Well today was truly one of celebration. We awoke to the beautiful sunshine once again, refreshed and ready to go. We arrived the the small mountain village of Parraxaj, to the sound of a band playing and excitement in the air. Today was the official opening of the village school and the people were ready with great anticipation. They delayed this celebration until the Loving Arms team arrived so that we could share their excitement and joy. A tent was set up for shade and streamers and baloons were everywhere. The mayor arrived, along with the new Parramos ambulance, then the festivities began. Each class put on their own bit of entertainment, much to the delight of the parents and visitors alike. Speeches were made and gifts of appreciation were exchanged. The GS Team commited to build a stove for the school, as the moms of the village prepare lunch for the children everyday over an open flame fire pit. This will be built in the weeks ahead. A delicious soup was served to all the guests by the village women and then we headed back to Parramos.
The afternoon found us in two adopt-a-home projects, medical and dental clinics, clothing drives, food distribution, games, crafts and the team putting in their final hours of labour on the property site. Thirty yard of cement has been mixed and poured, and the foundation laid. It is so exciting to see what was a dream becoming a reality. The adopt -a-home projects continue to humble each one as we are invited into the home of these dear people, who have absolutely nothing and yet are so happy. It was wonderful to see the families supported by the sponsors back home, but we were also extremely aware of the desperate need for more.
The clothing drive was especially moving for many members who surrendered the shoes off of their own feet to give to those who didn't have any, or to those who's shoes were too small. Dave sat and washed children's feet as others fitted them with shoes. It was quite emotional to experience.
The father of one of the adopt a home families made a speech at the food distribution about how grateful he was for the support and the love he recieved this week. He is a widow with 6 children, and works very hard to support his family the best he can. That very day, a family member of his passed away, and he adopted or took in their child too. Now he is responsible for 7 children, all on his own. Thankfully, team members have sponsored this family and they will now recieve ongoing support.
Tonight, we ended the day with an appreciation dinner for all our Guatemalan volunteers who have helped so much, not only this week, but each and every day.
“To everything their is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.” We have been priviledged to be a part of this season and time in Guatemala, and continue to look forward to being a part of God’s purpose in the days and years ahead.
This will be our last entry and we look forward to sharing with everyone when we return home.
Adios from the team.
Joan and Juli