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DAY EIGHT

Today was the day we were planning to spend with Joel VanDyke, a missionary from the U.S. that moved to Guatemala with his family after he fell in love with the urban area of Guatemala City. We were only missing one thing... Joel VanDyke. Due to traffic/schedules we weren't able to meet with him this morning. He was able to send a partner of his to take his place and give us a tour of the cemetary in Guatemala City. This was familiar to the team that came last year. The tour takes place in the cemetary because that is where you can find clues to the history (and current state) of this country. He talked about wounds that Guatemala has; wounds that have been "covered up" for the last 500 years. The organization that he and Joel work for, CMT, is working on 'synergy' between the divides within the country. Wounds include: socioeconomic, political, racial, etc. This can often be uncomfortable and unwelcomed- no one likes to open up old wounds. But by doing this, the wounds can heal, and the country can work toward unity. But what a process that will be! We learned a lot about how the United States impacted Guatemala throughout history, and also in present day. 

I asked Pastor Michael to contribute to the el bloggo tonight but it's late and we have a lot of packing to do yet, so that didn't work. And I was planning on asking Mark Baas but he went to bed before I got the chance, so that didn't work. But another part of the day that was really interesting was that we got the chance to go to "the dump." If you've never heard of it, google it and check out some articles and the pictures. It's just that- a dump. Garbage upon garbage upon garbage. But people live there. I can't possibly begin to describe what we saw and how those people live, work, raise families there, but I can tell you one example of how the Holy Spirit is working in one special man. His name is Fido and we got the chance to meet him today. He was born and raised in the dump, like most kids, school wasn't a reality and he joined a gang and was a part of that for 9 years. Until one day God "grabbed him" and he suddenly had a change of heart and wanted to make a difference in the dump. He left the gang and is currently working with CMT as well in hopes of transforming the dump. He has enough money to live somewhere better, he even has a US visa, and a family of 3 daughters with one on the way, but yet he chooses to continue living in the dump with his peers so he can minister to them and help them transform. His story was captivating and his vision for the future of the dump is inspiring. If you could have seen what we saw, and then looked at this man with his beautiful daughters, you wouldn't belive he would choose to stay. But that's God working directly through him, and it was an incredible thing to witness. 

We will be up and leaving the hotel at 6am in order to catch a flight into Atlanta around 9am. Lord willing, we plan to be in MN around 6pm. Prayers for safe travels on this last day. Thank you for your support for this ministry- I promise you it's making a difference.