2011 Mission Trip to Guatemala Day 1 – Friday, July 1, 2011 Surgery Center Shalom Surgery Center Our first stop was the recently Hope for Tomorrow completed Pediatric Surgery Orphanage Center. The center was largely Las Conchas funded by Monroe Caroll (Nashville, TN) and Jennifer Antiqua Nettles, lead singer of the band Sugarland. Maria Jose works at the surgery center. They will soon begin scheduling procedures. It is beautifully decorated and is very serene. There are murals of Noah’s ark and animals, flowers, fluttering bumble bees and butterflies, inside and out. This center is an amazing blessing.Day 1 – Friday, 07-01-2011 Hope for TomorrowOrphanage, Guatemala City, GuatemalaBreann Hoheimer plays with 9 year old Carols, who hascerebral palsy. Her younger brother, Carlos, was adoptedfrom Guatemala. Just prior to the trip, she found out thather brother lived in the exact same village, Las Conchas,that we were going to build in this week.Carlos took to Breann almost instantly when we arrived atthe orphanage. Guatemala does not allow adoptions fromoutside of Guatemala. Some of the children here arebetween 9-13 years, and unlikely they will be adopted.Unlike most orphanages, Hope for Tomorrow takes careof the children past age 18 if they choose to continue inschool. The home is run by married couple Kenny &Diana Sese, from Kentucky.
Day 2 – Saturday, 07-02-2011 Miguel Home L to R - Selvin, ?, Gabby, Dulce and Michele – playing on the makeshift teeter totter that the crazy gringo girl made for them. This home will be for Selvin (9) and his sister Michelle (4), their mother Lucy and father Miguel. Lucy had been doing a lot of witnessing and set appointments with friends and acquaintances for us to visit. She is really on fire for Jesus! Selvin is a very loving child. He loved wearing my sun glasses. Day 3 – Sunday, 07-03-2011 Shalom School – Family Day Each family took turns shopping for clothing, shoes and toys from the items that our sponsors donated. It was fun getting to help them and see the delight on their faces. This little girl is trying on Ava Waller’s pink cowgirl boots. They didn’t fit, but eventually we found a sweet little girl who could wear them.Day 5 – Tuesday, 07-05-2011 Dani Omar RodriquezDani came to play at the Miguel house, and found Rick Swayze there.He remembered Rick’s name and called out to him. Rick told him thatwe were in Las Conchas. He said that Dani said, “Donde?!?” (Where?)Rick told him we were at the top of the hill and he took off running,about a quarter of a mile, all the way to the top. But we were notthere, we were still at our job site, but he found others who knewwhere we were, and they brought him to us. Seeing him up on theside of the hill, coming to see us, gave me a joy like I’ve never felt.Me and George couldn’t help but cry out of joy to see him. We hadbeen looking for him every day since we arrived.Raina is in the back ground. We’ve played together every year. She isgetting so big.
Day 5 – Tuesday, 07-05-2011 Dani Omar RodriquezDani would hardly take his eyes off of me for fear that I might walkaway. He kept looking back at me as he inched his way to the front ofthe line for his turn to bat. So I walked up close to him, and told him tohit the ball for me so I could take his picture. And he did!George didn’t get to spend time with Dani this day because he had tofinish up at the jobsite then went to evangelize. Day 6 – Wednesday, 07-06-2011 Dani Omar Rodriquez At lunch break, George couldn’t take it anymore. He had to go find Dani. So Rudy our friend and interpreter, who lives in Dani’s neighborhood, knew exactly where he lived, and agreed to take us to see him. We met his mother Eudelia, little sister Caterine, and an older brother Christian. We had met his other brother, Ever on his way to school as we were walking to see Dani. His father, Victor, was at work, so we didn’t get to meet him. They invited us into their home, a one room, dirt floor room with a tin roof and tin walls, held up by wooden poles. It was very neat and clean. Everyone slept and lived in the one room. To our surprise, our hearts melted when we saw what was in the middle of their living area – the photos of us from 2010, and the one we had given him the day before. We learned that Dani’s birthday was the next day, he would be 11. George gave him some little matchbox cars to give him + a pair of sunglasses, just like the ones he had let Dani wear the year before. To our surprise (and again heart melt), in anticipation that they would see us, Dani and Caterine had already made pictures, and written scriptures on them, with our names, to give to us as gifts. There are no words for this kind of love and joy. Before we left, we all prayed together. They invited us to come again. I know they really mean it.
Day 6 – Wednesday, 07-06-2011 Rodriquez Family L to R – Eudelia, Caterine, Christian, Dani, Me, George Eudelia has twinkling, kind, almond shaped eyes. All of the children take after her. So precious! She kept a very watchful eye of protection on her Children. I could tell that she loved them deeply.Day 6 – Wednesday, 07-06-2011 Jessica’s HouseOn Saturday, Lucy had taken us to visit her friend Jessica. She lived on the block behind Dani. Jessica was very sick.She had delivered a baby girl 6 mo. prior, but did not deliver everything. Her abdomen was severely swollen withinfection. She had already been in the hospital 22 days, and had 2 ablations surgeries to no avail. She had nofinancial resources, or means to get medical help. She was hopeless. We witnessed to her and her boyfriend. I couldsee in her eyes that she was in despair when we left.For days, I couldn’t stop thinking about her. The Holy Spirit keep reminding me of scripture in Luke 8 about thewomen who bled for 12 years. As Jesus was walking through a crowd of people, she reached out and touched thehem of Jesus’ clothes and was healed by faith. Jesus stopped and said, “Who touched me? . . . I know someonetouched me because I felt power leave my body”!!!. Finally, I understood that message was meant for Jessica.So George, Rudy and I returned to visit again. This time, I asked her to get her bible. She and Rudy read in Spanish,while I read aloud. I told her that God wanted her to hear that message. I asked her if she believed that Jesus hadthat kind of power. She did. I told her, that Jesus, is her Jesus. And together, we called on him and prayed in thespirit. Through tears, and wonder we prayed and prayed. The Holy Spirit was in that place and doing a mighty work.It was an amazing experience of God’s presence.
Day 7 – Thursday, 07-07-2011 Antiqua Rest Day – YAY. We went to Antiqua for the day. Had fun at the coffee plantation (best coffee in the WORLD) and swung through the trees like monkeys on the zip line. Then we went into the city. This year, George and I took a walking tour to see some of the ancient architecture. It was so cool!In 2010, there was an old man, perhaps an angel, about 80+years, sitting here reading an English Bible. He askedGeorge to help him read and conjugate Proverbs 15:24,“The path of life leads upward for the wise to keep himfrom going down to the grave”. The man told George thatthe scripture was mui importante.This year, the morning before we left for Antiqua, Georgegave a devotional, and told this story of how God spokethrough that old man to him. In 2010, the day before hemet the old man, George accepted Christ as his savior.Indeed the scripture was very important. It was a messagehe will never forget.
Day 8 – Friday, 07-08-2011 My Peeps Dani and Jessica. Jessica had been my shadow all week. She’s 9 or 10. I’ve played with her every year, and she remembered me. We bonded this year. On Sunday, she was at Shalom Church. She came and sat in my lap through service. Toward the end, she had gotten up and left. Then when service was over, she came and placed a tiny note in to my hand, gave me a serious look, then left. I couldn’t read the note because it was in Spanish. But I was desperate to know what it said. So as soon as I could, I asked an interpreter to help me read it. It said, “We have no home. We have no lot. Please call me tonight” + her phone #. She knew we were there to build houses for other people, and reached out to us for help. My heart burst. I couldn’t call her as I had no way to do so at that time. I went and talked to George, Bob and Rick and explained the note. We determined to go find out the situation. On Wendesday, we had stopped by her house and talked with her father, Carlos. He is 61 years old. HisJessica had made a plaster ornament at wife, Jessica’s mother, worked part time at a textileschool the day George and I were working factory. And she had a brother about her age. Theyat the school. On our last day, she gave it to lived in a borrowed home. A cinderblock, one room,me as a gift, with the sweetest little face. structure with dirt floor. We could make noShe was very upset and cried because I had promises to build for them, but let them know ofto go. But I told her that more “gringo’s” the micro-financing program that Shalom was working on in hopes that they could purchase theirwere coming the next day, and that there home using the program.would be people to play with her and makenew friends. That seemed to cheer her up. Jessica sat quietly in the background, watched and listened to what we were discussing. She seemed to understand and hugged us good-bye. But I could tell she had hoped for more.
Day 8 – Friday, 07-08-2011 Carmen House Idea Carmen – Celebrating her new home and holding up a picture of our team. A single mother of 3 daughters, she did not know until a week before our arrival that she would be getting a home. Her current home is in the background. We had fun working on her house on Day 4. It was really off the beaten path, but in a new area for evangelism opportunity. She was full of life and very spunky, and quite the jokester. Whenever we wanted to take a picture she would yell, “Whisky” and make everyone laugh. Turns out, that was also her dog’s name.Day 8 – Friday, 07-08-2011 Picnic DayVilma – such a sweet, beautiful girl. She is sponsored by a man namedRuss, who attends Brentwood Baptist. She captured his hear in 2009,now he sponsors her education and helps to support her. I’ve seen herevery year as well. She is very quiet, and gentle.The 2 boys are making the whistle noise with their hands. Every timethey saw me we would play a game on how to make different noises.None of them could figure out how I made the waterdrop sound, butthey all tried very hard. I’m pretty sure they’ll have it down pat when Isee them next time.Day 8 – Friday, 07-08-2011 Picnic DayDelma, Charlie’s daughter. We built their house in 2010. Her littlesister is Gabriella (Gabby). I got to hang out with Delma and Angela(who wouldn’t let me take her picture), every day. They are bothabout 13 years old, and sweet, but mischievous. It was all goodthough. We were like the entourage of the group.
Day 8 – Friday, 07-08-2011 Picnic Day L to R – Eudelia, Caterine, George, Ever, Dani, Me. The Rodriquez family came to say good-bye. They had been hanging out near the back of the bus while I was working, handing out 900 hot dogs out the back door. Finally, George and I were able to steel away some time to visit with them. They presented us with a letter, written in Spanish, and a wrapped gift. (Again, with the melting). I couldn’t understand the whole letter, but could make out enough to know what it said, especially the very last words, come back and see us pronto! Their gift was 3, porcelain dinner plates. Probably their finest. It’s not the material gifts that got me, it was the pure love and sweetness of it. It took my breath away completely. I was a mess!Day 8 – Friday, 07-08-2011 Picnic Day So, by the grace of God, Tyler was with us this day. I took Marcos toMarcos Liste & Sammy Smithson where Tyler was and showed Tyler the infection. Marcos couldn’t tell us much about his wound except that it hurt. His mother was near, andMarcos is a miracle. We met Marcos on Saturday, came over to see what we were saying to Marcos. Tyler was able towhen we first arrived in Las Conchas. Marcos was speak with her and found out that Marcos had a tooth pulled whichrunning around in a snow ski jumper, in hot July. caused the infection. There is not a doctor in Las Conchas, the nearest isHe probably thought he was wearing a super cool 1 hr away.spacesuit or something. It got my attention. Hewas flitting and fluttering about as we were Tyler was able to direct the anxious pseudo medics of our group and toldunloading the bus. He was very curious to see them not to touch the wound because it was extreme and they couldwhat was being unloaded at the back of the bus. I cause more harm to him. We told Kevin about the situation, and he wentwas back there helping and watching him to speak with Marcos’ mother to ask her to take him to the doctor andbecause he was just so cute. So I started playing Manos de Amor (Hands of Love) clinic, assoc. with Shalom, and we wouldwith him, and zipping and unzipping his ski pay for it.jumper. I kind of bent over to play with him whenI saw something under his chin along his jawline. I On Monday, we found out that she did take him to the doctor, who couldasked him to show me, so he lifted his chin. It was not exact the full treatment necessary until the infection subsided. Soa horrifically infected scab, that I knew needed Marcos was on very strong antibiotics, and would have to return to themedical attention. It just so happened, that during doctor. Which Shalom would cover.our tour of the surgery center on Friday, we metTyler, Spanish speaking, Vanderbilt medical Later Kevin told us that had Marcos not gone to the doctor, the infectionstudent. Tyler and I started talking and I told him would have entered his blood stream and killed him.that I was doing a preliminary medical survey in None of this was just a coincidence. God was there every step of the way.Las Conchas for team 2. He was intrigued and Praise God!asked if he could go with us to Las Conchas. Look at that precious kid!