Today we had an unexpected call from a native family in the river village Castulo. The local pastor called us to inform us that an elderly man had fallen from the back of a truck and was severely injured. He was already weak from pneumonia that had been racking his body, this new injury left him in extreme pain as he landed on his back with possible fractured ribs. This Brick Think mission soon turned into an On call mission, but we have a nurse on the team so that worked out well. We drove into the village and into the man’s hut, as we went inside and got closer we heard him moaning and groaning in pain. We assessed his back, where he said the pain was, there was no sign of black and blue or anything out of the normal on the outside, but internal injuries were a possibility. He could not lay down to sleep, but he was able to walk, and sit down. We gave him a muscle relaxant, and pain medication. We also left him with antibiotics, and cough medication for his lung problems. The next day he made it out to the hospital where they took x-rays, and confirmed no internal injuries. I thank God for always being faithful, and supply all we need to help those around us.
A fresh week began on the mission-base of Rio Dulce with dockside devotionals at 7:00am, sustained by Pinalito coffee and the Word of God. The summary revolved around God using the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. We don’t need to have all our ducks in a row to be used by God; He doesn’t seek the qualified, only a willing vessel to fill. After all, it’s not in our strength, but His that His kingdom is built on this earth. The devo was based out of 1 Corinthians 1:25-27.
As the day began, Henry took up a tiling crew and set out to finish an outdoor tiling project, as well as designing a mosaic pattern from broken pieces for the mission base kitchen. Meanwhile, the indoor bathrooms were getting plastered and painted. On one of the local market runs us girls that went recognized a family walking into town. We got a chance to learn a few of the Que’tchi words from their Mayan dialect. Of course, that led to several good laughs during the five mile drive in . Earlier in the day we decided to have a Puerto Rican themed dinner. This lead to a platano lasagna filled with ground beef and cheese to end the night! A dish that has most definitely become a new tradition for Faith in Action.
Today was a very important day, as it was the Pre-Inauguration of the bridge project. Several different villages gathered along with the mayor of Rio Dulce to pray over the project and sort out the last minute details. For those of us that stayed back at the base, we all had different jobs throughout the day. Some of us had to get food at the market to make lunch and dinner for the team. We ran into two girls from London, they had been traveling for 6 months all over the world, starting with Thailand. You know God always has a purpose for every encounter… The girls were lost. I was with Kayla Beene, one of the daughters of Michael & Rocky Beene. She was able to help them, and made sure they got into the right bus, even gave them cold bottles of water. They looked at her in astonishment. It’s the simple things we do to show God’s love for people that will sometimes make them wonder, there was something different there…that something different was Jesus. Back at the house some were mixing more concrete to finish the roof. Some were in charge of laying down tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms. In the meantime, Michael & Rocky Beene and our leader Andrew went out to the village, and back to the river to have a meeting with all the leaders of the surrounding villages to discuss the planning and building of the bridge. As per Andrew the meeting turned into a big prayer meeting over the project! God has shown so much favor in this project from the beginning! It has turned into such a testimony of His goodness and faithfulness to not only open doors, but lead us through them to accomplish His will. The saying holds true: “When God points, His hand will clear the way!”
In anticipation of a severe storm including a possible tornado, we successfully completed work on two homes and are currently involved in painting a third. It was a long and hot day in the Lone Star state. After a quick shower, we all went to Father’s Love to participate in the boys’ activities and worship service. One young boy’s prayer was that his father would return home. Thankfully we serve a God who can make that possible.
Today was a more relaxing day, we took a boat into the village and then hiked up the trail. The view was beautiful, everywhere I looked I saw the beauty of God, even in the simplest things. We crossed the bridge that a TSC team help built nearly ten years ago, and it’s still standing strong! The bridge was built to go across a big swamp area. When we reached the river, the planning and measurements for the new bridge was on the way…this bridge will be big enough for trucks to go over the bridge. This will help the village people a great deal, since these trucks carry in fruits, vegetables and other goods in and out. It’s really hot in Guatemala, and after that hike we couldn’t resist jumping in the river. We even had a little game of volleyball with some of the village kids inside the river, we had lots of fun., good bonding time. Tomorrow, back to work
Day three was a long, and busy day. We started at 4:30am and finished at 7pm. We mixed sand, stone, cement and water all day. We created an assembly line of workers, some people were filling up buckets of sand and stone. Some were carrying the buckets to the mixer, some were operating the mixer, and then the line of buckets flowing up and down the ladder, one of the best assembly lines I have ever seen! The task at hand was a big one but the work was getting done, but not without any bumps on the road…our mixer stopped working and so we had to go and buy a new one. We also needed more sand in order to finish the roof, and with God’s help we finished the task before the day ended. And finished of with a delicious dinner, and yummy brownies. Nothing’s impossible for our God….nothing.
It was a good day! We started out with team devotion as soon as we woke this morning. Josh Homer shared after leading us in a couple of familiar TSC favorite choruses aptly assisted by his fellow choir member Samara McKay. We were then assigned to our different locations of work. I went with Samara and a female FL volunteer to a house that needed painting to its recently installed wheelchair ramp and and clip some overhanging branches from a huge tree. It was hot and soon tiring, but the LORD gave us the strength to endure. Looking forward to tomorrow!
We had an amazing second day at the mission base in Rio Dulce. We worked on the roof, tied all the rebar and ran the electric wiring on the roof. We have an electrician on the team, so that worked out perfectly! Some of the other work that was done around the house was sealing the tiles, putting up picture frames, and of course kitchen duty for us ladies…supermarket runs, buying fresh fruits and vegetables in the stands, all while mingling with the natives and exploring the city of Guatemala. No job is too small, everything works together, for the bigger purpose. We may not see yet, but our sovereign God knows exactly what is needed and brings in the workers to bless those who are in need. We just have to say yes, Lord here I am, send me…
It’s the Lord’s Day and much of the day was spent at church nearby Tyler, Texas. After lunch at a family-style BBQ restaurant the day was spent in fellowship aptly called “fun day”. We met more workers of the Father’s Love ministry at a family theme location where many enjoyed themselves in a round of “zip-line” (a popular tourist attraction in Texas) featuring breathtaking views. We then returned to Father’s Love for orientation where we were finally given our individual assignments for the upcoming week with Roger Jonker. So I guess that means the “fun day” ends and the real works begins. Stay tuned . . .
It was an early start to our Wednesday morning in NYC, our destination: Guatemala. We are a group of seven, and our leader is Andrew for BrickThink. I’m so excited to see what God is going to do down in Guatemala. We will be working with the Beene family. Michael and Rocky Beene have lived in Guatemala as missionaries for over 25 years. They work mainly with people from the villages. When we arrived to Guatemala, Mr Beene was waiting for us, and welcomed us with open arms. On our first day he filled us in as to what we were going to do for the week. We visited the dormitories in Zacapa, and met some of the students. We loaded our truck and of we went to Rio Dulce, the mission base. It’s a full schedule ahead, can’t wait!