November 2018   
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Bright colors, food that smells almost too good to eat, intricate textiles, and paintings that take your breath way are just a few of the amazing things that I have encountered so far on this trip.

A life that is lived much differently than what I am accustomed to is something else that I am experiencing and seeing first hand. The people of Guatemala have a pride in their heritage and work ethic unlike any other I have witnessed before. Walking miles to sell their handmade items even though they may not sell much if anything that day. Children as young as 6-7 years old working in the family business of weaving, or carrying wood on their backs for miles and miles UPHILL!! 

Watching my daughter talk to some of the indigenous residents of this truly marvelous country is heartbreakingly beautiful. The smile on her face as they smile back because she has spoken to them in their language as she admires and inquires about their heritage. All I have learned is Hola, No Gracias, and Quetzales. Which means Hello, No Thank You, and Money. Seeing her eyes light up as she takes it all in and just bask in the beauty that is real and right here in front of her is something that I rarely see at home. Not because it isn’t there but because I have allowed myself to be too busy to enjoy it. I have take for granted every aspect of my life and I complain way too much. What I consider basic necessities are often times a challenge here. 

The people of Guatemala are a loving, accepting, caring, and beautiful people, even though they don’t have to be. They could choose to be bitter and angry yet they greet us with open arms and a kindness that is a rarity in this world.

As we trekked uphill today in San Juan and I do mean trekked, I realized about 1/3 of the way up that I am in terrible shape. But just as God never leaves us behind, two very special people in our group stayed with me, walked my pace, and let me rest when I needed to. God is always there to listen to us, love, us carry us when we are too weak to move on, push us to keep moving forward, never forsaking us or leaving us. 

When life gets to difficult to stand remember that you will never stand alone. No matter where you are in life, even if you think you are broken beyond repair, there is not one thing about you that God can not get you through. Trust him, lean on him, share your life with him, and I can promise you that your heart will always be full, and your life will be blessed. 

From Guatemala, Brooke