Res-Life Rockford/New Hope/Calvary Reform 2017
Paradise Bound Ministries
We arrived Friday and had our first medical clinic Saturday in a remote coastal village. It was a four hour drive over the roughest road I’ve ever been on! I will never complain about Sioux City potholes again. 🙂 haha
Once we arrived, we were set up within minutes, ready to give simple medical care to 68 people. Our plan is to get people healthy, then their immune systems can work FOR them again. So we give medicine for their physical health, but their spiritual health, the state of their eternal souls is always in the front of our minds. So we pray. And Hermano Jesus, one of our local pastors, preaches God’s word. And we leave it in God’s hands to call his children home.
Today, Sunday, we did another clinic in another village. This village was closer, but still remote, over not-quite-as-rough road. The village was beautiful. So many beautiful flowers to beautify their yards! So many beautiful dresses to prepare for the strangers coming to town. They treated us like we were part of a festival! We painted women’s nails, had a coloring station set up, gave away toys, and like yesterday, gave medication and a sermon. There were so many people here who have already heard of Jesus and had a heart for God’s word.
Once again, I’m exhausted when we get back to base. I just want to shower and sleep, but Doug INSISTS I write something! 🙂 So, that’s our first two days in a nutshell, a very tiny nutshell.
Tomorrow, we build homes.
Well done Samantha, your notes really help folks begin to understand what your mission trip is all about. Thank you for writing. Doug
Anything for you, Doug. 😉
Praying for all of you! Hope this is a marvelous experience for all of you! My love to the team!
Thanks for your thoughts. This is such a great experience! God is good.
Today was our first day of building homes. I got really good at measuring 24 inches to find the stud, unless the stud was at 23 1/2, then I had a little trouble. haha So, the homes are built on a cement floor with metal studs, dry wall, and cement board. Today, we raised the houses. Tomorrow, we paint the inside and stucco the outside.
I spent part of the day getting to know the family. There are six children in this family: seventeen year old Jose, seventeen year old Olga, thirteen year old Gladys, four year old Luki, four year old Lucy, and baby Julio. All of these children, plus their parents will live in the 12′ X 12′ house we built today. Talk about minimalist! But they have the most beautiful view on planet earth! I’m gonna try to post some pics to prove it. No promises.
So Samantha, just curious….how much “building” of the home are you actually doing with a BABY around?! Ha, just joking! Praying for you all and love reading your descriptive blogs! Love ya!
Honestly, Sally, I’m more on the personal relations side of things. 🙂
Baby i miss you. looking forward to hearing all about it. I see Alec has not written anything how is he adjusting? how did you do on the long van ride when you got there i know you were nervous. praying for you guys on this end to make it home safe. I love you
I miss you, too! I didn’t actually think you’d write anything to me. I’m so happy that you decided to! 🙂 I did fine on the van ride to the complex. I basically dehydrated myself. I did the same thing the next day on the four hour ride to our first med clinic. Haha! Alec’s doing great. Can’t wait to see you in a few days!
Alec ran a race yesterday. There were three heats of two runners. The race is up and down the hill three times. Alec had the fastest time at 2:42! He beat the marine. 😉 He beat the track star! He was too tired to blog…. or walk. He said he was dying. He’s still alive.
Alec is the man, to bad he is not as fast as me!
Ok, I have to post a quick retraction, our family is NOT the family with all those adorable children. But Gladys, her little sisters and Baby Julio hung out at our house all day yesterday and today, so you can understand my confusion (and my delight.) As it turns out, our family is a family-by-choice. There is a young-ish widow, Timotea, who never had children. There are four children, Olga (18) Glendie (15) Justo (11) and Pedro (8), whose parents have passed away. So in true Guatemalan tradition, they have adopted each other. They don’t have to, they choose to. That’s the most beautiful testament to love.
So today, we stuccoed five houses and painted and decorated one. And when I say “we,” I mostly mean “they.” I spent the afternoon playing with children and practicing my Spanish. And when I say “practicing my Spanish,” I mean saying things like, “Cantas tu nombre” (Sing your name). And then we all proceeded to sing our names. Although Olga was a little shy about it at first, when she sang MY name, I knew I had sucked her in to the game. 🙂 And as I attempted to connect with Timotea, she was generous with my lack of knowledge of Spanish and would write things down for me. Turns out, reading Spanish is easier than hearing it, which is how I discovered her story. She wrote “No son mis hijas.” They aren’t my children. And “No tongo papa ni mama.” They don’t have a daddy or a mommy. I cried when I read those sentences and as I tried to explain it to my team, the lump in my throat was so big, I couldn’t speak.
I have fallen in love with both of these families. I will most likely never see them again on this side of heaven, but they have a place in my heart. And I think they kinda like me, too. As we left today, Gladys grabbed my arm and said, “No vas!” Don’t go!
Today, when we arrived at our houses, they were decorated with streamers and flowers and hanging things. It was beautiful and so festive! And it made us feel special that the new owners would go to the trouble of preparing a fiesta for us.
So, we started with the gifts, giving the family all the things we brought for them from the states. We were REALLY off on some sizes! Men’s tennis shoes, size 11, will not fit ANY Guatemalan man! Ever. But they were appreciative none the less.
Then, they said something sweet to us and we each said some things to them. So, anyone who knows me, knows that when it was my turn, I talked about the blessing of growing up with my grandparents, how being adopted into their family mirrored being adopted into the family of God. And that was the gift that Timotea was giving those amazing kids. Adoption with love.
Next, they hear the Word of God and are invited to accept Him into their hearts. I’m pretty sure our family already had Christ in them, but we got to go through the ceremony of it all.
And THEN! They shoot off bombs (well, not exactly bombs, but that’s what it sounded like!) to celebrate their new home.
You probably won’t read this until you get home but I thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us! I have tears streaming down my face! It would be so hard to leave after bonding so much with so many. God bless you on your trip home! I can’t wait to see pictures and videos!
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