Today (Friday) we woke up early in the morning and took a three hour bus ride to a village called El Dormido. No other team had ever been here before, Luis told us. Upon arrival, we met Pastor Benicio, a man with a passion for the people in his village. The students range from grades 4-6. The first thing we did was hand out the pouches that were coloured by the children at the Safe Haven VBS and filled with things like colouring books, soaps, toothbrushes, toothpaste, crayons and other items. The children were very happy to receive them. Pastor Mike preached from John 3:16 and talked to the parents and children about the importance of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross for their sins and the impact of the decision to accept Him into their lives. The children were then sent into a classroom where the puppet team performed for them. The expressions on the kids' faces said it all, never having seen puppets before. At the same time, the parents received bags of food to feed their families for a long period of time. The parents were grateful to receive this gift. We as a team were able to hand them the food and bless them. After this, we were able to hand the children some bread, water, and toys that were brought by members of the team.
Pastor Mike, Ron, Markus and Martin headed out to another section of the village that had to be accessed by boat. They, along with Luis, Pastor David and Pastor Benicio delivered gifts and supplies from the team to a number of very needy families. They said it was the poorest village they had seen! They gave an old man roofing for his house...he had a very small house that even Pastor Mike had to bend over to enter! The man called the guys "angels" as he realized what the team had done for him and he wept openly. Other families were moved to tears as well. What a big heart Pastor Benicio has to minister to people when he himself has very little! Pray for him.
A family of the village hosted us for a lunch and swim at their home. Some of us took time to walk on the beach that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. What a view!!! If that is not proof that God created our world than what is! On the way back, we took a "ferry trip" Pictures to come will say it all!
We were able to share a meal with the AOJ staff and spend our final evening in Guatemala as one AOJ family. God has placed special people at the school and they remain in our prayers. Their resiliency and passion for the children of the school play out every day. We are only here for a week but they are in the trenches every day. They were so helpful during the week and they do not get enough credit for the work they do. They are a blessing.