To begin with, I apologize for the delayed posts. I do not have wifi at the compound, only at Les and Rita’s house, so I was unable to post until I got the password. If you need to get in contact with me, I can text and if you’re reading this blog, you most likely have my contact information to do so. If you don’t, do not hesitate to drop your information off on the ‘contact’ page on my blog and I will try and connect with you as soon as possible.
Today was a lovely day in Guatemala. We were blessed with absolutely gorgeous weather! I thank God for His wonderful creation and the amazing things He creates for our pleasure and joy. The variety of plants that God has created on this earth is overwhelming and just demonstrates the awesomeness of our savior Jesus Christ. We woke up bright and early at 6:30 this morning. I felt quite rested, although I could have gotten more sleep even after 10 hours of sleep. The girls and I got dressed and ready for the day and had a short time of prayer before heading down the hill to the guest house/dining room. There we met some of the other teams (i.e. the medical team) and had a wonderful breakfast of french toast and fruit. All the food is prepared by Hugo and his wife Claudia. Interestingly, Les and Rita do not hire people unless they are Christians, so it’s amazing that even the garden workers and cooks and staff are all brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s amazing to see how going to a different country, with a different language and culture, may be different and strange and new, however, our bond that we have within Christ is so powerful and impactful. I have more in common with these Guatemalans than I do with people in Coloardo and I believe that’s a beautiful thing about the Gospel. How it can unite people so firmly!
After breakfast, we were invited to attend the staff meeting. Now, it wasn’t a normal boring staff meeting. Becuase this ministry is actually based in Canada, one of the teams that is down here is actually part of the Canadian staff. This staff meeting was different because we were able to hear the Guatemalan staff’s testimonies and how they got involved in the ministry. Their stories were incredible and seeing God work in their lives to bring them not only to Christ but also to this ministry and seeing the work of God’s hand throughout the entire place is simply incredible. Directly afterwards we went to Les and Rita’s house and had a lunch of grilled cheese and home-grown tomato soup. Yes we’re in Guatemala, but we got a wonderful taste of home 🙂
After lunch, we got dressed for our first day of teaching! Although we weren’t teaching English, we were teaching music for three hours. This is a ministry that we will be bringing to the kids three times a week for six weeks! I am excited to share music with them! We were driven by Wilson, a Guatemalan who doesn’t speak any English. Already being able to talk with some staff I have noticed my understanding and my speaking to be getting better. Upon arrival at the school in Tactic, we were taken to the music teacher. I believe his name was Alec, but I can’t remember quite straight. He showed us the minimal instruments they had and the names of the students we will be teaching. All of us girls play some instrument or other. I play and teach violin and piano and I had heard there was a cello, so when I was at home I thought, why not plink around on one. I had borrowed a friends’ and can play some pretty basic stuff. However, it seems in Guatemala maybe actually means yes. So…..since I was the only one of our group that remotely sorta knew how to play, I was assigned to teach ALL of the cello students. That was my first real shock of, wow, I’m actually teaching and I’m teaching something I have no idea how to play as well as in a different language that I can speak intermediately. My first student, however, was a young girl who played piano. Our lesson went really great and I could tell that while our communication wasn’t the greatest, she just wanted to learn how to play piano. Afterwards came my hour and a half of cello lessons. I had a boy who was about 15 or so and he could play some actual songs. My biggest challenge wasn’t teaching the cello, I was surprised at how well I could actually teach it and that was a a reminder that God is always near and always with me and Sara and I had prayed before we taught as we were getting really nervous, it was the the fact that they don’t think in ABCDEFG notes. They have been taught in Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Si (Ti). That was a big learning curve for me, but David (my first cello student) was very forgiving and kind at my probably many blunders. After that I had two students at one time. They were older as well, probably my age or even maybe older. The girls’ name was Natia and I don’t remember the guys’ name. (oops…) Anyway, they were more advanced than I ever expected. To be honest, they were probably better than me. However, we just learned some hymns (Yes, I did play along and was amazed at how well I could play, considering I have had no lessons.) After our lessons, we had a quick deprief with Wilson and the music teacher (in Spanish of courfse) and then headed back to the ministry.
Once there, we basically went straight to supper in the didning room. It was a quiet evening, so we went back to our rooms and hadan orientation meeting with Julie (her husband Julio is in charge of hospitality) and a couple other people from a different team. For about an hour after the orientation, the girls and I had a lovely fellowship time just talking with each other. Then we went to bed. I am ready for another full day! Praise God everything went smoothly today.
In Christ Always,