While families in the UK woke up to hot cross buns and chocolate eggs on Easter Sunday, we woke up to a spontaneous shopping trip!

The few of us who were awake at 7am left the others to fend for themselves and set off on what would become a whole-morning outing. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any hot cross buns or chocolate eggs, so they were sorely missed! We were also surprised at how little the church focused on Easter, with only a couple of mentions of the resurrection in the service.

 

To remind us of home, we managed to organise a treasure hunt for the ten of us, with the prize being a precious bag of mini eggs that Charlotte had brought from home (I’ll admit they were gobbled up within the hour!).

We started back at construction on Monday, beginning work on the walls which made a nice change to flicking cement at the ceilings!

On Tuesday we had our weekly English class, but unfortunately none of the children turned up (we found out later that many of them had exams that day). However, the Pastor introduced us to a guy from an organisation called Impacto. We chatted to him (his English was very good) and learned that the church was one of Impacto’s plants. He has invited us to a meeting in a few Sunday’s time, which the Pastor is attending as well. It was so interesting talking to him, and made us realised that God was working – having no kids turn up for the class was actually a blessing as it meant we could speak to the man properly.

Some of us went to what we originally thought was a women’s group on Wednesday, but the Pastor and a couple of other men joined so maybe it never was! It was a great opportunity to get to know a few of the women in the church, and to experience what a local Christian group here looks like.

Thursday arrived with a change of plan to our work here, as we found out that the construction supervisor had accepted another job and wouldn’t be working here anymore (jobs arrangements are often quite informal here). For the time being we have switched from construction to cleaning the church, and trust that God has plans for us for the rest of our time here.

On Friday we invited the Pastor’s son and his family to dinner. We loved chatting with them, even with our limited Spanish, and Sara was a great help at keeping the conversation going as well. The following day, they all joined us on a day trip. We spent the whole morning at some beautiful hot springs near Quetzaltenango, where the water is naturally hot from the surrounding volcanoes. It was so relaxing and peaceful, with a beautiful view of the rainforest valley.

For Sunday’s service we wanted to give to the community and do something a bit different. We sang a song as normal, and a few of led a Sunday school group on Daniel (which was very successful). Then, inspired by a few Sundays ago, we served hot drinks a tacos after the service. It seems to go down well, and meant we had a chance to speak to more people who would normally rush off after the service.

This week has been full of highs and lows as we come off the back of Holy Week, but God has continued to be present throughout it all.

A particular encouragement has been the discovery of an abandoned church just a few minutes drive away. The Pastor spotted the church by the side of the road and stopped to talk to the people there. He found out the church dispersed about five years ago and never got a chance to rebuild. They seemed open to his suggestion of helping to revive it, and he proposed that we might be able to lead a service there if it all goes ahead. So we’re hoping and praying that all goes well for that!

Another highlight has been the scrumptious meals we’ve enjoyed this week – particularly homemade pizza from Emily and Charlie P which took a lot of time and effort, particularly considering we couldn’t use an oven!

One of the challenges has been the low turnout for some of the activities we’ve held – we’re hoping that this week was an anomaly and they’ll be back next week! Despite this, we have found new ways to get involved with the community through the discovery of a nearby basketball court, which has enabled us to connect with some of the local young people.

Prayer points

Give thanks:

  • that Theo has recovered from his sickness bug.
  • that Sara’s daughter, Jennifer, came to church on Sunday.
  • that we’ve been able to meet so many new people.

 

Please pray:

  • that more kids would turn up for English class and sports next week.
  • that plans for the project would become clear.
  • that the abandoned church would be revived.

 

Thank you for your prayers and support!

From Emily, Theo, Carrie, Hannah, Ben, Ella H, Ella S, Charlie F, Charlie P, Charlotte (written by Ella S)

 

To read the previous report click here