are the primary focuses to survive and provide at an early age. It’s a cultural expectation.

We arrived at the school in the village to meet the children of the new Ambi location: a smaller group than what we had worked with in Verbana. There was no electricity, and the playground was an open dirt area, but there was still somehow a smile on every child’s face.

It’s been a common theme throughout our trip: While there may be cultural, financial and historical differences and challenges...one theme remains the same: Our shared love for The Lord. 

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” - Hebrews 12:11.

This verse has truly become visible for us during our time here. We met our second Ambi leader at the location who has sacrificed her job, family, and opportunity elsewhere to commit her life to serve the Lord’s purpose for her. Her purpose is to carefully discipline and transform this community through love and discipline to the children within this Ambi location. 

While her two years of creating this new culture within the care point has been a difficult and long process, God has worked through her and the staff to produce a harvest of righteousness within the classroom. We were able to witness it today first hand. 

There is no use of “I,” but instead “God.” It’s his power and love that has reaped this harvest. While we have had the chance to play soccer, jump rope and paint nails with the beautiful children here, we are only servants who have no idea the magnitude of God’s plan for here. 

Prayer requests that we ask for during this time:

  • Continued health and energy for the team members and all Ambi staff who serve on a daily basis. 

  • The opening of hearts in the children in Tecpan as we continue to worship with them tomorrow.

  • Prayer that the children feel love, gratitude, and support that they may not receive at home.

  • Prayer for God to work through leaders here who can teach the children their worth in God’s eyes.

  • Prayer for God to provide food and resources for these children.

  • Prayer that the children can make an impact through their hearts for the Lord in their homes as they have the opportunity to share with their parents.

  • Prayer for our chance to communicate with families on our home visits tomorrow as we have the chance to share the gospel.

  • Prayer for the children to know that their worth lies outside of farming, housekeeping and cultural norms in the community.

  • Prayer for the children to know that God does not love them differently based on their gender.

 

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Posted by Hanna Yates with

Guatemala Mission Trip Day 3

This morning was our last time with the children in Verbana. There were about 60 children at the site. We were able to give a presentation to the children on our culture, families, and churches. The children asked questions and were eager to learn! After, they gave a presentation on Christmas in Guatemala, and even served us food. If you can believe it, this all happened in a 10 by 15 foot room! We got to play more and talk with the children, thanks to our amazing translators who have been with us every step of the way. We were blown away by the love of the children and their meaningful goodbyes! 

After our last morning at the center in Verbana, we drove across the city to a nice outdoor mall for lunch. There, we were able to meet Ana, who is the organizer of Ambi the programs in Guatemala. Ana shared her vision and hope for the future of the organization. Her heart for the children was amazing—she radiates Christ and inspired us all. 

As I write, we are on a 3.5 hour drive, through HEAVY Guatemalan traffic, to our next location—Tecpan. This is a rural community in the mountains, very close to a few active volcanos. We are excited to see what God has in store for us tomorrow. 

Please join us in praying:

  • For the strengthening of faith in Ana’s family as she has just lost her husband to cancer. 
  • For the hard decisions Ana will soon have to make. 
  • For the new site we will be at tomorrow and the lives of the children. 
  • That the children in Tecpan will be comfortable and receptive to our presence. 
  • That we can be a blessing to the children and staff. 
  • For safety for the team and children throughout our activities. 
  • That God will grow the humility in our own hearts as we minister to those in need. 
Posted by Shelby Boos with

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