Las Conches | Las Conoas |Guatemala City | Antiqua
We hit the ground in Guatemala at1:00pm, when we were promptlyderailed from the schedule andredirected from touring the surgerycenter to going directly to LasConches. Team 1 evangelism was onfire and they wanted us to come bea part of it. Talk about exciting!Little did we know, they planned awelcome party for us. When wearrived many of our friends werethere – The Rodriguez family,Jessica (elder), Luci, Juana(Claudia’s mom), and a swarm ofkids calling out, “Crystal!! George!!”My heart melted in that momentand never stopped for the rest ofthe trip. We got to work right awayevangelizing in Sector 2 near theMinta home we built last year. Theboy in the yellow shirt is DennisMinta. The little girl on my back isClaudia’s daughter whose house webuilt in 2010.
Veronica & JessicaWe began the day with an evaluation of the progress at themedical clinic and school in Los Canoas. We are building a Us with the Rodriguez’-security wall around the clinic and then stocking it with suppliesand medicines. Today is Dani’s 11th Birthday, so our next stop wasto his house to give him his presents. Eudilia (Dani’s mom)told usthat they had been counting the days since March hoping that wewould return. In March we sponsored a water filter for them. Theysaid is working well, and that they were happy with it. Miss Jessicaand her pal Veronica (in purple) made an appearance too – I lovedseeing her again. Jessica is a handful! Michaela lead the charge on Michaela leads the waydelivering food baskets in Sector 3. Emma Rodriquez, singlemother of 3 whose flame had gone cold was reignited!
Sunday Service at Shalom Church was a special treat – One of our own, Pastor Luis Sura, gave the sermon. Even tough I didn’t understand the words, I understood the message. At church we were visited by Dani, Elvis and some of their friends. Grace, Michaela & Margaret Ann Afterwards we changed clothes and went out to Las Conches to pray from the Mountain Top andGrace Roberts spend some time with our friends there. Angela (the photographer), Dani and Caterine were with me the whole time. Then it was back to seminary to Angela make more food baskets, PB&J’s and gift bags for Charlie’s lunch. Each day we would give out food baskets & PB&J and each night we’d make more.
Me, Grace, Luis and Shelbi did hard laborat the school, shoveling and hauling dirt.Thank goodness for our little helpers!We are building a kitchen and an officefor the high school principal so that shecan lock the books inside. The last bookspurchased were stolen because there wasno secure place to keep them.The children are all getting taller andappear healthy. A water filtration systemwas installed at the school in 2010 andthe new government started a schoolnutrition program in March – it appearsto be improving the children’s healthoverall. Josque, Grace, Mercedes & EdwinDale (Dentist), Rachel and Anna Rachelset up a 3 day dental clinic (Mon-Wed) atthe school and saw 179 children .Additional dental trips are needed to seethe other 150 children.
Sara (today’s leader), George, Shelbi and I did what we could to help. George and Shelbi did the heavy lifting of 82 lb blocks up to the top of the wall.Today we got to work on Anyuly’s house. Anyuly is a 9 year oldgirl with renal failure. She is on dialysis (from Shalom) andawaiting a kidney transplant. The doctor will not do thesurgery unless she has a more sanitary place to recover so weare building that place!Sara (today’s leader), George, Shelbi and I did what we could tohelp. George and Shelbi did the heavy lifting of 82 lb blocks upto the top of the wall.During evangelism time, Paul, Shelbi and I visited severalfamilies and delivered food baskets to an area of Sector 3 whereI had never been. The level of poverty was overwhelming. Andyet, there was hope and faith found there.
Today I was suppose to be helping Colon andNick paint Esther’s house next door to IdeaCarmen whose home we built last year. Theproject was next door to where Anyuly(princess in pink) is currently living, so myinterest was in spending time with her today.God willing Anyuly will survive to have hersurgery in 4 months. Her elder Aunt is theplanned donor. Should there be a reason thatshe cannot donate, Anyuly’s younger AuntAmanda, age 8, wants to donate her kidney.(Amanda is the girl in blue) They are bothbeing kept home from school to protect themfrom becoming sick. If you look to the left ofAnyuly you can see the sun shining through alarge hole in the wall next to her bed. It isnext to the dog I gave her and she named“Cristal”. Her little cheeks are swollen fromfluid retention. Her little cousin Randy isshowing that he had 4 teeth pulled at thedental clinic – he was a good boy! Then thereis her other cousin with silly makeup. Beforewe left Esther arrived home and taught mehow to make tortillas from scratch – fun.
The second half of the day ½ the team took atour of Charlie’s lunch, a food program forchildren under suicide bridge in Guatemala City.Colon put together a skit for Zacheas was a weelittle man. Courtney, Michaela and Grace acted itout while Bekah played the guitar. Me andGeorge sang along and videoed the performance.The children really enjoyed it. The girls werecurious about Courtney’s blond hair.
Today we were in Antigua. I wasfeeling quite emotional andoverwhelmed by the experiences ofthe week and needed some alonetime. So while the others went to zipline, I stayed at the Coffee Plantationfor some much neededdecompression time. I laid on thislawn, watched the clouds in front ofthe volcano, watched a bird float onthermals, prayed, meditated andrelaxed to worship music.
Our last day. Today was a very difficult day emotionally. The lady sitting over my leftshoulder is Juana. She broke my heart today. Her pain and suffering is beyond anythingthat I have known. Her heart is so completely broken and she only wants to feel the firefor God and serve him, but right now she cannot. What could I say or do except pray.Together , through tears we did. For years I have been coming to visit and have seenJuana. This year we became friends and sisters.The finale was the Guatemalans vs. Gringo’s soccer game. Gringos won – to our surprise!Saying Good-bye is so hard. If it be Gods will I pray that he will send me to Las Conchesagain. George & Dani