Today will be the last day that we get to work in Xenacoj (pronounced Chen-a-coe). The people here are so beautiful. The children wander the streets at all hours of the day as if looked after by the community at large. The men work in the fields or in the sweatshops making the clothes than many Americans wear. The women care for the children and weave beautiful fabrics. The people here do not have very much compared to American standards, but they also seem to have something that’s missing from many Americans. They have a sense of contentment and a sense of family that goes above and beyond what you would find in most U.S. homes. I’ve definitely been moved by these people.
I kind of expected that when I came on this trip. I expected to be moved (even wrecked) by the people of Guatemala. I also anticipated that we’d be able to have an impact on their lives. I’ve definitely seen that as we’ve entered the homes of many offering new stoves, words of encouragement, and prayer. This has also been pretty amazing.
What I underestimated was the opportunity to be a part of life change in the lives of the students who came on this adventure. I am getting to talk with kids I had never met before this trip. They are opening up about the challenges they face at home, and they are sharing how God is impacting their lives through the trip. In my small group last night, several guys commented that they want to stay and help more. One teen shared that he wants to come back with family in a couple of weeks. And one student was an absolute emotional wreck as he processed what he had witnessed in Xenacoj that past few days. It’s pretty amazing to see this and to be part of the team that gets to help these teens work through these thoughts and feelings. I now understand that I was not just brought here to be a chaperone, God had bigger plans for me. I am so thankful for each of these kids!
Please pray for our team as we wrap up our work in Xenacoj today. Pray that we would leave it all there and that we would be effective in ministering to these beautiful people. Pray for our students (and adults) as we continue to process what we’ve seen. Pray that we’d all be able to transfer and use it in our own lives and in the lives of others when we get home. Pray also that we would be challenged to get out of our comfort zones as the normal and not the exception.
Tomorrow, we will go to see the Mayan ruins, and we will spend time in Antigua. And Friday will be a very long travel day. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to check in more than this until I get home. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers!