¡Adios Guatemala!

Well our time in Guatemala has come to an end and we head back to Honduras this weekend.

Just wanted to share some photos from our trip.

Colorful market

The local restaurants had a competition to see which waiters and waitresses could race around the city with a tray and drinks on it.

Poinsettias at Lake Atitlan. 

Joy was the bride in a demonstration of local wedding traditions. 

Learning to make tortillas. 

Learning to grind coffee by hand.

Daniel receiving his diploma from his teacher.

Thanks to Lizyda, my teacher, for all her patience with me!

Blurry photo of Thanksgiving dinner with other students from the school at a German pub (the only place in the city serving turkey), ha!

We were blessed to have this time to focus on language and use it in different cultural contexts, but are ready to get back to our work with the Deaf in Honduras.  We’ve got a lot going on the next few weeks! Your prayer are greatly appreciated!

“I think I can’t…, I think I can’t”

We attended a Spanish speaking church this morning.  I was looking forward to going to church, but after a frustrating week of Spanish classes, was not looking forward to exerting the mental energy and windup frustrated with my lack of understanding.  Within the first song I found myself praying that God would help me worship Him, as it was in a language I didn’t know well.  Then I immediately started wondering why I hadn’t prayed that prayer before now.

Our time in Honduras has more than taught me I am NOTHING without Him, I can DO NOTHING without Him (and I’ve still got a lot to learn!).  Starting in February we could no longer provide for ourselves out of our own ability, we could no longer function in a familiar culture or familiar language.  The more we got involved the more incapable I felt.  I couldn’t build relationships with and serve people that I had seemingly noting in common with.  I couldn’t preach at a church for the Deaf.  I couldn’t lead a group of people. This list seemed to grow daily at my realization of my inability.  God slowly began to replace each “I can’t…” that I added to my list with a, “But God….” (written 60 times in the Bible.)

I realized how much I had started to fall for the American Dream that said, “You can do anything you want as long and you work hard enough.”  If I didn’t know how to do something while living in the States I would research it, talk to people that had done it and then worked harder.  But I started to realize that that’s not how it really works or how God meant for it to be.  He uses the people that “can’t” so that he can show His strength, wisdom, grace and love.   And He can do a lot more when we realize our inadequacy and trust in His adequacy.

I can’t serve. I can’t learn. I can’t teach. I can’t lead. I can’t encourage. I can’t love.  I can’t even worship, without Him! In reality worship is the thing that I am most incapable of, it is the thing that deserves all my attention, all my energy, and all my heart, and thus I need Him to give me all that he deserves and then help me to give it up back to Him.

The Spanish sermon ended, something about Luke I think :), and we began to worship again.  (The song was “Nadie es imposible”, nothing is impossible, I found it fitting as well) I prayed the prayer again, “God you are infinitely worthy of all worship and praise and no mater where I am or what language I am singing in,  I can never give you what you deserve without your help.  Help me to worship you!”

I know that God is faithful to complete his work in me and I pray that he would continue to teach me to be less dependant on myself and fully depend on Him to do everything.

 

‎”In direct contradiction to the American dream, God actually delights in exalting out inability. He intentionally puts his people in situations where they come face to face with their need form Him. In the process he powerfully demonstrates his ability to provide everything his people need in ways that could never have mustered up or imagined. And in the end, he makes much of his own name.” (David Platt, in the book “Radical”)

Kite Festival

November 1st, All Saints Day, is a national holiday in Guatemala.  In light of no spanish classes, we hopped on a bus to Sumpango, about a 40 minute ride and found this!

The people of this village spend all year preparing for this festival.  There are competitions for each kite category as well as a competition to see which will fly (which can be a dangerous event for the spectators:)).

It is also tradition all over the country to decorate the graves of loved ones.  The families eat lunch at the tombs, with the belief that on this day the spirits of the dead will return.

The children fly kites in the cemeteries, hoping to attract the spirits of their loved ones.

We sat at a table to eat grilled corn and these two ladies asked Joy and I if we wanted to learn to make tortillas.  A lot more practice is needed!:)

More photos here!