Guatemala 2016 Update – Getting Acclimated

(Monday, July 11, 2016)

Today was a good day in Guatemala.

My body is still on East Coast time, so I was up fairly early.  Of course, it doesn’t help that there were dogs barking and roosters crowing on and off throughout the night.  After I woke up, I walked up to the roof of the place where we are staying this year in Xenacoj.  From the roof, you can see most of Xenacoj.  And you can see the three highest mountain/volcano peaks off in the distance.  This morning, the sky was clear and the few of the mountains was spectacular.

On the roof, I took time to read and process II Thesallonians 2.  This chapter reminded me that there may be a lot of things happening in the world (like the Dallas police shootings, the Orlando night club shootings, the Minnesota and Louisanna shootings, and other terrible events), but there is still reason for hope.  Towards the end of the chapter, Paul reminds the readers to be encouraged, to stand firm, and to hold on to the eternal hope that is in Christ Jesus.  You may see this as a dark time (and many of these events are sad and sometimes scary), but we must remember to hold onto the hope we profess.

On the roof, I also took some time to record my thoughts on video and to outline some of the book I finished on the airplane (The Promise of a Pencil by Adam Braun).


After breakfast, we eventually made it over to the construction site of the first home we are building this year in Xenacoj.  We met Dolores, the widow who will be receiving the home, along with her daughter and a few of her grandchildren.  She doesn’t speak Spanish – only Katchequel (the native Mayan language), so it was especially hard to communicate with her.  Thankfully, German can speak Spanish, English, and Katchequel, so we has some translating throughout the day.

Building these houses is always a learning experience.  We learn more about what not to do next time, and hopefully, we learn more about what to do as well.  If I’m going to build 100 houses in Guatemala before I die, I better start taking notes.


We took a break for lunch, and before returning to work at this job site, German drove me over the other widow’s construction site.  The widow, Maria, came out and helped us move lumber into her yard for construction later during our trip.  According to German and Dave, she was the persistent widow.  She kept asking German to build a house for her.  When funds became available to build a second house this year, it was an answer to her prayers.


Back at the Jobsite, we were able to complete the framing, and the house should be ready for a roof and walls when we return to the Jobsite on Wednesday.


This evening, we enjoyed a natural, God-provided fireworks display as we watched a huge lightning storm over the mountains surrounding Xenacoj.  It was absolutely beautiful and it lasted for hours.  The fireworks display was another reminder of how beautiful it really is here in Guatemala.  The landscape is incredible, and the people are amazing.


Tomorrow, we’re scheduled to go to the village of Santa Marie to help clean the ears of widows in the village.  It will provide a new adventure for sure.  But that’s for tomorrow.  If Xenacoj has taught me anything, it’s taught me that plans change and sometimes you just need to go with the flow.

For now, I’m shutting off the light and heading to bed.  I’m exhausted.

Good night.