We touched down at 1:00 pm safely in Guatemala City, after a 3-hour drive we arrived in Los Lotes around 5:15. We were welcomed by the people with open arms and we immediately felt the warm atmosphere in the village. Right away, some of us started a soccer game with the locals. After the game, we ate and had our nightly devotions on the patio of the building where we slept. The next morning after a 6:00 wake up, our team split into 5 groups and were each assigned to a family. Then we started the building process of houses and relationships. Our group from Hudsonville Reformed that went on this trip 2 years ago was the first group in Los Lotes and this year we were the second to last group. At about noon, we came together and ate lunch made by the locals(Side note: the food is amazing). After lunch, we went back to the houses and continued until the house was ready to be stuccoed. That night we went back to the main building and hung out with the locals until it was time to eat and have devotions. After devotions, we went to bed. The next morning we woke up and ate breakfast and everyone was encouraged to do personal devotions before we went out to the houses. Every group went back to their house and did some finishing touches before the whole team got together to stucco each house. For those unfamiliar with the Stuccoing process, it is basically a layer of waterproof paint/mud that goes on the outside of the house to keep it dry and functioning. A basic yet fundamental need for each house. After every house was finished and every team member was covered with pink goop we ate lunch together. After lunch, each team went back to their houses and painted the walls of the house with a tropical teal color and after it dried we decorated the house with bible verses and paintings. This time is really important for building the relationship with the family, we can include them in the process of decorating and they get to have their own personal touch for their future home. After the painting was finished we went back to the base and spent more time with the locals before dinner and devotions. Today we had an abrupt wake up at 5:30 in the morning and that was time to prepare for the battle of dedication day with each group. We sat in circles and prayed for the day, and all that would happen.
After that, we ate breakfast and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise over the mountains. Soon after, we went to battle. One by one we, as a whole group, went to each house to dedicate them. At first, we would say hello or hola(whichever you prefer) and brought the individuals into the house with the Pastors and the groups that built the house. We would then present gifts for the family, not normal gifts like an xBox or an Apple watch but things that are simple and necessary for life: toothbrushes, shirts, multi-tools, any kind of ball, etc… All of the families were so grateful for everything they got no matter how big or small. Then we gave the family the opportunity to speak to the group through a translator and express their gratitude. Each team member in the group then stands up and says a little testimony to the family before the Gospel is presented to the family. It was in this time that the rest of the team would surround the house and read the Bible out loud, sing out loud, or pray out loud. The power of doing these actions out loud is very important because it dials in the team to focus and not be distracted, it is uncomfortable for most, and it gives the Holy Spirit the opportunity to speak through us. After a short message from a pastor, we give the family the opportunity to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
In Jesus’ name, all 5 houses accepted Jesus as King of their life. After a long day of prayer, we said goodbye to our families, ate lunch and drove to the Paradise Bound base in Chimaltenengo.
Thanks for the prayers and continued support!
Written by: Josh and Lexie
Thank you for checking up on our blog and joining us on our adventure here in Guatemala. Today we woke up. Praise the Lord. Some people woke up early to catch a sunrise that was pretty much non existent with the fog, and we had time to do devotions and visit the orphanage and play with the kiddoes. Breakfast was served at 7:00 and we started working around the base from 8-10 and started a group devo time soon after. Today during devotions our team was asked to share some of our favorite verses which drew our group together in a powerful way. At noon we ate lunch and got ready to head out to the village where we did our first medical clinic. During the medical clinics we have a few tables and a few people getting certain medicines for any specific need that a villager has. During this time there are people playing outside whether playing soccer or getting their nails painted they are building relationships and planting seeds for the night. The families were very respectful and accepting of our gifts and presence. Later in the night we all gathered the villagers to watch a movie on the life of Jesus and we started to share the Gospel with them. After the film our team went in front of the villagers and praised the Lord through song. After a few songs Dylan, Rebecca, Tom, Breanna, and Mason all were able to share their testimonies for the people of the town, it was a great moment for the team. After testimonies we sung a few more songs, and then were dismissed to the back of the crowd to hear a message from on the of the pastors, Pablo. When the time came, the pastor offered the opportunity for the villagers to accept Jesus as their Savior, during this time music was playing and we would walk around and lay our hands on the villagers in prayer. Many of the villagers went up to the front and joined into the salvation prayer led by Pablo. We then handed out rice and beans to the men and Bibles to everyone. Our team traveled back to the base safely and we are ready and rippin for another day tomorrow.
Thank you for your prayers
Lexie, Josh, Mason, and Shane
Dont @ us
We are the green team, the singing team, (the best team). Our group consisted of Dan, Travis, Troy, Mendy, Janna, Matt, Dylan, Carter, and Levi. Everyone was blessed with the singing from Troy and Matt. Randomly bursting out into song so the whole village could hear. We had the opportunity to work for a single guy by the name of Oscar. When we were assigned Oscar we were a little bummed, a majority of the groups had families with a bunch of little kids running around to build relationships with. Oscar was an extremely hard worker and helped out a lot with the process of building his future home. For example, on the plot of land he bought, there was a giant stone. This was right where the house was supposed to be. For 4 consecutive days, Oscar worked on moving this rock. He set fire on the top and hammered it down until he finally broke it into many pieces. This pile of rocks was huge. When we would show up to the workplace everyday, Oscar would be waiting for us with a big smile on his face and all of our tools cleaned. Little by little, though the help of carters translating, Oscar gave us glimpses of his life. This melted our hearts. Oscar worked for a business owner who loved him and was so appreciative of his work that he built a home for Oscar and promised money and a good future. When the business owner passed away, his kids did not pass on the money of home that was promised to Oscar. Because of this, Oscar moved in with his mom. A year ago, Oscars mom passed away. Oscar was left with nothing, he moved to Los Lotes and rented a piece of land. He built a structure of Bamboo sticks and Plastic to sleep in. He raised chickens for income. (This is an extremely inefficient source of income.) With struggles he bought a piece of land, about 30 x 20 feet. This is where the rock was. During dedication day, Oscar stood up and shared his testimony, he shared that he has nobody in his life. He was living in the village for a year and nobody talked to him. Oscar was very lonely and very poor. We used this as an opportunity to affirm Oscar that he is not alone. He has Jesus and he always has, he has us 8. We were like a family for those 3 days. He went on to accept Jesus into his heart and is living a life honoring his creator. Oscar will always have a place in our hearts and etched into our soul.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support and giving us the ability, through prayers, to change lives.
Matt and Troy and the rest of the green team. (The best team)
Feel Free to @ us
We are the grey team consisting of Holly, Faith, Tom, Tani, Mason, Jaxon, Brian, and Maddox. We were given the privilege to build a house for some beautiful Guatemalan people named Josue, Rocio, Junior, and Melany. The first day of building consisted of building the foundation of the house and putting up the walls. Josue was very helpful in building and organizing the materials while Rocio and the kids were a little distant at first. That all changed the second day when we began painting the inside of their new home. We began the day with going around with the whole team stuccoing the homes. When we returned and started painting, it seemed as if God opened their hearts to us. We started tracing the letters and pictures on the walls as a template to be painted over. Rocio and her sister were overjoyed to help us paint. After getting most of the house painted and decorated, Josue arrived and had the idea of painting a certain verse on the wall. Psalm 91:1. Psalm 91 is a very beautiful passage and impacts the life of many in Los Lotes. (We recommend reading it ;))
Psalm 91:1 says
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shelter of the Almighty.”
The family joined together in beautiful harmony and drew and painted the masterpiece together. We felt God’s presence in that moment. Our final day in Los Lotes was dedication day. As you have probably read previously this day is a VERY emotionally exhausting day. Our house was the second to last house dedicated and it was such a blessing to see the pure joy on their faces and how the little we did for them, impacted their lives in such great ways. We spent hours praying, singing, and reading the Bible over each house and specifically for every family to hear God’s name like never before and accept him into their lives. Praise God as every house accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior!!! This day was also very impactful to much of the team as We are sure that you will hear once we return from this beautiful place.
Josue, the father, who is 19 stands out as the leader in his family. He had such a deep intense love for his wife and his family and you could most definitely tell through his actions. We pray that he will continue to lead his family in God’s name filling the home with God’s love. Rocio, the mother, who is 20 was the caregiver of the family. She has the utmost respect for her husband and family. She absolutely adored her children and will be a big contributor in spreading the love of Jesus into her children’s lives.
We were so blessed to be able to meet, build relationships with, and build a house for this family and we pray that they will continue to let their light shine throughout the village. They have the potential to do amazing things in the name of God.
Please continue to pray for our mission team as we witness to people in a remote village today. Your prayers are the greater work.
THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT!!!
-Holly and Faith