Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Reflecting on Reflections...

As the reflection papers and testimonies slowly trickle in, I take them in one at a time and personally reflect upon each of my team member's experiences in Guatemala.  Hearing how God changed someone's life, how God gave someone the strength to be bold, how God intervened in a crisis situation, how God used someone in the perfect time, how God used someone's fear to help someone grow nearer to Him is so amazing to hear!  I am in utter awe just knowing there are many more testimonies than the eye can see, the mouth can speak or our forgetful minds can remember!  As a leader the burdens can be heavy and the responsibility and stress can easily take the joy out of the experience all too quickly.  When I begin to feel these things stealing away from the joy that God has abundantly poured over this experience and all persons involved I need to remind myself to stop for a moment and pray.  Prayer has been something I must say was a very bright theme throughout this trip for everyone.  Someone on my team said "I never thought my prayers really worked until I witnessed and heard them working while I was in Guatemala!".    I feel my heart leap for joy when I think of this!!!  From reading the testimonies and reflection papers it is so very obvious that God did amazing works not just through us but deep within us! I look forward to being able to sit quietly for a week and digest as much as I possibly can about this year's experience and share it in meaningfully written stories on this blog page.  As for now, I will pray that God will allow me that opportunity in the near future to put my thoughts and experiences in writing to share! Thank you for your love and support. <3 Shawn :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Jesus we're on our way! Day Uno

After many months of planning our team is off to a perfect start! Well, aside from the leader (AKA me) arriving at the airport 8 1/2 minutes late!  Smooth sailing through checking 32 maxed out bags donation bags, everyone made it through security without a problem and the flight take off was good. 

As I sit on the plane, I realize I am the meat to a Cambridgian sandwich on the plane. Aisle row (my slice of bread) is Sue my bestie and Guatemala roomie and in the window seat is ironically a man that was Sue's neighbor, old friend of Zach's and did the cabinets in her lake home recently! Just a few weird strange face I thought important to share.

The team looks great, bubbling with excitement. Few have slept in the past 24 hours.... a food thing, it helps the first night in unfamiliar & uncomfortable surroundings easier to pass out from the exhaustion.  We will land in Atlanta in an hour then off to Guatemala City after a short layover.  Our first stop is the "For the Love of Patricia" orphanage outside of Guatemala City where we will drop off 4 bags of soccer uniforms & equipment where they will deliver them to a local school.  Tonight we will have orientation to the Dreamer Center & take in the environment at our new homes for the next 12 days. 

Edilser will meet us at the airport and accompany us throughout the trip.  He is one of the most sweetest and gentlest souls.  He is also a hard working loving husband to a very beautiful and kind wife and a father of 2 adorable children.  He works many long hours to aid volunteers in having amazing experiences and to keep everyone safe.  When there are no teams he builds homes for the project by himself! He is my Guatemalan brother that I have come to know and love for the past 4 years.  I so look forward to seeing him and hopefully meeting his family this year through attending his church.  God has so much in store for our team I can hardly believe all we will do in 12 short days!!!