Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Blog from Kelley

Today we arrived in Antigua. We drove about three hours from Lake Atitlan. After we arrived, we ate lunch on our own in groups. I ate with my Mom, Dad and brother Casey at Cafe Barita. The students that went to language school beforehand were able to show their families and friends around the city, see the language school, and the casa they stayed at while at language school in Antigua. It was nice to have an expert with us to show us this wonderful city. As we walked around the city I saw the nicest McDonald's I have ever seen in my life with an awesome interior courtyard. Along with the ancient churchs we saw a huge mercado with many people. The city is very pretty but is very busy with people, markets, cars, motobikes and tuk-tuks. Lindy has bought some more firecrackers so we will enjoy another fireworks display tonight. Most people will not get much sleep knowing that the first van leaves at 4 AM and the rest at 5 AM.

Yesterday at the lake, there were eighteen people that went to zipline through a nature preserve with spider monkeys, butterflies, and a natural gorge with beautiful views of the lake to the south and other waterfalls to the north that lead to the lake. There was a 700' elevation hike up the gorge that took about a half an hour. Then we went on eight separate ziplines that zig-zagged across this gorge, four per side. The ziplines varied in length up to about two hundred feet and in speed up to about 30 mph! Talk about a zip of faith! God had us in His hands as we flew across side to side. Some of us actually were caught by the guides before we flew into the end of the cable or a tree, with the emergency brake. We got a great view of God's beauty while flying through the air.

Even thought the trip has been exciting and full 0f adventure, we are all really tired and want to be home. Everybody says hello and we will see you tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Day 9 photos

Into Lake Atitlan

Spider Monkey

Rosby's favorite pinata, Harry Potter

Karley and friend

Day 9 from Marie

Today we had the wonderful opportunity of traveling across the lake (on a massive boat) to a cute little indigenous village. As soon as we staggered onto the shore, several children and women began filling our faces with beautiful jewelry, wood carvings, and colorful bags. This is when I began the daunting task of bargaining. The streets were full of cheery Guatemalans showing off their impressive work.
On our way back to the hotel our boat Captain showed us a cozy little lagoon. Almost everyone jumped from the second level into the cool and cleansing water. Kelly was a stud muffin and jumped from the top about ten times! The lagoon did bring about some challenges (aka trying to get 20, very close to one another, while treading water- in order to take a picture.) J
One adventure led to another, and soon 18 of us found ourselves zipping through the luscious forest. Zip lining in Guatemala is nothing like you’ve done before. We began the journey by climbing 700ft in about one mile. Once we reached the top, we had eight zip line rides down. We had amazing views of the lake, volcanoes, waterfalls, and monkeys! Elliot and Rosby were the champs.
Then after dinner tonight, I had one of the most memorable moments of my life. Steve led us in devotionals. In the beginning of the trip Steve gave everyone a little card that had a fruit of the spirit. We were assigned to keep an eye out for a team member and a Guatemalan that embodied the values. After everyone shared, Steve led us through a very different way of taking communion. Instead of one person simply handing it to everyone else, we gave communion to each other. As we felt called, we would give communion and pray for our friends. God’s presence filled the room as smiles, tears, and laughs were shared. I will never forget this experience of sharing communion with one another, and becoming brothers and sisters in Christ.
P.S. Clarita is the best roommate EVER!!! =)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Day 8 photos

Farewell service

Preparing crafts for VBS

VBS Puppeteers

Lake Atitlan
Kayaking on Lake Atitlan

Monday - Day 8

We had a wonderful farewell service last night - and were amazed at how close we have become to this little church in the past week. We have come to love the young pastor Harold and his wife, the beautiful children of the neighborhood and their families. The welcoming service message last weekend was about being salt and light in the world; the farewell service message last night challenged us to support missions wherever we are in whatever ways we can.

This morning's devotion caused us to think about conspicuous consumption vs compassionate concern; and that what appears to be the right thing to do may not be. A thoughtful group left Guatemala City for the mountainous drive to Lake Atitlan - a place that Liesl calls a cross between Hawaii and Lake Tahoe - as we start our time of rest and reflection.

And we have lots to ponder and pray about.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Tom's Creative Blog Title.

Hey Y'all,
Today is our last day in Guatemala City (sniff, sniff) and our last day of home cooking (more sniff, sniff). In the morning we did more construction, with most of the men using pick-axes and shovels to excavate a thick layer of dirt under the seminary. Others took away the wooden planks that were holding the cement in place.
Instead of sitting down at the site to have a large meal/feast, we all drove to the church where we held Vacation Bible School (VBS). Slowly, families sent representatives to pick up the people from our group that they were hosting for lunch.
Jeff and I didn't have to walk very far; we were having lunch in the second story of the church. We ate with the pastor and his wife in their tiny but cozy home. They prepared chicken that easily beat Pollo Campero, tortillas, rice, cantalope, salad, and cantelope juice to drink. It was all delicious, and was accompanied by poor Spanish by us Gringos and hospitality by the Chapinos/Guatemaltecos.
After our lunch, we all loaded into vans and headed back to our hotel. The Liggett boys all took siestas, and then got dressed all snazzy-like for the service tonight. The last time I came to the Farewell Service, we got home at about 3:15 AM; mostly because a semi-truck went off the road. However, this service is known for its length.
Tomorrow we will wake up bright and early to leave for Antigua. Have fun in the 'States!
tom liggett

Photos from home visits on Sunday/Day 7

Maxi and Caesar

David and his hostess, Josefina

One of the moms and babies in the church :)

Lucy's family

Beth and Nic with Lucy