We were all excited about today. We finally got to meet the family we were building a house for. We started out with Eddie’s Bible study. 1 Chronicles 16:8-30. My favorite verse is 16:23
Let the whole earth sing to the LORD!
Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
The drive up to the house was crazy. To say they live off the beaten path is an understatement. We got as high as 8,200 feet on the drive. The house ended up being at 7,000 feet. So, a lot of up and down. The wardrobe dresser was loaded in the truck in front of us. I can’t believe it wasn’t completely destroyed in the drive.
When we arrived, Ben said it was a 5-minute walk to the site. Yes, but very steep walk. Eddie drew the short straw and ended up helping carry the dresser on the crazy path. Thank you Eddie!
I also want to thank Pastor Juanito and his helpers. They not only took the building supplies out there ahead of time but poured to concrete foundation. And, they honored my request to make the site wheelchair friendly. You can see from the picture the ramp goes up to the front porch. It also goes to the bathroom.
Every year, there is something unique that happens with one person we work with that relates to a team member. When we walked up, I began to ask what people’s names were. Several motioned they could not hear. Actually 3 of them were deaf and mute (can’t talk). I had a feeling this was going to happen as Eddie knows sign language. Unfortunately, they do not know sign language. They do have their own special signs, but they relate to themselves. I really liked this family. They each helped quite a bit. I was so encouraged seeing them. The dad in the family is in a wheelchair due to a fall. But, his sister and brothers are the deaf mutes. The two brothers helped so much. One time I was working with one of the brothers. Afterwards, I put my hand up in the air to give him a high-five. He looked at me strangely, turned to his family to see if they knew what I was doing. When he turned back around I gave myself a high-five through demonstration. After he understood, he smiled very big and hit my hand. Here are some pics of Juan’s two brothers and his sisters:
Juan is the dad. He fell 8-years ago down an 80-foot ravine. Fortunately, there were people there to help. He cannot walk and relies on the generosity of others to help him get around and go to church.
The most special part of the day was meeting Bacilia. She is 9-years old and speaks three languages (Spanish and two Mayan dialects). She loves school and is getting straight A’s. When Chris first asked her what she wanted to do when she gets older, she couldn’t come up with anything. When Chris asked her again later, she said she wanted to be a lawyer, because she likes to help people.
Everyone got busy. We all had our projects. I did a lot of metal work. Tim and Ray did metal and windows. Eddie did metal work and the stove. I’m amazed at how patient Ben and Emily are with us. They can put in 3 screws for our one. We worked a couple of hours then stopped for lunch and talked with the family. After lunch we all worked very hard and got done a short time before dark. We still needed to do the dedication, gather the tools and drive down the hill.
We were also able to sponsor a new bathroom with running water and a flushing toilet. Thank you Pastor Juanito!!! Here is the before and after:
The dedication was great. Chris was able to spend a lot of time hearing Juan’s story and discovering his relationship with God. All three of the family are Christians.
We made it back to the van right before dark. Ben took off with the spray paint machine strapped to the roof. He had the drive fast to get momentum to make it up the mountain. He heard some noise, stopped and realized the sprayer had come loose. Fortunately he stopped, or we would have lost it.
While we were very tired, Juanito’s church wanted to throw a dinner for us. The steak was delicious. The conversation was great. I love his family and I love his church. This is my favorite week. I get to come serve Jesus, see some of my favorite people and meet great people as we work. I love Guatemala!!!
Tomorrow is our last full day. We will install one more stove and then head to Xepac to dedicate the school. Then, back to the Barcelo hotel for our last night very close to the airport.