The communities we visit put a lot of pride into their ability to provide a great performance to welcome us, and Monte Margarita did not disappoint. As soon as we stepped off the bus there were firecrackers going off, kids surrounding us, and festive music playing. They had different grades perform traditional dances and songs. They even had a student that wore a large paper tent over his head that had firecrackers all over it. He danced around in front of us while they all exploded. Terri Baas said if we did that in the U.S., you’d go to prison. But these people know how to throw a party! While we were there we also painted the school for them. It was white and all chipped up, and now it’s a beautiful orange! Did they pick that color because of our shirts? Hmmm. Then in the afternoon we split up, Terri B, Patty, and Pastor Michael went to do pastor training while the rest of us set up an obstacle course for the middle schoolers.
Tonight’s blog is featuring…. drum roll…. Terri Baas and Ron Seger. This is Terri’s sixth time in Guatemala. I admire Terri for a lot of reasons but one of them is her knowledge and passion for the Lord. She exudes love and has felt blessed by Guatemala and I know the communities have been blessed by her too. This is Ron’s second trip here, but first time with this group to these communities. To paint you a picture of Ron here, just today he was having a push up contest with some of the teenagers. From our first planning meeting back in November he told us that the kids here have a place in his heart, and that’s why he was excited to come. He feeds off their energy and the kids love every minute of it.
Terri Baas: Today was a day that I was looking forward to with mixed feelings because I was to facilitate a class for pastors and teachers on studying the Bible in small groups. Of course I was excited because that is a passion of mine, but I was also nervous— not knowing whether the attendees from the churches surrounding Monte Margarita would participate in the discussion or become really engaged in the process. The class went very well- participation was great! I loved hearing the spiritual leaders from this area share their love for God and His word, and I appreciated the thoughts and personal experiences they shared during our “practice” inductive study of John 4- The Woman at the Well. What a blessing! An added blessing that all of us have experienced all week is a fabulous group of interpreters who have truly become our friends and members of our team! They are the BEST! Without them, our work (and play) here would be next to impossible.
Ron Seger* — when I asked Ron to write a couple sentences for the blog tonight he said “Wellllll… Ron’s not a writer.” I said “Wellllll…. is Ron a talker?” So I asked him what he wanted me to say his behalf otherwise I was just going to type all sorts of nice things about myself. He told me he wants to make two points about this trip so far. The first: That EVERYONE has value. Everyone on this team, everyone in the communities we visited, and every one of God’s people on this earth. Everyone is valuable. The second: That we don’t tell each other “good job” enough. Because as Christians, we are all called to encourage, so it’s important that we are all more mindful about lifting each other up.
This is a long enough post but I’ll just briefly share that today, probably the most in my life, I felt directly pushed by God to do something. I noticed all day how hard the middle school/teenage girls were trying to be “beautiful” and the reaction from the boys there was just a whole lot of catcalling. I DIDN’T LIKE THAT. So with mi amiga Luisa by my side and Terri D, I pulled them all aside before we left and tried convincing them that their worth is found in Jesus Christ.. and nothing else. Not what they wore, looked like, or how many boys whistled at them. I blah blah’d a little more to them but just wanted to mention that so you can remember them in your prayers..
Gracias to all, and to all a good night!