This is Sarah Peterson, the newest adult leader to the group, saying “Buenos dias!” from Huehuetenango! Wow, what a full day! So full, in fact, that I am writing this Monday morning. :)
We woke up Sunday morning to a breakfast of waffles and fruit, prepared by the wonderful Gail. A handful of us have been sick with a cold, but God has been faithful in providing us rest, energy, and good food to prepare us for the last youth rally. After finishing our cleanup duties of dishes, sweeping, etc., Gail asked me to help prepare egg salad for egg salad sandwiches to take for our lunches. The rest of the team worked to make the sandwiches and prepared PB&J sandwiches as well. Once we finished making our lunches, we packed them in a cooler to take on the road as we headed to the youth rally in the area of Pichiquil near Aguacatán. The drive took about two hours as we headed through the stop-and-go, every-man-for-himself traffic of the city and then as we navigated the dirt roads and hills into Pichiquil. We parked the van and truck in a field downhill from the church and ate our lunches of sandwiches, oranges, cookies, and my favorite—chips. A couple of us stepped in an ant pile and got some bites from fire ants. In Cuba, where I was this time last year, they called these ants “satanitas” or “Little Satan”. We all had a good laugh about that.
After lunch, we headed uphill to the church to change into our church outfits and prepare for the rally. There were already many people there, preparing food for the people coming. As the girls walked back into cooking area, we saw the women preparing huehue bread and a rice drink. We asked if we could help and Joelle stirred the corn they were preparing, corn they said took four hours to prepare. It was VERY hot back there too.
The rally was so great—and different from the other two we did on Friday and Saturday. The area of Pichiquil was much more rural than the area of San Lorenzo. There were probably around 200 Mayan men, women, and children there for the afternoon service. The women all had beautiful skirts and blouses that they made themselves. The skirts all had a similar pattern and Edwin told us that this pattern is specific to this area, whereas the women of other areas will have a different pattern. The service started with prayer and a powerful testimony shared by one of the church members. He shared of God’s deliverance from jail, drugs, and alcohol. Our group then went up. Prior to singing, Kylie explained the lyrics of “Our God” and Edwin translated. As we were singing, we saw several of the church members singing along in English. Jun then shared his testimony of God’s sovereignty and becoming a Christian a year ago. How awesome is our God that Jun came to know the Lord a year ago and is now preaching the gospel with us in Guatemala! After Jun’s testimony, a Guatemalan acapella Christian quintet performed several songs. We met them as they performed on Friday, so we were excited to see them again. Following their performance, our group went back up to perform the song, “Oceans”. Jesse then shared a message on God’s perfect plan and our role in it. Edwin closed the message in prayer and 25 people raised their hands to accept the Lord Jesus Christ into their hearts. Praise God!
Following the rally, we were able to spend time with the people. God is so cool, as our limited Spanish has improved with practice! There were also many children excited to play with their new missionary friends. You don’t need to know Spanish to hold babies and tickle and play tag with children. :) We said goodbye and gave hugs and kisses to our new friends and prepared to head back home. It started to rain as we drove home to Huehue and Edwin surprised us with a dinner at a pizza restaurant. The acapella quintet joined us and it was a wonderful dinner of celebration and laughter.
We got home around 9:30 PM and debriefed up in the prayer room. We shared of how God used us even in spite of our weakness for this last rally. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” God is so good—the power of Christ was upon us today and for this entire trip. With His Holy Spirit dwelling within us, we have been made strong in spite of our human weakness. We are all so thankful for this. We are also so thankful to all of you for your prayers, support, and love, as you have joined us in God’s story for Guatemala 2015.
Love, Sarah and the rest of the team