We made it back! Ryan and I had such a fantastic time in Guatemala and were really blessed by all of your prayers. It was such a great experience having Ryan on the trip as well and being able to process some of the experiences together. Since we've been back, I've had a hard time explaining some of what I "learned", how God changed my heart, and the joy of loving on His people. I want to tell you a little about what we did to give you a picture of the trip. (If you would like to see actual pictures, Ryan has loaded them to facebook)

Our first outreach was to paint the outside of the team house (where teams stay when they come down) for 6:8 ministries. We painted a mural with the help of Carlos, the art teacher in Magdelena. The mural showed a cross made out of calla-lilies with the phrase "God's art for all" or something to that effect in Spanish :)

While some were focused on painting, others of us were able to play with children in the neighborhood. We colored in coloring books, played some soccer, practiced Spanish and English, and other games.

When we arrived the first day, we spent some time going to visit a few families of students at the local art school. One family mentioned that they were trying to open a store, but weren't having much luck. They didn't have a sign or anything to show there was a store, so we decided to continue our wall painting...and painted the outside of their store (essentially the outside of their house as well). We painted it a bright shade of pink!

Again, while some were painting, we also had a game of soccer going. All of the kids loved soccer and wanted to see if the Americans could play...

We spent a lot of time with the kids in the family below. We were able to hear their story, deliver some food, paint the sign for their store and deliver chickens and a coop. Such simple ways to love and encourage a family. The kids' names were Beverly, Jimmy, and Jorge (oldest to youngest). Beverly is a beautiful young girl and a fantastic artist. She is learning so much at the art school, and it was so fun being able to encourage her in her painting and her faith. She was so proud to show me that she had painted a few bible verses on the wall by her bed and carried her bible with her everywhere. Jimmy was very quiet, but looooved to play games. Lastly, Jorge, the youngest was hysterical. He loved to make his brother and sister laugh, and liked to play pranks.

One of my highlights was getting to see Beverly painting at the school. She was so proud of her work, and we could tell she was so encouraged by all of us telling her how impressed we were. Beverly doesn't go to school because her parents can't afford to send her and it's not required, so the art school is the only education she is getting.
Carlos and his wife Telma run the art school, and put everything they have into the the point that they can struggle to feed themselves. Here is the group with Carlos and Telma.

On another morning we visited a local orphanage. The couple running the orphanage moved from the States a few years ago with their family, built a house, and now house as many orphans as the government will give them. Typically the kids they get have already experienced some sort of trauma within the first few weeks of their lives and require a lot of psycological and physical health attention. Many of the kids had experienced physical abuse, were abandoned, or their mothers were alcoholics. Our team brought over 5 or 6 duffel bags full of supplies with us (diapers, formula, medicine, etc...) to give to the orphanage.
One of the biggest projects we worked on was building a bathroom at the art school because they didn't have one. They guys worked all week to put up walls, a door, and plumbing. Luckily OSHA was not there to see the guys working...
On the last day, we built two chicken coups for families. The coops are meant to help families raise meat chickens to sell at the market, and start a micro-business for additional income. Here are the two boys from before, Jimmy and Jorge, watching their new chickens.
And the team delivering the coop! Aren't the coops beautiful?
And! A video summary:
I want to sum it all up a little bit by saying the people of Guatemala were just as much Jesus to us and we were trying to be to them. If anything, their hearts and lives reflect that of Christ more than my own sometimes, and it reminds me of what God can do when our "stuff" isn't in the way. The busyness and comfort that we so often let get in the way of serving others and knowing Christ. We must seek first the kingdom of righteousness (Matt 6:33), not stuff, busyness and comfort. Anyway, before I go on and on,
Key learnings:
Guatemala is beautiful
Generosity of the Guatemalan people
God works for the good of those who love Him
Blessed are the meek
There is beauty in humility
I know this is somewhat brief, and if you would like to know anything more, I would love to sit down with you and chat!


  1. Beautiful summary and trip. You are such a wonderful woman of some many gifts!

  2. Really enjoyed reading this. The group's presentation today at Indy Metro was really powerful and it's great to hear how God worked during the trip. Thanks for posting!