Mission » Guatemala Mission Trip 2013
You know that MasterCard ad running for decades now?
The first one was a young dad seated in a major league baseball stadium saying:
2 tickets $80
1 new mitt in case there’s a fly ball in the stands $75
2 hot dogs and 2 cokes $15
1 summer afternoon with 10 year old son: priceless.
Well, this is our version.
God changing lives, including ours: priceless
With awe and appreciation to the team-goers and the Covenant team-senders,
Our work days are finished! Tomorrow 7am but to Antigua.
The team each gave me words to send to Covenant for the website.
Barb: amazing; beautiful grateful people
Chuck: outward bound; up and down.
Linda E.: happiness being here
Randy: warmth and love
Ron: humble enlightenment
Vickie: better than remembered
Kelly: touched amazed, unforgettable
Katie: joyful enlightenment
Victoria: Energy spent lovingly
Nick: peace, joy, adventure
Carolyn: blessed and humbled
Rian: unity and God’s faithfulness
Linda W.: feeling blessed; humbleness
Beth: love, laughter, hope
Awareness of the profound miracles of existence.
In Guatemala I (Kelly) became a godmother.
My soul is full,
8:35 pm and what we call the symphony of dogs (barking) has begun.
For us, an easier work day helped by experience.
Also a turkey walked over and sat on my (Victoria's) feet as I stood near the bus.
A goat on a string supervised our outside stove work.
Singing as we work, Motown, etc.
Lots of laughter and amazement and hugs from the lady of each house.
But how can it be that all our homes are uphill?
Ash Wednesday and we used stove ashes on our foreheads.
Today the hotel lost electricity and water but restored by evening.
Steep climbing day.
Construction and praying day.
Everyone intact and telling stories over dinner.
Our life together is not without quirks.
An Apostolic church is adjacent to our hotel.
Right now a soloist is singing “How Great Thou Art”
VERY loudly in Spanish.
I was also singing that to myself today.
But it’s 9pm and last night their service lasted until 11pm.
Got to respect their enthusiasm
but God help us with our 5am wake up.
Out in the country now. They tell me the hotel is nicer than they expected. The road sign says 4 stars, it must mean something else here. All 16 of us did one demo stove, crowded into a kitchen – success!! The owner-mother was so happy she sang for us and prayed thanksgiving to God. The house had barbed wire for a clothesline, no pins required. Tall as we are, yet no one was snagged. More adventures tomorrow as we divide into 4 teams and start our house assignments. Stars were dazzling in the night sky.
Got in early to Guatemala City. All luggage here, too. Off to a great start. One night in airport hotel. Open balcony and warm temp is a treat. Enthusiasm all among us. Tomorrow is 6 hr drive to highlands then also our first stove demo. Then Monday, we’re in the villages!
The following are on the team:
Pastor Victoria Millar, Chuck & Barb Albee, Ron Cramer, Randy & Linda Eisel, Vicki Kwasny, Katie Matteson, Kelly Miller, Nick Potter, Carolyn Scherer, Lori Scherer, Ryin Schoenwald, Jim Stills, Linda Webster, Beth Zimmerman
We, the Covenant February-Guatemala-bound team, needed about $16,000 to buy stoves and related on-site materials. The charity we serve, Helps International, in October drove the 6 hours to the highland villages, held an outdoor town hall meeting, and set up a demo stove, extolling its virtues. Families signed up and committed to their share of the cost ($20) for an indoor stove, an outdoor stove and a water filter. At that point, the Covenant team was committed to install stoves in 64 homes, our cost $230 each. In the church gathering space, the mission team set up our (electric) stove demo, info sheets, photographs and laptop movie and prayed Covenant would “buy” stoves for the people in Guatemala. The mission committee had already voted to give Guatemala $10,000 (the lion’s share of their 2013 $14,000 budget). Thus, the team had $6,000 to raise out of the $16,000 stove cost. Our team voted that every $1 donated beyond the $6,000 would be returned to the mission committee for its mainly local grant giving (as opposed to covering any of our personal Guatemala travel expenses). Here’s what happened in our plans for 8 weeks of fundraising. Week 1, good start, $4,693 in our fund, including our well-attended Guatemala lunch café proceeds. Those must be the really interested givers, some had been asking to buy a stove for months! Week 2, cumulative total $5,731. Great, we’re on the right track. Week 3, cumulative total $13,418! Oh my Lord—we barely need anything from the mission committee! Week 4, cumulative total $17,099! Unplug the electric stove, hide the wooden envelope box, we have more than we need!* How can we thank you? We’ll bring you photos of the families and homes to whom you have given clean air, warmth and saved time from foraging for firewood since the stoves are highly efficient. Bless you for Christ’s compassion and for helping them to share health on God’s good earth.
In awe, The Guatemala Mission Team
*(with the permission of a few donors, the team is considering how the $1,000 excess raised could be spent on the families, e.g., books for a village school or solar flashlights for the homes without electricity).