Monday, July 11, 2011

A Taste of 'Home'

Last Friday I left class early to spend the day with the Students International team here in Guatemala.  Brian and I walked down to the SI office here in Antigua – which is on my street! 

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned Brian yet.  He is here for a month brushing up on his Spanish because he will be taking over as director of SI-DR after the current leadership moves to Nicaragua to begin ministry there.  It’s so exciting to see God continuing to open countries for SI’s unique and Christ-like approach to ministry!  

Brian is married to Sissy, and they have two girls.  They have done one ‘tour’ and were in charge of teams when we were there in 2008.  I remember Sissy’s passion for living a life which reflects Jesus.  They returned to the states for a couple of years, and now God has called them back to Jarabacoa.  I’m really looking forward to getting to know the family better and to working with Brian and the others coming on staff. 

So… back to Friday!  We were privileged to meet several of the SI-Guat staff, as well as members from the teams which had been here ministering for two weeks.  We got on a ‘chicken bus’ (wildly painted school buses which serve as mass transit here) and headed out of Antigua to a smaller town called Magdalena. 

On the way, I talked with an awesome young woman named Bonnie, who is working with SI for the summer.  She and her husband were both there.  I also met the pastor of one of the groups who have returned each year for six years.  I love it!

Heading to the school in El Gorrian with SI teams.
Close to Magdalena is a community called El Gorrian.  Several years ago a hurricane displaced a number of people, and the government directed them to some land.  This fascinated me, because it sounded so similar to what happened in the D.R. with El Callejon. 
Walking in El Gorrian - a taste of 'home'!
I loved hearing the different ministry sites sharing how God has been at work in them and through them over the past two weeks.  It was obvious from the way the kids ran up, and the tears of the students from the U.S., that although the area was incredibly poor, it had been a rich time for everyone. 

After each group shared, others from the larger team volunteered to pray for the specific needs of the site.  What a joy to see young people lifting up these communities to our Father!
The kids at school perform a dance for us.
They were really good!

It was great to be in El Gorrian, although it also made me feel a bit ‘homesick’ for my new country!  It was a good reminder of why I am here studying Spanish and helped renew in me a yearning to study hard so that I can get to El Callejon this fall, ready to begin ministry there.  
It was also a great reminder of how the Holy Spirit is moving throughout the world.  What an honor to be a small part of His big work!

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