Friday started out a little differently than the building days here in Guatemala. Firstly, we got to sleep in a little longer, which some would consider the first blessing of the day. After that we had an amazing breakfast and personal devotions and got right to work at base camp. The group organized medical pills and equipment for the day that we would spend in the highlands. Once the leaders were confident enough in our preparation we had a little free time followed by group devotions. After a time of singing and Bible study we piled into the giant white vans and set off on our expedition. The ride was around two hours of winding, bumpy roads what weaved from city to country and snaked up into what Iowans would call mountains. The road went from paved to gravel and dirt at the end, and there more more than a few that were feeling the trip once we reached the destination. Once we got to the village in the hills we quickly established a base of operations in a very nice school building. The building had running water and electricity and was quite comfortable. As the group started the clinic Dan organized the medical stations and explained to 6 people the way to fill out the medical orders that he and Leslie (the local nurse) prescribed. Vicky was so much help in this room going from question to question that us gringos had right to helping diagnose and give medical care to the people. As the medical room set up, was trained, and organized the rest of the group set up atmosphere for the day. They brought out toys and all sorts of things for the kids. They started games of frisbee and clustered tables for coloring books and painting nails. In not time children were dashing about laughing and screaming in pure delight, there were also a few adults that got involved with the festivities. Within an hour of set up the medical clinic began to pick up steam and roll. Those of us working in the clinical assembly line had the pleasure to see the joy of the kids as they came from their games outside as well as the relief of their parents as they were given medicine for ailments. We worked and played for a while, I do not recall exactly how long it was because it seemed a mere moment. A total of 32 families saw Dan and Leslie for diagnosis. 32 family orders were filled by volunteers. 32 families had their medication explained by the Spanish speaking volunteers, 32 families received gifts, toys, and a time to forget everything and play with gringos locos. 32 families were able to view a movie about the life of Jesus. And 32 families were able to come to Jesus or re-affirm their faith.
The movie followed right after the medical clinic finished, the projector being set up while the clinic was in production. The people were entranced with the film, the adults almost more so than the children. It was here that I would like to think the second blessing occurred. This is debatable since many in the group would claim they saw other miracles throughout the day. This miracle was one that we had been praying to avoid the three days prior, it began to rain. I say the rain was a miracle because it brought all the people under the roof of the shelter where the movie was being shown. There were more than a few undecided stragglers that were in the open lot where games had been played, and it was easier to come to the shelter to get out of the rain than go home. Moments after the rain began the viewing size doubled. The rain was a miracle because it not only allowed the people to see a movie on the life of Jesus, but because after the movie the group was able to stand in front of the people and sing songs of praise and offer testimony through translators. The testimonies that remain in my mind are those of Nancy, who gave a message of gifts from God and then sang a solo on the Lord’s Prayer in her incredible voice. The second was that of Jamey, who challenged the men of the village to provide for their family not only through hard work, but also spiritual guidance and leadership. It was convicting to see the men of the village, farmers and leaders of the community nod in agreement to this challenge, taking up this call.
After the testimonies, Pastor Hermano Jesus took the stage to give a message and sermon to the entire village. His message was convicting and passionate, Southern Baptist ministers would take notes. He preached from his heart, he preached with conviction. It was a blessing to witness and hear the sermon even though we did not understand what was being said. At the end of his message he called up the village to receive the Lord Jesus as their savior or reaffirm their faith. The people rushed the pastor to receive his direction and blessing. They repeated the words of accepting and took Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It was an emotional time. At this time we prayed over the people and with the people, hugging and crying with them, and then distributed Bibles to 32 families.
After the message, rice and beans were distributed and the day drew to an end. It was here that we saw the final miracle of the day. As the rain helped before it brought an obstacle for the ride home. The muddy hilly roads needed to be trekked again, but this time in the dark. We stopped a few times along the way back, but the group made it home wet and tired, but safe.
It was a day filled with emotions, blessings, and miracles. The people received comfort through medicine and message, and their hunger was satiated with food and the word of God. We were blessed to be there. It is an experience that I will never forget, and one that I pray they will remember and treasure and build off for their own Spiritual life. I know that it is an event that I personally will build on in my own life.