Friday In Xenacoj

Our family arrived home very early this morning from Guatemala. I’m guessing that it might take me a couple of days to get back into the blogging routine and to catch up on some of the things I have missed this week. With that in mind, here are some of the details from our Friday activities in the village of Xenacoj.

Friday In Xenacoj

We drove up to El Calvario this morning to serve 50 of the poorest children in this school which is one of the largest schools in Xenacoj. Hannah and I had been here last year when we hosted a football/sports camp with our high school youth group. I was excited to make a return visit to this school. As soon as we got close to the school, I was amazed to see a brand new roof structure over the soccer field of the school. I’m sure this will be a major help in giving the kids a better place to play.

During our visit, the school was having a huge festival/fundraiser. We fed meals to the kids first. Leanne and our kids each had a chance to share about God’s love for each of the children. From there, we wandered by a couple of classrooms. Leanne and I stumbled upon a classroom full of 18 four and five year old kids without any adult supervision. The kids started running around their classroom screaming when they saw “the Gringos” standing at the door. Soon the young teacher showed up at the door. Leanne and I were able to talk with her about her class and about her training. She definitely has her hands full as she leads this class without any assistants.

We then made it to a playground/courtyard where kids were running around and playing. I ended up playing basketball with some of the kids. It was fun to teach some of the younger students how to bounce pass. Our group of Gringos were clearly a hit with the kids.

We spent most of the afternoon packaging beans and rice and sorting out goodies to give to the widows. We assembled over 150 baskets that included: corn, rice, beans, sugar, ibuprofen, toothpaste, toothbrush, potatoes, soap, oil, granola bar, chocolate, hairbrush, hand sanitizer, Chapstick, t-shirt, and matches. These goodies were all donated by our H.O.P.E. group back home in Pennsylvania. H.O.P.E. stands for helping other people everywhere. Most of our service projects are directed towards local outreach opportunities. The “everywhere” part of our group took on new meaning with these baskets which truly made a difference in the lives of the widows.

After packaging up the baskets, we walked back over to Zuli’s house where we dropped off three bags of beans, rice, and sugar. It was neat to show Dave Sgro and Jeff Spooner the house that Hannah and I helped to build last year. Dave was very interested in building some similar homes in the town in the future.

Friday night, we threw a big party for the widows of the community. We handed out bread, coffee, and ice cream. There were several speeches given by important people in the community. I had an opportunity to share as well. It was an interesting expense having my words translated into both Spanish and Kaqchiquel.