27 November 2010


Time to back up a bit! 
I forgot to post about our barrilete activity with some of our youth!
November 1st is Dia de los Santos (All Saints Day) and is a holiday here in Guatemala. One of the traditions that day is to make and fly kites (barriletes).
There are even big competitions and some towns make kites up to 20 feet across and more, and fly them!

We gathered our youth for an all day activity to make and fly kites in the traditional way.
We received permission to use the entire grounds at CAG, Christian Academy of Guatemala, the missionary kids school our daughter attends.

Hard at work
 Oscar and I had purchased all the needed supplies in advance, using long dried stalks of grass for the skeleton, thread, papel china (tissue paper) and a home made glue.

Preparing to wrap the kite
You tie the grass together with the thread in a hexagonal shape.
Then you can wrap it in papel china.

After that you can decorate it how ever you like.Finally, you make long tails to help it fly steady.

Showing off their kites!
 Our youth were very creative, and there were some real works of art!
After working for several hours, Sandi arrived with a dozen pizzas and soft drinks so we all took a much needed break!

After lunch a time of worship
 After the pizza, we finished up the kites, then had a time of worship and devotional together.

Displaying kites before launch
 We took a group photo, then out to the soccer field to FLY!
And, most all of them flew very well.
We had four prizes we gave out also, 1st and 2nd place for the kites that flew best, highest, and longest.
And 1st and 2nd place for the most creative kites!

Yes, they fly wonderfully!
It was a GREAT day, everyone had lots, and lots of fun, and most all took their kites home to hang on their wall!

26 November 2010

Graduations, Quinceañera, birthdays, etc.

November has become a very busy month for us as we become more involved with more and more youth.
The school year here runs roughly from mid-January until late October / mid-November.
This means lots of end of year activities and also graduations! Graduations are a very big deal here, whether it is from elementary school, middle school, high school, college, whatever.
Most of our youth have little or no family, and we are often invited to represent them as "family".
Laura graduating in children´s education!
One of the young ladies we work with, Laura, was graduating from a program for basically, elementary school teachers. She wants to be an art teacher! 
Laura has no close family (well, two brothers, but no parents etc.) and she asked if I would be her 'Papá' and join her on stage to receive her diploma! It was a huge honor, Laura is a very special young lady.
Carmen, Yaneth, Sharol, Eny & Angel graduate!
A week or so later I was asked to again be 'Papá' & Tio for several more of our youth at their clausura, which is a promotion to the next level of study, but appears just like a graduation!

Jackelin graduates!
Another clausura I was invited to attend for Jackelin, who also has no close family to attend on her behalf.

Eny's quinceañera
November is also a busy month for us when it comes to birthdays. Between, family, friends and our youth we had 14 birthdays on the calendar for November! We try to recognize all our youth's birthdays with a gift and if possible cake etc. For many, it is the only recognition they will get on their day.
But when it's a girl, and she turns 15, it is a BIG deal here. 
A traditional quinceañera here can best be described as a full blown wedding, without a groom!
Nov. 14th was Eny Minuya Hernández 15th birthday and I went to her party! With a full catered meal too!

Laura's 20th birthday!
We celebrated several other birthdays also, and also had several of our youth to our house for a traditional USA thanksgiving dinner! Of course it was also a birthday celebration (mine) and was a wonderful evening.
For many of the youth it was their very first experience for stuffing, cranberry sauce, and first time for pumpkin pie!

Now, we head toward December and will be holding two and three times a week youth gatherings to practice for Noche Buena. The youth are anxious to get going with all of our activities planned, lots and lots to do, but it is soooooo much fun!
Please be praying for Christmas activities and also for many of our youth. Christmas is a very hard time for them, we hope through lots of activities and serving others, we can help them build some good memories of Christmas.
Please also pray for Laura and Diana, two of our youth that have been sent out from the children's home setting to begin a life independent! It is very scary for them, and for us, they are both living in not the best situations and both in areas that are somewhat dangerous.

Now....on to December!

03 November 2010

Dios de esta Ciudad

Just a quick post to add a link to a song and video....it's only 4 minutes, so...please check it out.
This has been my favorite song for a couple of years, it just really speaks my heart for where we are.
We just received a link to this version in Spanish, 
and it is all pictures of Guatemala!
In English the song is 'God of this City' by Chris Tomlin.
In Spanish it is 'Dios de esta Ciudad' and is performed by Blest.
(Just click on the links above) 
View of part of downtown Guatemala City
Many of you know that I walk a lot...that is my quiet time, my inspiration time, my 'vision' time, my worship time and my prayer time. In addition, Sandi and I walk together a lot and
it is our sharing time too.
Point...there is a spot I like to walk to that looks out over most of the entire city. It is absolutely beautiful! (Yes, it also means you have to walk uphill a LOT)
I like to just look out over the city and pray for it. And, almost every time I also sing this song while looking over the city.
More Guatemala City
 As most of you know, Guatemala City is a congested, poverty filled, spiritually dark, dangerous, crime filled, smelly, dirty, loud and sometimes obnoxious city.
AND I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. I love every opportunity it presents,
I love it more than any place I've every been,
it is my heart and soul here,
and you know what else, 
More Guatemala City
 This, for all of the reasons above, is a land of opportunities.
The people need Jesus, they need to just know they are loved.
More Guatemala City
Grandes Cosas Vienen Ya
Grandes Cosas Dios Hará
En Este Pueblo

Greater Things Are Yet To Come
Greater Things Are Still To Be Done
In The City