Hey everyone back home, its Sydni! This trip is awesome. I am having the time of my life I would say. It is so awesome to see all the children here and how incredibly different it is around here. The first day was really crazy! We went to a small village that is super poor and washed the little girls hair, and played with the childen, and helped feed them a meal. It was so humbleling to me! That night we played soccer with the kids of the church until 3:30 AM and had a bon fire. We were all so so tired after that 24 hour day!! Day number two, we got to sleep until 10, then went and played some more soccer:) That night we did youth group for the church. It went very well and we all had a geat time. Day three we got up super early to go to a "water park" for a baptisum service. It was so hot but it was awesome that we got to spend the day at the park and the beach. The beach was so cool. It is not the beach I know in Florida. The sand was black, the waves were huge and there were ashes from the volcano flying every where. We all go a little too much sun, even after putting on 50 spf multiple times throughout the day. Day four was quite awesome! We painted a mural for the children at the soccer complex but that was not nearly as cool as home visits. Home visit were so amazing and some what life changing for me. My group went to a house where the girl was only 15 and had been to drug rehab for a year. It was cool to hear her story and help encourage her in her walk with Christ. Oh day five, it's been a long one! Today we climbed the moutain. It was so crazy. The view was awesome, but I would never do it again. So far this trip has been amazing and super fun. I can't belive there are only a few days left. Its a bitter sweet feeling. I love all the people I have met here and don't want to say good bye. It is so amazing how we all can still communicate even though there is a language barrier. So far I have been healthy and so has everyone else. God has truly been amazing! Keep on praying for us and the rest of our trip. I can't wait to share all the stories when I return. Love you all so much,
Hey Dumke fam Kate here! I just lost to Anna-Cherie in Cribbage and am kind of reeling from shock, but I'll try my hardest to focus and write something that's actually somewhat meaningful. Anyway, this week was pretty cool, actually pretty cool doesn't eve begin to cover it. The first day was just a total marathon, with hairwashing at El Yalu and then soccer, but I really loved it. I loved playing soccer, even though I sucked, and the hairwashing was really special in ways I just can't describe. The second day was a lil easier. The third day was fun too, we went to a guatemalan water park that was on the ocean. At first it was a baptism and it was super cool to watch everyone and how special it was to them (though I've never sweated so much in my life) and then it was hanging out and stuff. The fourth day was so hard because so many of us had a horrible burns (please pray for them), we cleaned up the land and painted on the wall by the playground (you'll see the pics), after that we did home visits. The home visits were fun, it was nice to share, our guatemalan counterparts made fun of me for saying "te amo" to them because apparently that's what you'd say to like your girlfriend or boyfriend. During the visits we played games and sang too. Today I didn't go on the hike because of asthma but we finished the mural painting. I'm tired of writing. Keep praying for us please.
This Anna-Cheri (one of the leaders on the team). I have a little time to blog so I wanted to let you all know how wonderful your children are. They are rockstars! Us leaders are so proud of them and how they have served and acted this week. They have been wonderful "4th placers" (God first, Guatemalans second, teammates 3rd & them 4th). We have had some long hot days and they have done great. You would all smile seeing how much they make the kids here smile! They are leaving an impact. Some of these kids rarely get attention and love so we are able to show them God's love through our words and so easily through our time and attention. We talked at the parent meeting about how God changes us when we are far away from home and know that it is happening. These students are being humbled, gaining new perspective (& appreciation for all they have) & being challenged in their walks. I feel so blessed to be allowed to be a part of that in their lives. We have a great team. Know that they are meshing well, enjoying their time and growing a lot.
Tonight we are doing home visits and getting to share some of our testimonies. This is a big thing and a way that we get to be, as Heath says, "A bright neon arrow pointing to Christ". We will have translators with us :) We are doing home visits from 4-7 (5-8 your WI time). So please be praying for us then. For boldness, clear communication, energy (it has been a long working day for us) & for life-change to occur. I have no doubt that your kids will continue to impress us tonight. They are a great bunch!!! Know that they are all doing well. They miss you @ home, but as Heath said, the letters were a great push to finish strong!
Just wanted to let you parents know they are doing great :)
This morning has been a hard one. The team is eating a well earned lunch. Chicken sandwiches the size of our heads...Karla Chiquito and team have outdone themselves!
Moving a huge stack of block so the mural could start.
The mural in production. Was a blank wall at 8am.
Hard workers...getting a well deserved lunch.
Sunday brought an early morning...real early...4:45 bus pickup early. Everyone was on time and ready for a two hour drive down to the coast town of San Jose. Every year Los Olivos does an off-site baptism service and it just so happenend to be the Sunday we are here. The device was held at a waterpark...think Noahs Ark but with a whole lot of Guatemalan twists. Our worship team led a couple of songs and we got to watch our Guatemalan brothers and sisters make a public declaration of the inward reality of their hearts...Jesus is my Savior. It was a very sweet moment to share in. After the service we got to play around at the waterpark or head to the beach since the park backs up to the pacific. Here's our important observation...SPF 50 verses the Guatemalan sun...the sun wins hands down. Let's just say we have a bunch of crispy team members. The Aloe Vera is like liquid gold right now!
During our team meeting last night letters went out to the team from home. It was a great boost in the middle of a long week...thanks for all the letter love!
Today is filled with painting, cleaning, concrete work and home visits tonight. It's gonna be a great day...keep the prayers coming!
Hey family of sheibley’s!!! this is sam typing and i just wanted to tell you how we’re doing! No one has really gotten sick yet (except for Tim for a couple hours) and we’re all really optimistic about the upcoming days! it’s been awesome meeting all the little kids and all the ones who are about our same age! i can’t believe it but so far my spanish has actually come in handy! I’ve been able to use it pretty often and it’s a real blessing to be able to converse with them in their language. I hope you are all doing well and thank you for all of your support! -Sam Hey Dishers at home! The trip is going very great so far. Yesterday was quite a long day of non-stop activities from washing elementary-age girls/boys hair in the tiny town of El Yalu. It’s so strange because whatever kind of exercise we do(walking, running or very common: soccer) you have very short breath because of the altitude. The humidity is crazy too. Even though it was chilly last night, the humidity was very high. My ears pop randomly because we are in the mountains. And I know your wondering if I liked flying; well, I wasn’t a fan. haha Anyway, I feel great so far and the food is good. I miss you guys and home soo much!! Hope your well! -April
Hey Church family and Berres family! So far the experiences I have had are incredible! No one has really been too sick yet (knock on wood) and I have the chance to use a machete (oh yeah). We played with the kids at Mono con Mono and that was a blast. We played a ton of soccer last night and stayed up til 3am! We are all a tad bit tired but still excited for the rest of the trip. Thanks for yours prayers, God bless! -Dane
Hey Kryshaks and my other peeps. This is Chris. We are having a blast here sharing the love of Jesus and attempting to speak spanish. We have been doing a variety of things that are fun and sometimes difficult. Overall this is an unbelievably amazing trip where we get opportunities to share the love of Jesus and make the kids so happy. Gladly I haven’t gotten sick at all. Thank you for everything! God bless you guys! -Chris
Hey Ms. Malone and Scott and Kids, I have been having a blast!!! Everything here is absolutely beautiful! The culture is great and spreading the love of Jesus is absolutely amazing. The hills here are crazy huge its made me realize how out of shape I really am . I hope everything is going great at home and I’m sending my hugs and kisses to all of you. So far the weather has been very bearable. Its been warm but had a breeze so not too hot at all. My spanish definitely isn’t the best but I can at least keep up a good conversation. I can’t wait to come home and share all of the great stories with all of you and show how God can change anyone. I love you and thank you for all the support you always give me. Hope God is working with you at home. -Abby
P.S. MOM- I WILL ALWAYS BE YOUR SUNSHINE! :)
Hey French family! :) I just wanted to let you guys know that I am well and healthy... but keep praying for health!! I’m in a room with Abby and Hannah, and we’ve had something go wrong each day, so I have lots of fun stories for you. Tonight we are having EDGE Guatemala style, and I will be sharing my testimony. I am super excited to share with the wonderful teens... Also we’ve played a lot of soccer already, and I have a huge bruise from stopping a leg instead of stopping the ball.. I guess that’s just part of the game! Please continue to pray for me, and my team. Safety is a big one, and also God will be teaching us all something, and we will share it with each other to be encouraged. Love you! -Harmony Rose
Hi Dad, Mom, Danielle, and Stephanie (and Aslan too)!! Guatemala is a blast! It is so exciting to dive into the rich culture and great people. Evidently I still know quite a bit of Spanish! Yesterday was an extremely busy day started off by clearing bush with machetes and pick-axes at El Jalue!! We also played soccer with the boys and girls in the center/missionary house. It is quite an eye-opener. The boys and girls live in huts and are malnourished but there is a cell tower less than 500 ft away from the village!! Later, we went to a concrete soccer complex/playground and played futbol until 4 in the morning! :D Anyways, today we have relaxed, played more soccer, and are going to Los Olivos for Youth Group tonight! I have the amazing opportunity to help lead worship during the evening! Es un placer! I hope everything is well in cold, wintery Wisconsin! You would love the weather, mom! It’s in the high 70’s and humid! Just your type! Steph would get along well with all of the cute little Guatemalan’s! See you all soon!
Hola a todas de la familia de woodlands,
I hope that you are doing well and that our families are doing well even though we aren’t there with them for break. Today is the second day of our work with the people of Guatemala. For the first day we went to the village of El Yalu where we payed games with the children for the afternoon. It was wonderful to think that even though these children may never escape poverty or live in a beautiful house, we gave them the hope of christ and the reminder that they have a family that is innumerable waiting in heaven. This was all in the course of one day and we have 8 more to go. May all of them be as blessed as todays. Paul B.
Last night after an already long day we had a "lock in" type event at the Los Olivos soccer facility. Over 70 Guatemalan youth showed up and it was a fantastic event. Relationships are starting to form across cultures and its awesome to see. The 3:30am bedtime was a killer...but some extra sleep and late brunch made for a happy team!
Here is our team! Back row (Row 4: L - R): Heath Erickson, Chris Kryshak, Dane Berres, John Kryshak, Sean Van Helden, Terry Warren Row 3: Darren Simler, Paul Barker, Harmony French, Isaac Elliot, Sam Sheibly, Tim LaRose, Diane Merril Row 2: Moriah Boggs, Kate Dumke, Abby Malone, Hannah House, Paul Beshire, Connor Cook, Molly Moomaw Row 1: Brianna Berg, April Disher, Yuki Chao, Sydni Merril, Mattie Jankowski Missing From Photo: Students - Megan Sparks, Tyler Kraeger Leaders: Cara Chase, Kim Laube, Mike McGuire & Anna-Cheri Simler