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Friday, July 16, 2010

Guatemala Day Five

I awoke this morning to three of the team members having been up most of the night with a stomach sickness. The thing we had been waiting to happen finally happened. It really wasn't unexpected but was still a disappointment. So then a decision had to be made about the days activities. We were supposed to be at the church by 2:30pm to load up instruments and head to the smaller church where our first service was to take place. It wasn't that everyone was laying in bed groaning but no one dared be far from the bathroom and in Guatemala City the car rides are often over and hour or more and bathrooms are not in ready supply. After calling both pastors and coming to the conclusion that their wouldn't be more than 10 people at this service we decided it would be best to let everyone get throiugh this illness in order to be ready for the much larger services the next three days. The reason it was such a small service was because it is a very small church of less than 10 people and it is located within a red light district in the worst zone of Guatemala City. They had wanted us to go door to door to invite people to the service but everyone we spoke with had strongly advised against that. In fact most suggested that we don't even go out of the building once there. There has been much made of the fact, also, that we drive a car without tinted windows and that wasn't even a good idea in that zone. It really was frustrating for everyone. We wanted to do the service but weighing everything we just thought it was best to try to get people healthy. So that made for a very dull day. I really wanted to get out in the car and drive but I knew that I would never find my way back. The complete lack of road signs and an adequate map has relegated me to relying on our Guatemalan team member for all navigation while driving. I also didn't feel right about taking him with me and leaving everyone to their discomfort. So they spent the day sleeping for the most part. For breakfast I had cereal again but after I finished the maid made eggs and onions which typically we would eat in a tortilla if I were at home with my wife making it the Puerto Rican way. They ate it with a Guatemalan type of bread which look like very small hamburger buns when they are still connected in the bag. They do not have the consistancy of hamburger buns however, more like a biscuit or a more dense and drier bread. For lunch (ha ha the highlights of our day) we were prepared a magnificant meal of chicken breast soup, steamed vegetables (potatoe, carrots and one that no one knew what it was but it was actually good), steamed, white rice (the first time we have had rice since we have been here which surprised me), and hand made corn tortillas. I enjoyed it very much but I think it was wasted on the rest since they were not in the mood to eat anything at all. In the evening we decided to invite a couple of the other worship team members from the Guatemalan church to come up to the house so we could really get to know how they view worship and where they are with God. Three of us headed into the city to pick them up. We parked at the church and our Guatemalan team member walked the three blocks to their house to get them. I don't know why we didn't just drive to their house and I didn't ask. As we were waiting for them to return, we heard many sirens behind us and as we watched, 10 truckloads of armed military police flew down the street. I wanted to follow them so bad, ha ha. But we stayed put, with the doors locked, keeping an open eye. On the way home we stopped at the same chicken place we had the other day. This time we went to the take out counter to order. I chose shrimp this time and also noticed they had Flan (a favorite hispanic dessert of mine) and so I ordered that as well. We took our orders back to the house and we discussed worship and God and church life while we ate. The night continued as they started trying to teach us more Spanish and we taught them a little English. It was a fun time. Some other of the family members came by to say hi and they offered to drive the guys back to the city which we greatly appreciated. We got to bed about 11:30pm and I think we will be ready for a busy but great day tomorrow. Pray for us. Nyk

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