Due to a loss of wireless access on the final two days of the trip, we were unable to post updates to the mission progress. The last two days of the Guatemala trip were a lot of hard work, capped off with a ceremony wrapping up the week.
On Thursday, much progress was made on the retaining wall for the steps that we were working on. Perhaps the most satisfying part of the work was seeing both the HGBC team and the members of the local community working hand in hand to raise the wall from the footing to a retaining wall 5 courses high, even with no common language. The common goal surpassed the language barriers. This work continued into Friday, where the team got the retaining wall for the steps up to 10 courses high. Additionally, the team was able to provide additional follow-up on the bridge that was constructed in September, adding walls and posts to the bridge. We were able to complete those walls Thursday, providing additional safety to the bridge that the community used on an everyday basis.
On Friday, while the majority of the team continued the work on the steps, a couple of team members traveled with Bobby Byrd out to El Jocotilo, which is the location of another church that serves the local farmers and their families in the pineapple and coffee fields. We were able to install ceiling fans in the Pastor’s parsonage at the church location, providing some much needed relief from the sweltering summer heat and humidity in this location.
Upon returning Friday afternoon to La Barranquilla, the team got to a stopping point on the retaining wall of the steps, and joined the community in a celebration of the week’s work. While we traveled to Guatemala City to serve and disciple this community on the love of Christ, the love they showed us on Friday afternoon provided as much blessing to each of the team members as we could have ever provided them. We each were able to verbally express to the community how we had been called of God to come down and share not just our hard work, but also what Christ has done for us, and can do for them as well. Needless to say, the goodbyes to our new friends were quite emotional.
One final note – during the travel both to and from Guatemala City, our team Plus One mission shirts were a huge benefit. We had numerous people ask us what “plus one” meant, and it gave us an opportunity to tell many people about our trip, and the reason that we were doing what we were doing. We were able to witness with many people in the airport, and had opportunity to pray with many others. The Plus One campaign truly does reach people all over.
Thank you, church family, for your prayers during our trip to Guatemala. Please stop any of the team members in the hallway and ask us about the trip, and I am sure you will get a lot of additional details.