Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Beginning of Work

Well, our first team of the season came on Monday night, and left for their sister church on Tuesday afternoon. We just fed them 3 meals. I have never worked so much or so hard in my life!

On Sunday, we worked ALL DAY hanging stuff up, making minor repairs, making curtains, setting up cots/tables/chairs, washing all of the 30 plates, bowls, mugs, cups, and silverware, as well as all of the pots and pans and plastic ware. Then we went grocery shopping for the all of the fresh food and food that couldn't be bought in bulk in the city. Then we unpacked the food. We went to bed about midnight that night.

On Monday, we worked ALL DAY cleaning vegetables (along with our 2 national staff) by scrubbing, rinsing, soaking in bleach, rinsing in filtered water, drying and putting them in plastic bags, re-cleaning the entire 3 story house, baking 2 loafs of bread, cooking vegetable soup for 16 people and assembling a garden salad, feeding the group, cleaning up after them, then putting up all of the bulk food items that were bought in Guatemala City. We went to bed about 11 that night. I woke up every time I moved because my body was aching all night.

On Tuesday, we worked only part of the day preparing breakfast, serving breakfast, cleaning up after, preparing lunch, preparing a snack for the group to take on the road, serving lunch, cleaning up after lunch, and spot cleaning the house after the group left. I went to bed at 8:30 last night.

All this with Deacon sick with an ear infection and spoiled from being held from the ear infection. Whew. My body is not prepared for this type of work/schedule! I keep thinking about the dozens of people that I know that work this hard day in and day out. They clean houses for a living, they mow lawns, they lay parking lots, they build houses, they run daycares! They work because they have to and they enjoy it. They get bored sitting at a computer to send/receive e-mails. And here I am, with 2 1/2 days of real physical, hard labor (hard for a pregnant lady) and I am achy and tired.

But the amazing thing is the kind of satisfaction after this kind of work. First of all b/c we got an amazing amount of things done in a relatively short time. Secondly, because everyone raved about the food and the team really enjoyed it! Finally, because we were getting to serve these missionaries who are coming to minister to a body of Guatemalan believers. They will be working in a village for almost 4 days and serving and loving and ministering.

Many times during the work, I would be complaining in my head. I would get frustrated at all of the work. Then the Holy Spirit would tell me that I was walking "in the flesh". I was assuming, even for those few moments, that this was all about me, my comfort, my desire to relax. The truth is, that it was a struggle to keep a servant's heart. An attitude of they are more important than me. And after all is said and done, I am getting to receive the peace and rest and getting to realize the value in having the attitude of Christ Jesus. God's way really is better. The team is coming back on Saturday for another 2 days, and I am getting excited to serve again. You can pray for me!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

We're all ok!

(photo is not from here!) Well, we felt our first earthquake here in Guatemala. It isn't our first one, but it is the first one we've felt. We have had a couple of inquiries as to how we are doing so I wanted to fill you in on what happened.

It was a 6.8 earthquake off the pacific coast of Guatemala. At about 1:30 our time, we were getting lunch together when the gate at the foot of our stairs started rattling. Then all of a sudden a photo from the top of our TV fell down. It still didn't register what had happened. Then, when our hanging light fixtures started swaying Brandon said "This is an earthquake!" It was very cool b/c we could feel the house sort of swaying a little. Now don't get me wrong, it was extremely mild, and if we had been outside, we wouldn't have even noticed it. Deacon and I hung out under a support beam for next 15 seconds and then it was over! We have felt no aftershocks here or anything, and the picture that fell didn't even break.

So, all is well, and the Texas couple enjoyed the adventure.

Monday, June 11, 2007

An Exorcism By The Unemployed?

I hate it that it takes me so long to get to blog. When I have free time, it always seems to get taken up by something else!

I wanted to give an update. Thank you to all of you who prayed for my "morning" sickness. I am so much better now. I am still nauseated some days, and usually every morning and evening, but I am not laid out on the couch. I can take care of Deacon again, and take care of laundry. It is such a blessing to feel better. When you are so sick like that, you appreciate feeling well so much more! I know that there are so many people (like my dad)who feel bad all the time. I can't imagine.

I want to tell a quick story about a family that we went to visit. They live about 30 minutes away from our house and we were taking some food b/c they are very poor and the children are suffering. We just took some rice and beans, but they were very thankful. When we were there, we found out one of the reasons that this family was so poor. The father didn't work. He wouldn't. "if the Lord feeds the birds of the air, and clothes the lilies of field, how much more he loves us!" This is his response to why he doesn't work. He is a religious fanatic, that won't let his sick, hungry children have medicine.

Ok, while we are there, we are looking around their house and they of course have no appliance, or even a floor for that matter. They are cooking over fire inside of a building. We are standing in clouds of smoke as we talk to the father. There are two totally emaciated dogs with patches of fur missing roaming around our feet, and the barefoot children play with a broken plastic tea set in the dirt with a chicken or two. We listen to him recount a very interesting story:

He tells about a girl who came to visit him who was possessed with an evil spirit. He tells of the miracle of two of them praying over her and exercising the demon. He then takes us to the other room of their two room house and plays the audio tape of the exorcism. This room had two beds, one little side table, and an enormous loom. The beds had springs, but no mattresses, and just had blankets covering the springs. After a little while we turned the tape off and he told me how bad it was that I was wearing pants. He also was worried that we weren't saved and so he repeatedly gave us the gospel, telling us that bringing them food would not save us. When our Guatemalan friend told him that we were missionaries, he said that the Devil could get a hold of even missionaries.

Anyway, we finally left, and boy we felt bizarre! What a strange experience. The poor children are suffering because of their extreme father. The mother said that she doesn't want to have any more children b/c she doesn't want them to suffer like this. Anyway, you can pray for that family.

Oh, life in Guatemala

The other thing, is that we only understood about 1/2 of what the guy was saying, and so we totally missed the pants comment until our Guatemalan friend filled us in on the way home. She also said that the man called her daughter, who was wearing pants, a whore. Brandon thought the man had called ME a whore and turned around to go back but we found out he only thought I wasn't saved because I wore pants.

At least it's not boring.