January 2019   
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This Week's Events
JAN

22

TUE
Wesley Walkers (WH)
6:00 AM to 7:45 AM
STAFF MEETING
9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Meeting in the Gathering Room
Bible Study w/ Pastor Christopher
10:00 AM
Meet in Foundations SS Classroom WH
Thrive
2:30 PM to 5:00 PM
Wesley Hall
Volley Ball - Parks & Rec
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
JAN

23

WED
Wesley Walkers (WH)
6:00 AM to 7:45 AM
Red Cross - BLOOD DRIVE
2:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Wesley Hall usage from 1:00pm - 7:00pm
JAN

24

THU
Wesley Walkers (WH)
6:00 AM to 7:45 AM
CEAB - Appointments
9:00 AM to 10:45 AM
Gathering Room
Bridges of Hope Store - Open
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Chancel Choir - Rehearsal
7:00 PM
Music Room and Sanctuary
JAN

25

FRI
Wesley Walkers (WH)
6:00 AM to 7:45 AM
Bible Search

In many places, the opening and closing ceremony is as important as the work, whether it is a conference or construction, that comes in between. The reason is that for many people, including Mayan Guatemalans, building relationships IS the work.

So, today we took our leave of our compadres who welcomed us, instructed us in Guatemalan methods of construction, and walked with us all week long. They gave speeches thanking us for coming into their country, and we gave speeches thanking them for being gracious hosts.

What did we do? This school administration building for the municipality of San Andreas already had a foundation and concrete block walls both interior and exterior. We contributed to the next step: finishing the walls and wiring the rooms. Stucco is applied in three layers: mortar, regular stucco, and fine stucco for finishing. From the beginning to the end, we mixed different ingredients for the three types and we applied each of the three, finishing about 7 walls and several columns in the building. We also pulled wire for sockets and light fixtures, and ended up wiring nearly the whole building. Each day began with getting the tools and equipment out of storage and distributing what was needed to each work group. At lunch break, we made our own lunches beginning with making fresh guacamole: avocados, onions, tomatoes, fresh squeezed lime, and cilantro. Finally, at the end of the day we cleaned all the tools and equipment and put it into storage for the next day.

It was a pleasure to work with Elias, Ignacio, Frederico, Mario, and Daniel. They were very patient with a mob of unskilled labor that could not understand the nation’s primary language. We were also shepherded by Emily and Ethan, interns working for the summer with Mission Guatemala.

What did we accomplish? We did not finish the building. Work has been going on for a year and it will take another year of mission work teams to complete it. But, we did our part and moved construction along. San Andreas school district has 35 schools: 21 public and 2 private elementary schools, 10 middle schools, and 2 high schools. In the district 260 teachers serve 4000 students; but all without a central administration building where plans, paperwork, and employees are managed. There is even space for teachers to visit to use computers and the internet to improve their teaching.

Why do we do a mission trip like this where we end up in construction? That is not all we did. We were welcomed here and we were good guests while we were here. So, we were blessed and were a blessing to the place where God has sent us (see Jeremiah 29:4-7). Second, we responded to an identified community need for health care and education. In effect, we fulfilled some of the qualifications for heaven that Jesus laid out in Jesus’ story of The Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25:31-46). Right away, you can tell that you don’t want to be number among the goats! Neither do we. Third, we represented Americans in a positive way (which is much needed) and we experienced many of the positive virtues of Guatemalans. Now we know.

---Dr. Mike, on behalf of all our missioners.