Thursday, March 22, 2012

Off to Guatemala, Finally!

After waiting almost nine months we're finally going! We signed up for this mission trip to Guatemala last summer, but it got postponed to March. We're finally, finally on our way.

We're a bit nervous - about stomach issues and motion sickness on the bus trip that takes 4 hours to go 40 miles and sleeping arrangements and the food and bushes that will serve as plumbing during the workdays, trying to remember not to use the water - even for brushing teeth.

We're excited about seeing this part of the world we've never been to - being a minority for a week - seeing life lived in a way that will be completely foreign to us. We're building cinderblock homes for two widows and their small children, who are now living in shacks. Their very small homes will have tin roofs, no indoor plumbing, no running water, and the one room will house their entire family. Very humbling. Their entire home would fit inside the cooking area of my kitchen. I have four bathrooms, four bedrooms, and a room just for us to get some space from each other. What will the reality of seeing that do to my heart?

I have no delusions of coming back the same.

I'm praying against coming back the same.

We're told we will build houses for much of the day, but also play with the children, love on the people, let them know there is a God who loves them, and a group of people who do too. We get to 'do church' with them on Sunday, and I really can't wait for that.

A week of no makeup, no fussing with hair, wearing the same jeans six days straight. Looking forward to that part. Wait til my group sees what my hair does with no one taming it!

Don and I will celebrate our 31st anniversary next week, together in Guatemala. We will likely be sweaty and dirty and tired, and not even staying together at night. I suspect I will be bunking with the girls and he will be with 7 other guys. We think that's a grand way to celebrate, something we'll always remember!

We've been journaling for almost a month, preparing our hearts for this trip. The thought that keeps coming to mind is of my daughter, all of four years old, 'helping' me in the kitchen. Broken eggs, flour everywhere, a sink full of dirty dishes and funny looking cookies she was so proud of. I could have made perfect-looking cookies that didn't have spots of pure salt, but they would not have been baked with as much love. Our time spent with the people of this village in Guatemala is much like God letting me help in the kitchen, break eggs, spill flour on the floor, and the cookies that result will likely have some salty tasting spots. I will not understand much of what is spoken to me or around me. I will try to talk to them and surely come off sounding silly. I don't expect to be very good at building with cinder blocks, but hopefully they will see the love I bring. For them and for the Father who allowed me to go in the first place.

I'm hoping to be the group's photographer, and journaler. I'll be back with those photos and stories in a week or so. Feel free to pray for us - our group of 11 and the people we are going to serve. That we would stay safe, be healthy, and our love for them would be evident in everything we do. That their hearts, and ours, would be changed by our time together, in big and small ways.

5 comments:

Susan (Mayer) Donald said...

I have been thinking of you all week & wondering when you leave! So glad I checked your blog tonight. You, Don & your group are all in my prayers! Happy Anniversary to both of you - what a wonderful way to spend your anniversary! God has blessed both of you with giving this opportunity to you! The people you will be helping are so grateful I am sure. I can just see those children smiling when they see you & spend time with you! I am looking forward to seeing your pics & reading your stories! May God be with you & watch over all of you on this special trip!
Susan D

Midnitefyrfly said...

What an amazing inspiration. I hope to one day be able to give of myself in a similar way. I just made those special kind of cookies this Christmas with my daughter, your great niece, Victorya!

I will be thinking of you and anxiously awaiting the amazing story and pictures.

Sending you love across the miles!

~Shawna

delee said...

Happy Anniversary !
Will be praying for you and your group on this trip to Guatemala.
Can not wait to see what the LORD has planned for you and yours.

Kelly said...

I can't think of a better way to celebrate your love and marriage than exactly as you are! What a testimony to a marriage based on a higher love than a human love.

Can't wait to see and hear all about your week, and will be praying for safety and blessing for all of you!

Happy Anniversary!

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your blog so much how you speak of your lovely family and the things you do together, reminds me of my sweet family God has so blessed me with. Getting ready for retirement myself hope that I can spend my time doing for others the way you are. Praying for you and your trip that God will show others how big his love for them really is. Be safe.