Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Friday, August 26, 2011
He will be faithful to the work He has started in you too, and He is pursuing you relentlessly as well, no matter how aware you are of it. He loves you, He loves you, He loves you and He has immeasurably more for you than you could ever ask or imagine.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
We're definitely coming over the hill as far as time in this fabulous country, with less than three week left. I'd be getting super sentimental at this point, except I know that God still has loads more in store for our team before this is all said and done. Looking back does speak loudly of the goodness, faithfulness, and zealous heart. I feel like everyone is going to come out of this summer with fresh testimony.
If you are feeling that the frequency is my posts is inadequate (which is an understandable position to hold) here are some fellow team member's blogs:
Katrina Janzen: Cloud. Forest.
Adam White: Following the Way
Shelby McConnell: Desert Streams
Karla Ponce: thoughts under a summertime sun
Colin Buschman: There and Back Again
Sunday, July 24, 2011
In Canada we put little signs on our front lawns to let the whole neighbourhood know who we are voting for.
In Guatemala people paint their whole house political colors, complete with party logos and slogans.
In Canada political volunteers politely knock at your door: "May we have a moment to tell you about Joyce Murray and the Liberal Party of Canada?" This restrained campaigning is often considered a nuisance.
In Guatemala they drive around towns in pick-up trucks with loudspeakers, alternating between ambulance sirens and political slogans. On weekends they gather large groups of supporters (children in tow) to form parades that march through villages, banging drums, chanting slogans, and letting off firecrackers that reverberate off the hills like gunshots, as if the civil war was starting up again. I guess whatever party throws the biggest party wins.
The madness hardly stops at the local level. The forerunner, The Patriot Party's Otto Perez Molina, is a tough-on-crime former army general who is constantly coming under accusations by indigenous groups for crimes against humanity. His main competition is current first lady Sandra Torres, who divorced her husband to avoid electoral laws that prohibit the spouses of presidents from running for office. She has declared herself the first woman to divorce for the sake of "being married to Guatemala." Her candidacy has been negated by a Supreme Court ruling, but her party campaigns on regardless.
The chaos is to some extent understandable, because the stakes are so high. Security is the main issue, with Mexican drug cartels pushing their trade further into Guatemala, and with a capital city filled with violence. Thirty different political candidates have already been murdered. So when you can spare some time send up a prayer for Guate.
The last few weeks have been hectic, but satisfying. My host family is beyond a blessing. Helena, my host madre, is a chef of the highest order, whisking up plates of typical Mayan food and patiently dealing with my hectic and oft-changing schedule. Our two main projects here are building a house for a local family, and running an ESL after-school program. The house construction is a blast, with the whole family involved, including their grampa, Don Jaunito. He's short (even for a Guatemalan which is saying a lot) and he's getting on in age, but his work ethic and strength puts any of us to shame. ESL is wild, chaotic, and fun as anything with kids always is. As a team we are growing, facing challenges of a new culture, and new lifestyle, and new schedule, and fresh experiences. Next weekend marks the halfway point in Guate, which is crazy! I miss and love you all and will have to right more soon, but I've over-extended my stay, so I'll leave you with this picture of my familia's laundry:
Friday, July 8, 2011
Today we had El Dia de Canada at the school which is, you guessed it, Canada Day! It was a great day of introducing our students and staff to our fabulous country, or at least grossly over-representing its stereotypes (think lots of beaver crafts). I helped facilitate hockey games for each of the grades, and they took to it like a Canadian on skates. Seriously, they got fierce. Then we had a Canadian students vs. Guatemalan staff game, which got fiercer. This afternoon we climbed up a mountain and planted avocado trees.
To summarize: God is awesome, Guate is awesome, I am doing exceedingly well.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Then Dave said, "We could pray." So we layed our hands on the toilet and said something to the effect of: "Dear God. We'd really like our toilet to work. We all need to poop at some point and it is just a really big nuisance. It would be sweet if you could unplug our toilet for us."
I gave it one more plunge (because I still have doubt that God is weeding out of my life) and then gave it a flush. VIOLA!!! A beautiful, smooth, quick, swirly flush. Thank God for small and beautiful and convenient miracles. He loves us, even when that means dealing with our crap.