We returned late last night to our homes in Indianapolis, but for the past week Mission Guatemala was our home. Forgive us for being stuck between two homes as we start our week. We are not the same people that arrived in Guatemala last week. We look the same – maybe a little more sun … or fatigued from all the work, but there is something different.
We learned about Mayan and Guatemalan culture through our visits to San Antonio and San Juan. We experienced the culture through food, shopping, futbol (soccer), and a special program.
We worked hard – I mean really hard – as construction continued on the House of the Teacher – a needed administration building for the teachers of the district. This building will help serve and train the over 200 teachers that serve over 5000 students in the District. Many of the teachers will travel several hours by foot to attend the training that will be able to take place here. The teachers purchased the land and provided the labor to pour the roof by hand – one bucket at a time.
The construction work is unique to say the least. This is complicated by the use of multiple teams of people from the USA that mean well, but have limited skill. By the time the project is complete it will have taken two years and over 80 teams of volunteers. Estimated completion is early Summer 2019.
In addition to the construction work, we had a team of volunteers that worked along side Dr John to provide a free dental clinic at the Clinic in San Andreas. They were able to see over 60 patients in four days and extract over 120 teeth.
While there were tears of pain and fear, there was also an overwhelming sense of gratitude from the parents and patients. To begin to understand the need consider the words (translated) from one of the older patients, “I have has this horrible pain for several months, but when I visited the dentist in my community, the cost was far more than I could afford. Thank you for caring enough to come and make me well.”
The need to come home to family, friends, and life is now joined by our need to plan a trip to return to Guatemala and the family and friends we have there.
As we each have returned with a story to share and memories to last a lifetime. Take time to ask and then listen to the stories.
On behalf of the Epworth Team,
Bethany, Emma, Leif, Riley, Nate, Natalie, John, Lucinda, Dick, Vern, Jane, Mark, Susie, Teri, Aaron, Brian, Angel, Mat, and myself
Thanks for supporting us …
If you would like to join us on our next trip … just call or email me