The third day of my frist Missions trip. Book of Hope Day 3. Guatemala 2004.
Tuesday, March 9, 10:00 PM
This morning started before 6AM just like Monday. We got ready, packed up and headed off. Today we would have three additional people coming with us. They are some of the people that were heading up this whole trip. We were on our way to our first school and I already had to use the bathroom. These schools were dramatically nicer than yesterday; I would say these schools would be considered the lower class in America . These kids had backpacks, pencils, and paper – none of which any of the kids yesterday had.
1 st school (1855-1861, 1867): We executed the dramas just as we did yesterday with a little help of the new people that were with us. I was somewhat disappointed that we were doing the presentations for kids that were a little better off than the kids we saw yesterday. They weren’t as excited to see us. They didn’t run to get into pictures or just to give us a high five or kisses. I didn’t get a single kiss today. We didn’t have books when we were done with the presentation so we sent them back to their classrooms. When the books arrived we went into each classroom to distribute books. It is much more fun getting to hand out the books in a less rushed and crowded environment. After this we grabbed our supplies and walked half a block to a school for much younger kids.
2 nd school (1862-1866): The teachers at this school were very nice to us; they knew a few English words and helped me talk to a few of the kids. This one kid totally ran up and wanted me to sit with him while we were waiting and I did. His name was Arnesto and missing two or three front teeth. He was so excited to see us there. The presentation went very well and we distributed books and bracelets. We packed up and headed out. We had to pass the playground where the kids from the first school were playing. Many of them came to the fence so we could say goodbye to them.
3 rd school (1868-1872): This school seemed to be a littler more well off. The kids were all about six years old. We had an auditorium, which we hadn’t had yet, and the floor was marked with places for all the kids to sit. We did the same presentation again for these guys and it went well. We handed out books and bracelets. This one was pretty cool because I actually put the bracelets on the kids’ hands rather than just handing it to them. The teachers came and pinned on us a matchbox that had the name of the school and the shape of Guatemala on it. Inside was a necklace – mine had a really colorful bean on it. Now we are off to lunch.
We first drove around Guatemala City past many of the historical landmarks and the capital building. During this time several us tried to take naps, but because of the insane driving we were unable to get any sleep. We got to another church today, very nice – as nice as CFA. The food for lunch was fantastic, some small steaks with guacamole with some rice and corn. After lunch we had one more school to visit. This was an all boys technical school. Most of the kids were between 15 and 20 years old.
3 rd school (1873 – 1877): We got there a little over an hour before we would be allowed to present. After setting up, we were just hanging out when it was apparently time for recess. They kids setup two soccer goals and began to play. I and few other guys thought it would be fun to join in. We were totally expecting to get beat up real quick, but we played for about 15 minutes. Wow, was I dead tired after that. We ran around that small area so many times, while they actually passed the ball around. Surprisingly we were able to hold our own against the school kids. I hit the ball between a kid’s legs once and made a pretty nice steal another time. Everybody watching made fun of them for that. Eventually the game ended scoreless, so we finished it with some penalty shots to determine the winner. The other team made their first shot and it was up to me. I choked; the ball went just to the right of the goal post. Oh well, I was happy I was going to get to rest. To our surprise the administrator brought us out some cold bottled water. This made my very happy. Eventually 4 o’clock rolled around and it was time to start our presentation. I was asked to share my testimony again and I was nervous as usual. Again, I messed up on our dancing skit to start it off. Then I shared my testimony, I was very pleased to see that I had the attention of most of the kids. We then finished up our presentation as usual and let the pastor come and talk about the book we were going to give them. I didn’t know exactly what he was saying, but he was talking for quite some time. Eventually, he asked kids to raise their hands if they wanted us to pray for them. This one kid, Eddy, raised his hand high as soon as the pastor said that. He didn’t hesitate, he didn’t look around to see what others may be saying about him, he didn’t take his hand down until a couple people were there with him. What a demonstration of character, conviction, and boldness. The pastor continued to talk a little more and asked the kids if they wanted to have Jesus as their personal savior. A few more kids raised their hand and I went to pray with them. We then passed out the books. Many of the kids acted like they didn’t care if they got a book or not – there was no eagerness to receive one. The ones that didn’t receive one at first didn’t come asking for one either. But we approached each and every one and made sure they received a book. Even though they put on this tough attitude to us, I could tell along with many others they were really listening and thinking during our skits and testimonies.
After the presentation one of the leaders with us was talking to a group of eight guys. He talked to them for a little while and then they went around the side of the building and prayed. This is amazing, we hadn’t had this happen yet for us. During this though, an even more amazing thing was happening. Eddy had come up to several of us to talk about his life (1875). He became a Christian several years ago but recently he had gotten involved with drugs and alcohol. He told us how happy he was that we came to share with them today. He kept saying how he knows that God is real within him and how he needs to get back on track. He promised us that he would live for God at that school and be a light to all of them. While he was sharing with us many other students came to listen, yet he didn’t stop or hesitate in what he was saying to us. This guy is truly amazing; his boldness blew me away. Those same guys that prayed around the corner of the school earlier were now talking with Helen. As she was sharing her life with them, the group got bigger – to about 20 kids. She talked with them for quite some time and finally they all promised they would read the book that we gave them. We went in thinking this school would be a very tough crowd, and they tried to be difficult. But since we had been in the same places they were not so long ago, we were able to relate and really break some barriers. Out of the 10 schools this last one was the one where I felt there was the most impact. If Eddy continues to be bold, which I think he will, I think there will be a lot of fantastic stuff happening in that school.
(1880 – 1894) We got home a little before 6 to practice ‘Puppet Master’ because we were going to be performing in a church at 7:30. This is our least practiced skit, longest, and most complex skit. We practiced until dinner, ate, and then headed to the church. The church was very small, and there were only about thirty people in attendance including our group of about twenty people. At first we sang some songs in Spanish, and then we performed the skit. This was our first real performance and we were way off almost the whole time. But I asked the people who had never seen it before if they saw how bad we messed up and they said it was fantastic. I think the point of the skit was accurately displayed. The people at the church seemed happy we were there. We left after the service was over and made it back here around 9:30 for devotions. And now I am off to bed to get some sleep for another fun day.
Sidney: Sidney was worried if the older kids were even listen to us, especially the all boys school, and if we should even be trying because it doesn’t seem like we are making much of an impact. God tells Peter to feed his sheep and that is what we were there to do. Psalm 139. Don’t lose faith in God no matter what. We lost faith in God a little when we were getting ready for the all boys school, but in the end God used us to make a real impact. Keep the faith. Eddy was so bold in how he said he wanted to follow God and he was so very sincere. “I didn’t know what he was speaking but I knew what he saying.” We need to be bold in our lives and talk about Jesus rather than just living the life. We were encouraged today a lot; the administrations seems truly happy to have us there. Not an attitude of “yea we will let you do this”, but more of a “yes please come and show these kids God.” God is answering prayers. We asked him to let us serve him and use us. And he is doing exactly that. All the things in our life good and bad have been happening in our lives to prepare us for this moment. The things we thought were bad can be used for His glory now to share and relate to others who may be enduring the same pain.