9 Days. 23 ladies. Up a mountain in Guatemala! How could I possibly recount the experiences of pioneering with a team in cattle trucks to reach out to a beautiful people group in El Cimiento?! The farther away I get from the trip, the more I am totally convinced that God was, not only, with us in a huge way, but that he was personally invested in this trip because he is crazy about orphans, the hungry, the poor and the lost people who are in desperate need of Jesus and clean water! His heart is all about that mountain! Here are a few of my favorite experiences in that mountain-surrounded country:
* I got to teach a group of kids how to play baseball! Yes, those sweet Latin children may be future dominators in the MLB, but as of last week, they didn't know how to hold a bat or run to first. The baseball mom in me could not resist. Pure joy!
* My favorite moment- We drove up the mountain for the second day, and as we reached the school, the kids ran to the windows and cheered and shouted!!! We were back! They loved us!!
*We had no idea if the ladies we met and invited to come to our ladies "conference" would actually show up. About 30 minutes before we were ready to start, I looked up the road and saw ladies basically pouring down the mountain, all dressed up in their best clothes. They knew they were coming to get their nails painted and to get a polaroid picture of themselves with their children, but they had no idea that so many of them would experience a major life change, as they heard about Jesus for the first time. Fifty-five of them accepted Christ as their savior in that crowded school. That mountain is forever changed!
*Visiting the first village that West Ridge Church adopted, Guayacon Del Paso, was sweet. We saw how water, a church, and a partnership could make a huge difference in a village! Their chairs had the West Ridge "W" on them. To those who gave to make a difference in this village- you are heroes. You have no idea.
*Every two Swedish fish and five soup crackers we stuffed in a snack size Ziplock, every song, story, pipe cleaner, construction paper and crayon resulted in 60 elementary school kids accepting Jesus as their savior. What a day!
*And the West Ridge ladies were unbelievable. Drama-free. Strong. Unified. These girls worked and served and loved the people of Guatemala all week. I'm so honored to know every one of them!
*Lastly. My man. To have Brian and the video guys join us at the end was the bonus. Not only did I get a base running coach for my second baseball game day, but having Brian experience this village with me was priceless. He got to announce that West Ridge is bringing clean water to the village! He loves people big, and I love that about him!
*God is at work in Guatemala. Hope Of Life, World Help, our fearless leader, Claudia, the sweet ladies who work 24 hour shifts taking care of rescued babies. No, we do not have to take Jesus to Guatemala. He is already there! We must join him. We have to go back. A little piece of our lives will surely be invested to bring hope and love to these mountain villages!