The sixth day of my frist Missions trip. Book of Hope Day 6. Guatemala 2004.
Friday, March 12, 10:00 PM
1 st school (2144-2162): This is our first school of the last day here. We want to ‘leave it all out on the concrete,’ as Pete says for our last day. We will be doing two presentations at this school, one to the younger kids and one to the older kids. Our first crowd gathered almost all the way around us. We did our usual elementary routine for these guy and passed out the books. The kids went right back to class after this, so we didn’t get to hang out with them at all. A little while later the older kids came and gathered around. As usual they seemed like a tough crowd, having a seemingly apathetic attitude. But, during my skit and my testimony I looked at each one of them and could tell they were paying attention and thinking about what we were doing and saying. This was especially evident when I was sharing- it’s awesome to see people relating cross culturally to what I am saying. After the skits we handed out the books. I made sure I handed books out to the older girls in the group, just because it’s fun to watch their reactions. Many of them don’t really look at me or show interest in getting the book. So, that isn’t quite as fun. But the funny part is after we handed out the books, I guess they had some free time. We started packing up and making small talk with some of the kids. A group of girls comes up to me and I say, “Adios.” I guess that isn’t the best way to make friends, they turned and walked off. But as it turns out we weren’t in a rush, so we were going to stay for a few minutes. Then a small group of girls comes over to talk to me, and say they would like a picture. Pete agrees to take the picture of me with the girls, all the while saying in a horrible American accent, “el guapo.” Well, this started a chain reaction. After I took the first picture another group of girls came up and wanted one, then another, and … You get the idea. Finally I exhausted my girl supply, finished packing up, and we left for our next school.
2 nd school (2163-2166): We were back at the same school we were at yesterday that had the incredibly large area of us to do our presentations. Again, this was a different set of kids than yesterday, all elementary age with some middle school age kids. We did the usual elementary presentation. We had to keep moving now, because we had one more school then lunch, and just a busy rest of the day. We didn’t get to hang out with the kids after the presentation. Now on to our last school.
3 rd school (2179-2188): This is our last school – so sad. Our final school was an elementary school with some pretty young kids. We were performing on the second level of the school in a pretty small area. You guessed it, the usual elementary presentation. We gave out the books after the presentation. This was the last time we would be passing out the books. While packing up, Pete finds this cute little girl named Jocelyn that he talks to with the help of Helen. Pete said he would have adopted her on the spot if he could have. We then headed off to lunch with the pastor. This was our last school, and now our last time to hang out with the pastor.
We had a fun last meal with the pastor and his friends. We took several more pictures so that he could remember us, and us him. Then we decided we would give him a gift. Normally there is money left over from the mission trip budget to give the extra to the church, but this trip we didn’t have any. So each of use put in some money to give to the pastor. Pete said a little speech telling him how thankful we were to get to work with him being somebody who is so driven and passionate about spreading the gospel. We gave him the money and he started crying. He seemed so amazed that we would give him anything. We have so much to give to them. What is basically nothing to us, is so much to them. We ended up giving around $130, but he didn’t look at the money when we gave it to him, he just was so grateful to get anything. After we all hugged the pastor and told him thanks for everything, we packed up and headed back home.
We had a few minutes back home to get changed and ready to go to Antigua . We were going to spend the rest of the afternoon doing some touristy type things and some shopping. This turned out to be quite fun actually. Looking at the stuff in the markets and walking around the area was nice. Then we got to get into the bartering game. I was intimidated at first because we don’t do that here in the US . So I bought a machete first and wasn’t able to get it down to the price I wanted, but oh well. Then I just wanted to learn how to barter a little, so I bought some cheap things and watched others. Then Celeste and I went around to buy some stuff. She got really into it, and was being really stern and such. She also knew some Spanish, which helped a little. So I got a bunch of stuff for cheap. Even if I would have paid what they originally asked it wouldn’t have been that expensive. But it seems you could get a lot of the stuff there for about 1/3 of the first price they told you. So that was fun. After hanging out there for a while, we headed back to Guatemala City . Apparently we were going to go to a fairly nice restraint for our last dinner there.
It seems like we are the only people in the restaurant and we have a room all to ourselves. Everybody was here from both teams and our drivers and translators. This was a sort of award and thank-you thing for coming. So it was fun. It turns out our team (the UVa team) went to 24 schools in a little over 4 days and handed out nearly 10,000 books. Amazing. That is just awesome to think we could have influenced that many lives in such a short time.
Pete: Duet. 4:9: What is going be in your heart from this trip 3 months from now? 3 years from now? 13 years from now? In Christianity we aren’t good at remembering. Not only did God want us to change the lives of others, but he also wanted to change our lives in this experience. We are going to forget. What are you going to do to assure that you won’t forget? How are we going to careful to remember the people here as well as what God has shown us and how God has changed us? “What yourselves closely so you do not forget the images your eyes have seen…teach your children…” “Don’t let it slip from your heart.”