29 May 2010


It's been a long time since I updated the blog.
Not that we haven't done anything, just haven't gotten around to it! We have had teams here, helped get a church started, Provided water filters to families in need, etc etc etc. Our intern season has begun, we have 3 here now and 4 more on their way soon.

BUT, the big news these days is weather and natural happenings!

Many of you know of Volcán Pacaya. Pacaya is an active Volcano about 15 miles from Guatemala City. It has been erupting continuously, more or less, for many, many years.
Most of the time you can hike right up onto the mountain right up to the lava!
I have done this a few times (see our post from earlier this year).
We also, as a family and with an intern, hiked up Pacaya on May 16th.
View of Volcanoes Fuego, Acatenango, & Agua (l to r)

It was a Sunday, so we climbed a peak that overlooked Pacaya and had a little church service of our own! We sang songs and marveled at God's creation!

We had our service on the top of this peak!

We then ran down the face of that peak to walk up to some lava flows.
View of Pacaya from our "church"

We had a very special time worshiping on the mountain. From where we sat, we faced the mountain, watched lava flowing down the side, heard the lava flowing and rocks falling, and could also see 3 other volcanoes near by, and between them all we could see out to the Pacific Ocean and saw two large cargo ships at sea!

Our congregation!

We had a great time and saw some amazing things! But what's interesting is that the next morning, they closed access to the mountain for increasing activity! It is still closed to the public, and the towns nearby have been evacuated.

Hot lava

Last Thursday evening, 27th of May, we were in leading worship at Casa Kairos, a home for children with cancer, and their families. It is a place for them to stay when they come from far away for treatment at the hospital here.
Anyway, we were singing and it began to rain. There is a plastic lamina roof over where we sing and it tends to leak when it rains. So we always have buckets out. Well, we heard it raining fairly hard, for quite a while when I realized there were not any drops falling in the buckets nearby. Then the caretaker came in and told us it was raining sand! It truly was raining black sand! Not really ash, but sand. Just like at the ocean here. Pacaya had a major eruption. The airport here is still closed, they are now saying for another 5 days.
When we went outside, it looked like a fresh layer of new asphalt over everything! Including our car! It is very abrasive and we had to drive out in the sand fall. My brand new wiper blades are SHOT! Click on the link below for a short video of some erupting!

Washing volcanic sand off the car

But, to make it more complicated, it has been raining for 3 days strait. It is the rainy season, but this is unusual. There is a large depression off the Pacific coast, that today was named as the first tropical storm of the season (which isn't supposed to begin for two more days). We could have up to two more days of rain. This is a problem, because many people just have lamina roofs, and the sand itself is very heavy, but with the rain roofs could cave in etc. Drains are also plugged all over for the sand, and mudslides are a real threat.
We have some plugged drains, and our car is leaking water in several places. Hard to fix much while it is raining constantly.
But, Praise God, we are dry inside our home, where many people are not.
Tonight I am going with a small group in to meet with some youth that live on the streets in Zona 3. We have it pretty good compared to many.