Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Guatemala Day 8

For the past three days, we have been living in a remote village called ?Ceboc?. It is located high in the mountains (at 7,000 feet above sea level) which meant a little less oxygen and little more struggling up steep mountain trails. On Sunday morning, we had the privilege of attending the local church service. Although we could not understand any of the 3-hour service, we still felt a sense of bonding as a body of believers through the Holy Spirit. Towards the close of the service, Rob suggested that the class sing some of our favorite songs for the congregation (such as Great Is He and The Doxology). In return, the church's youth group performed their song for us which they had written specifically for our visit. Following the service's conclusion, we gathered outside in a large circle and met our assigned host families. The distances of the journeys to our homes varied from a few steps from the church to an hour long hike. Although all of our stays were unique and even challenging at times, they all shared a few qualities that kept reappearing as the class shared their experiences. For example, each of us have realized the amazing display of hospitality that the Guatemalan families have shown to us. They share freely of what they have - begrudging nothing. And although they are not rich in earthly possessions, they are rich in precious jewels such as their dedicated love for God and their deep regard for family ties.
In addition, Monday morning half of the class chose to take a hike to the very top of a mountain that offered a magnificent view. On a clear day, the mountains that mark the border of Mexico can be seen.
Concluding our home stay this morning, each family sent a guide to lead us back to the designated meeting place. There were many exchanges of hugs, thank-you's, and good-bye's. Twenty-six of us squeezed into the charter bus, and the remaining students and advisors either rode in the cab or stood in the back of the pick-up truck.
Upon our return, the unwashed masses (a.k.a. the students) made a mad dash for the showers. Everyone emerged from the showers feeling refreshed and grateful. We were given the rest of the day to rest and recharge - both physically and electronically. We were also given the option of buying Guatemalan coffee, chocolate, and candles. The proceeds serve as scholarships for the girls at the training center.
Tomorrow, we leave at 5:30 AM for our fun day at the water park. We look forward to this day of sight-seeing and relaxation. After the fun day, we will begin the journey home.
-Grace Crider

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Guatemala Day 5

We've been continuing in our jobs for the past two days. My room gets up at 6:00 A.M. every morning in order to be to breakfast on time at 6:30. After that, we have Buenos Dias. We sing with the girls and read the Bible in a language none of us can understand. There is still a beautiful feeling of unity, however.

After lunch we visited caves. The first was a short and beautiful hike along a river. The weather was warm and the cave was beautiful. The second was a much longer but equally lovely trek. Although the mud was ankle deep, it was lots of fun.

We've been spending more time with the girls lately, specifically the three girls that are helping with the WALC program (me, Lindsey, and Michaela). Although we can't speak fluent Spanish, we've been bonding in unique ways with things such as hair and basic interests. The girls are beyond sweet and loving, constantly asking questions that we sometimes do not understand, but still do our best to answer.

I had the privilege of teaching two of the girls some English yesterday. They wanted to know how to say "Que Pasa" in English. Now, they come up to me every now and then excitedly saying "What's up?".

Yesterday we began making chocolate with the girls. Today we will be finishing the job and also making soap. This is our last full day at the farm, for tomorrow we leave for the village. We will be out of contact for three days.

-Hannah Carey

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Day 2

Even though this is Day 2 of our trip, it seems like Day 1. Tuesday was spent traveling from 1:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. We got through customs and the airport very smoothly! We embarked on our 5 hour bus ride to the center with a great lunch from a local bakery. We stopped halfway through for a potty break and ice cream treat from Rob. The boys threw the football and drew a crowd because they had not seen this played in "real life". Some of the locals boys threw the football with our students and really got a kick out of that experience.

The center where we are working is quite beautiful. After arriving here, we settled into our rooms and had a supper of macaroni and cheese! Dessert was banana cake. After showers and a long day, we headed to bed.

We were divided into groups today. One group pulled tree logs from the mountain to the center, another group did gardening which entailed cutting through thick vegetation with machetes, and the last group worked with the girls in the training program by baking bread.

After lunch, we took a hike to a cave and then continued working at the center when we returned. We celebrated Michaela's birthday with carrot cake and ice cream. I tried to find a student to write this blog, but they were all in bed....so next time we will try to do this earlier. But, I know you are anxious to see how things are going, so I wanted to get something in tonight. We will continue with our work projects tomorrow and hike to a bigger cave later in the day. In the evening, we are going to have an activity with the girls at the center.

It's been good. Students are healthy and doing well. All of the water here is filtered. Today was beautiful with no rain!--Patty Flood

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Arrived Safe and Sound

The senior class has arrived in Guatemala, safe and sound.

On Our Way!

The SCA Class of 2017 left Chambersburg this morning at 1:00 am! They safely landed in Houston, Texas and are getting ready for the next leg of the journey to Guatemala. They expect to arrive there later this afternoon.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Commissioning Service

This afternoon the commissioning service was held for our seniors going on the missions trip to Guatemala as well as those staying to do local ministry. We are leaving at 1:00 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Safely Home

The Senior Class of 2016 has successfully completed our missions trip! We arrived at school at 2:15 am yesterday, and have been catching up on our sleep ever since. We would like to thank everyone for all of your prayers and support on our trip, and we are excited to share all the wonderful stories we have to tell.