07 April 2011

Intern - Tim Sloma - aka - Tim from Maine!

Many people wonder "just what do interns do with Mike & Sandi?"
Well, meet Tim Sloma, aka: Tim from Maine, or aka: Single Tim from Maine! or aka: Tim the bug man.
Tim is from Maine, where there were sub-freezing temps and snow when he left (and also when he returned).
Interns do many different things with us. Some serve in specific ministries etc. Some just want to learn what being a missionary is.
It can be very hard to sum up what we do, so Tim's purpose for coming was mainly to just do what we do on a regular basis, to see just what everyday life is like for a missionary here. He wanted to help where ever needed and just be a part of what we do.

Tim from Maine
 What Tim discovered over 5 weeks with us is that it can be hard to define what we do and put it all into words. He learned that it is very hard to quantify or measure what we do. We don't do numbers well, but what we do do is make relationships. Tim learned a lot about time running differently here. Time is to be spent with people, and he did lots of that. When I asked Tim at the end of his time here, what was something here that he hadn't expected before he came. He said, "I didn't expect to spend so much time with kids and youth. But...I loved it!"

Painting buckets for water filters with youth group
 Tim also brought 28 water filters with him to be given out to families in need. So shortly after he arrived we bought buckets and had an afternoon painting buckets with many of our youth.

Giving away clothes at Casita Benjamín
 Tim helped us with a big clothes give-away at Casita Benjamin in partnership with Abrazando mi Guatemala, a local ministry we assist. We were able to give away a LOT of clothes to poor families that live in the neighborhood around the dump. While the adults were picking out clothes the kids were having a fun time with organized games!

Team from St. Andrew Presbyterian church, Denton, TX
 Tim helped us prepare for a team from St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Denton, TX. 
He then joined in as part of the team for 10 days as we worked at a school in Puerto San José for 3 days before returning to the capital to work at Las Aldeas children's home.

Ferry to visit a small rural church
 While in Puerto San José he joined me and a couple others for a day visiting 8 daughter churches and giving out water filters. He learned a lot of the challenges facing these small rural churches.

Providing water filters to another church
 Each church we visited we were able to provide several water filters, one for the church, and some for the families with greatest need in each church. 
These were important visits because they laid groundwork for building relationships with these churches for future partnership in spreading the Gospel.

Mayan ruins at Iximché
 Tim also got to see many different things in Guatemala. He saw more Mango trees than most people will ever see! He also saw and learned more of the Mayan culture that is the root of Guatemala.

Lago de Atitlán
 He also visited what is perhaps the most beautiful lake in the world! 

Tim's pet "Cuchillo"
 Tim also has a strange attraction to bugs. He collected several different things and kept them alive as pets!
He had a scorpion he named Cuchillo (knife in Spanish), 2 cucarachas, a good sized spider etc.
Sandi told him several times "Tim, our house is NOT a zoo!"
He finally embalmed them in alcohol to take home with him (after losing a spider and cucaracha trying to get them into the alcohol...finally catching them again before Sandi found out)

playing with kids...it's what we do!
 Did I mention we spent a lot of time with kids?

Actually doing some work! well, watching Mike work.
 We did finally try to get some actual, measurable work done...fixing drains still plugged since Volcán Pacaya blew and cyclone Agatha hit last year. 
Well, Tim watched...okay, he did help some too, although I still haven't finished due to many activities etc to do with kids and youth!

Taking youth group bowling
 He helped me take a group of 21 youth bowling, many of them for the very first time!

Making mariposas with youth group
 Tim learned so many different things on this internship. He now knows how to make mariposas (butterflies) out of coffee filters and pipe cleaners!

Celebrating Maria's cumpleaños
 Tim helped celebrate a couple birthdays while here, one in Las Aldeas for one of our youth, and another for our daughter Maria!

Buying a hand crafted box after providing a water filter to this man for his family
 We also visited the neighborhood by the largest landfill dump in Central America to give water filters to some very needy families. We gave one to a gentleman that has a very small one room woodworking business. After we gave him a filter for he and his family to use, he showed us some of his handiwork. Tim even bought a small hand carved wood box from him!

Any wonder he didn't want to leave?
Tim also got to know many of the young people we work with, many of which happen to be girls. Tim seemed to really enjoy the relationship building part of our ministry! Just kidding!
Several of these girls are part of our youth group, and go to church with us etc. so Tim got to know them a little bit. This foto is saying goodbye before he left for the USA. 
So, Tim...miss us?

What a blessing having Tim here was for us, and a big encouragement to know that God is raising people up to do great things for His Kingdom.
Thank you Tim from Maine!