What a crazy day..... Day 1 in Guatemala.
We were at the airport at 2:00a.m.... we have been traveling ever since which means literally everyone on the trip is running off of 2 hours of sleep and an unhealthy amount of caffeine!!! Needless to say we are exhausted.... it's now 9:00 in Guatemala (which means it is 11:00 in GA), the time difference does not help with the exhaustion.
On the plane today looking down at the city of Ft.Lauderdale, I couldn't help but laugh at how similar it looked to a little toy town (like the one on Mr.Roger's neighborhood or the doll houses we had as children). It was crazy to see the millions of buildings that looked so small.... so insignificant... just "another" building in a cookie cutter town... And the cars were moving around like little ants.... As I watched I thought how each of those millions of little cars could possibly be holding 5 people.
How humbling to think that there are all of these people, insignificant and unknown to us in this city. And then to imagine that there are cities with all of these "ants" running around all over the world... wow. Who am I?! I am one of those millions of little black ants.... unnoticed to man in the grand scheme of things. But to think.... that the God of this universe calls me his child and his friend. What a huge, powerful, unlimited God. Truly humbling.
Beth practices her Spanish at the airport and proceeds to tell one of the women working there that (translation): "The toilet is fractured". She is obviously a nurse!
We have a connection flight to Guatemala... spend a while in customs... :/ load and unload and reload huge crates....
stop to eat at "Pollo Ranchero"... and then the craziness has began. Running on 2 hours of sleep, God redefined "I am your strength when you are weak".
Group B went to shop for groceries and supplies while group A went to the small church outside of the dump. The children there were amazing..... huge brown eyes that served as windows into their beautiful souls.... smiles that reveal their joy. They sit in small square rooms with one teacher.... chairs lining the walls (no tables). Some students are working on "typing"... on a typewriter!!! (The typewriting handbook shows a lady in a dress with heels and a bun on the cover... haha)! The small children sing when Lynn and I enter the room. The immediately run to us and thank us... we haven't even done anything. The Air Head candy that we broke into pieces and handed out was a huge hit.... their giggles filled the room as I took pictures of their blue tongues... completely intrigued with the camera!!!!
After the brief church visit, we headed straight to the landfill. I'm not sure how to even begin to describe this landfill. Neither words nor pictures can express the shocking reality we faced there. (I'll write tomorrow about how the landfill actually looks).
The children and women flooded into a small little "room" to see us. The room had metal walls, dirt floor, wood panels (about a foot apart from one another) formed somewhat of a roof. Children were everywhere! We had to walk with caution, avoiding the little "rivers" which served as a sewage system. The children were filthy... covered with dirt... they have no way to bath and no water in the landfill. These people literally live in and live off of this trash. We gather together with these women and children and have an unplanned service!
The service begins with singing and then prayer.... each women praying aloud at the same time, literally screaming out to Jesus. We are asked which one of us was going to give their testimony (we had not planned for this at all) and 2 women on our team spoke. Needless to say, both of them just opened their mouths and God took over from there (trust me, we had no brain power left at this point)! Their testimonies were powerful and God used them to touch hearts.... 4 women accepted Christ as their Lord and savior.... crying and praying and praising.... it's unbelievable...
The sweetest thing happened in my group of pray-ers... I had one little girl who could not speak and therefore had her sister tell me that she could not pray. I told her that everyone could pray in their hearts and that God knew what she was saying.... she smiled and put her arms around my neck. She then motioned for the 15 other children in my group to bow their heads. We sat in silence for a few minutes praying in our hearts until she sat back up and gave the "I'm finished nod". Faith like a child. EVERY single one of the other children bowed their heads and supported her in "Corazon" prayer.... some of them only 2 years old.