Monday, September 28, 2009

Almost finished!

For anyone who has done construction in Guatemala, these are familiar sights...



and a bucket brigade!

Such was our Monday, a week ago! The guys had finished the "prep" work for the cistern on the mountain and were ready to pour the walls.

It took all of us, including Junior and Johnny, to make the concrete and get it in the forms before the rain started.

Just had to put this one in...he's so cute!

Believe it or not, they had a shovel that even fit my hand! I spent three hours shoveling sand and filling buckets. Thought I wouldn't be able to move the next day but God was gracious.

After a lunch on the ground of caldo with chicken and vegetables, we headed to the house just ahead of the rain. Good timing!

Two days later, the forms were removed and now they just have to make a top for it and fill it up! We are having a celebration to officially open the new building on the 2nd of November. By that time, all of the bathroom amenities will be completed and the lights in! (Wayne, guess what you will be doing!)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Water on the mountain

Before we hook up the water to the bathrooms recently built at the Camp, a water cistern needed to be dug on the mountain across the highway. Johnny, Noe and Kiki have spent the last week and a half digging and preparing the hole for concrete. First, rocks had to be taken up from the road to the cistern location.
And Johnny told his cardiologist he was just doing "administrative work"!

The rocks are thrown into the hole...

then leveled. A layer of concrete will be placed on the bottom and sides.

Two small springs empty into the cistern also. Kiki drinks the water, saying that it is not contaminated, just dirty...and a little dirt is good for you!

Johnny prepares to make another load.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

San Andreas bridge

Our last team in August worked daily in the Centroamericana church in San Andreas Semetebaj. Panajachel is located in a valley between two mountains, with one entrance coming in from Solola and the other from San Andreas. So each day, we traveled to San Andreas from Panajachel, having to cross over a bridge enroute. Each day, we watched the bridge crumble a little more and feared we would not continue to be able to pass. Well, the bridge hasn't fallen off the mountain yet! We passed that way last week and I took pictures of the continuing "crumble".

They say they are going to build a new bridge, but if they don't hurry, any small earth tremor will take care of the destruction process! We still pass that way, wondering each time if we will be able to return!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Nahuala feeding program

On Thursdays, I go to a pueblo close to the Camp where we have a church with a medical clinic, school, feeding program and after-school program. This church has a wonderful ministry in the town of Nahuala. In particular, I work with the feeding program, feeding as many as 3000 underpriviledged a week! They feed on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays most weeks with a different group of women and children coming each day. Here are some photos of my day today:

A young lady who is training as a nurse and working in the clinic gives a short teaching lecture on
a health related issue most weeks.

Each woman brings a container from home when they come to eat. After all have eaten lunch, the remaining food is divided among the containers for the women to take home.

The brick thing in the background is the stove. It has a piece of sheet metal on top, where the pots go, and a fire underneath, that heats it. Nothing is baked, everything is cooked on top of the stove. In front is Isabel, behind is Elsa and Juanita. Besides letting me help, they are intent on teaching me Quiche! I am collecting up quite a vocabulary!

Tamalitos, or small tamales, are usual for each lunch. The left-overs are divided among the women.

The dining room got painted this week and all of the tables and benches were taken outside and scrubbed. Also, the floor got a good scrubbing!

They are in the process of building a new kitchen and storeroom. The kitchen is almost finished and, as you can see, the storeroom is still in process.

God is blessing this church and the work that they do. Recently, we were able to pass along a gift from a friend in the United States. With this gift, they will be able to supply more fruit vegetables and meat to the meals. Also, Juanita wants to buy a small, portable CD player to use with the children's song CDs that many of you have sent for us to give out. The families that come to the feeding program are rarely evangelical, most are Catholic or nothing at all. Juanita gives a devotional each day before lunch for the women and wants to teach the children songs about Jesus!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Widows and Orphans

Even though I am behind on my postings of teams from this summer, I wanted to show you a group we met two days after returning from the States. This was a group of widows and orphans from Totonicopan, west of us on the Pan American highway. They come from two villages which are, at present, having a very nasty border dispute. The Saturday before this group came to the Camp, 40 people were injured in a clash between the two villages. Since this ministry serves both villages, people from both villages were here together and no problems! This was an answer to prayer! They had a great day playing basketball, soccer and just having fun. Many were young children, all were without many resources. Several of our teams this summer brought items for us to use as we saw fit, in particular, children's clothes and Bibles in Spanish. Well, guys, both got used ! The children's clothes that were brought and most of the left over adult clothes from the teams were handed out. It was one of the most orderly times I've seen! Each person got one item and many of the mothers got something for their child instead of for themselves! The church helpers that were there helped give things out and knew who needed what. Bibles were also a need for the church since most of the members don't have Bibles of their own. The church received Bibles to be used in the services and Bible studies.

It was a blessing to be able to share from our plenty (thanks to you!) with those that were so needy. Since many of these villages are in the mountains, need for warm sweaters for the women and girls and warm clothing for boys is always there. We have also had several requests for Study Bibles in Spanish.

Thank you to all of you that were a part of this summer's teams and brought items for the people of Guatemala. May we be faithful to use them to God's glory!