Day Six – The Final Day

God moved mountains in each of our lives today.

After an afternoon of shopping the colorful markets of Antigua, we spent the night in communion with God. I won’t (and can’t even begin to) share all the night entailed here, but I encourage you to pray for each of us as we leave this place we now think of as a second home. Pray that God will take all we learned and experienced here and use it for His glory at home. Pray that the strongholds and the divisive plans the enemy has for us will be shoved aside in our pursuit to do His will. And pray, and expect, that we will be a forced to be reckoned with in this world.

Thank you for the prayers you’ve already prayed and the love you’ve already shown us this week. We love, and can’t wait to see, all of you!

Hasta manana!
– Mallary and the Guatemala Team

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Day Five – Dedicating Houses

Earthquakes shook the base during the night last night, reminding us that there is Someone greater at work with us here in Guatemala…

Following a morning of finishing touches and decorating, the afternoon was filled with tears of joy and the miracles we had been praying for, as we invited our families into their new homes and into the arms of Jesus Christ.

With the family and building team inside, the rest of our team gathered around each house in prayer for the men, women, and children whose lives we hoped to change forever. Each house was surrounded by people praying and praising God for the work He was doing, and has done, in the lives of the people we built for. 

After an exhausting day of intense prayer, we arrived at our final house. The team went inside and began distributing gifts and talking with the family about the wonders of a life with God. After about forty minutes, a team member came out and asked us to prayer like we’d never prayed before – the mother was extremely resistant to the idea of accepting Jesus into her life. So, we all joined hands and encircled the house, praying for the heart of this woman. About ten minutes later we were informed that she had made the decision to accept Jesus as the Lord and Savior of her life! Prayer is powerful and we praise God for such a beautiful miracle!

An emotional day, one filled with immense joy and lots of tears, all we can do is thank God for all He has done. As prayers flowed and praises were sung, all but one person made a commitment to God today!

We’d like to thank each of you, again, for your prayers! God is doing amazing things here in Guatemala, and we know He will doing amazing things through the lives of the people who committed their lives to Him today.

Forgive me for not writing more. There is so much to share, it’s hard to decide what, and how, to relay these stories to you all! Just know you’ll be hearing a lot more about our trip (maybe even more than you want) upon our return!

Tomorrow, we shop.

 Night!
– Mallary and the Guatemala Team

Day Four – Building Houses

What a glorious mess day four was!

Our teams woke up bright and early again to continue building houses for our families here in Guatemala. Today we assembled porches, finished dry-walling, put stucco on the exterior of the houses, and some of us even began painting the inside of our homes…some of us, Chelsea, Tiffany, Tom, Ted, and Patti, may have even finished painting..showoffs 🙂 . We’re an efficient crew, who have grown to know and love each other more each day. God has blessed each of us with new friendships that will last well beyond this trip. He is good.

I did mention messy, right? Well then, do you know what happens when you give thirty new-found friends slabs of concrete with pink (okay Dan, “salmon”) stucco on them? No one was safe. We slathered those houses and slathered each others faces; pouring stucco down backs, dumping it on heads, and rubbing it (smearing it) allll over the place! You can imagine the laughter, the alliances, the truces, (the breaking of truces), the joy and the endless smiles we had on our faces! It’s good to get just plain messy once in a while.

After being covered with stucco, (to which one woman, upon looking at me exclaimed, “Dios mio, pobrecita!”), we got to spend a lot of time getting to know our families. Being able to sit and chat with them in our broken Spanish has allowed us to get to know their stories and share our hearts with them. Not knowing how to speak each other’s languages has allowed us to lovingly laugh at our differences and work together to figure out what the other is trying to say. As we sat and listened to their stories and played with the kids, we came to know that God truly hand-picked each of these families for us. What a God we serve.

Tomorrow is the big day, where we are expecting and knowing that our God will perform miracles. We ask that you pray for us and our families as we dedicate the houses and explain to each family the beauty that is a relationship with Christ. Please join us in prayer for ears to hear and eyes to see; for love to flow so abundantly that it can only be God. That feeling is indescribable, yet we all know it so well. Help us bring it to our families, our friends, in Guatemala.

Thank you for your prayers! Can’t wait to tell you about tomorrow!

Buenos noches!
– Mallary and the Guatemala Team

Day Three – Building Houses

Hello from beautiful Guatemala!

5:30am. That’s what time the alarm sounded, or Tom’s boisterous Bible reading commenced, depending on which dorm room you were in. 🙂

Today was our first day of building houses, and my what a busy day it was! Our five teams each built a house; putting together four walls and nailing them into a cement base, dry-walling the interior, cement-boarding the exterior, and putting on a roof for five Guatemalan families. We spent the day drenched in sweat, covered in dry-wall mud, and overwhelmed with gratitude for a God who has given us so much and also given us the desire to carry out His will in helping these people. His people.

While using the dry-wall mud, we couldn’t help but get it on ourselves…and occasionally slather it on our fellow team mates faces. (Who could resist, really?) When the children noticed this on many of the girls faces (Leah, Patti, Chelsea, Tiffany..to name a few), they began picking the mud off of their faces. These children, covered in mud and dirt themselves, took the time to take care of us, and make sure we looked our best. It was such a touching moment for us to see the desire on their faces, not for themselves to be made clean, but for us.

We’ve had so many moments like this. So many moments where God reached down and touched our hearts so deeply that all we can do is praise Him for where we are and what He has called us to do.

Just before we had finished for the day, and right after we had placed the roofs on our houses, one of the largest thunderstorms any of us had every seen or heard struck the village. Rain poured as we sat in huddled groups talking and laughing with the families we were building for. Lightning lit up the sky and thunder crashed and echoed on the tin roofed houses. But what a joyous rain it was! We truly praised God in that storm, thanking Him for holding off until the roofs were laid, for the time we were “stuck” in our houses, talking with our team and families, and for the beauty of His creation that He seemed to be showing off to us. Again, all I can say is: what a day!

This blog post wouldn’t be complete without telling you all about the “speed bump incident”. (Mark, is it okay if we call it that from now on?) Anyway, Guatemala has a lot of speed bumps..like, a lot. And they are fairly close together. Well, Mark temporarily forgot about these speed bumps on the way home today and barreled over one at about 45mph! We all went FLYING! And then, since they are so close together, he had no time to slow down for the next one, which also sent us flying into the air! You guys, it was SO fun and funny! He might kill me for telling this story, but it had us laughing the whole way home and into the night…I’m still laughing now while typing this! Ask him about it…just don’t tell him where you heard about it, okay? 🙂

Thank you again for all of your prayers! As we say good night to our family and friends, know that we miss and love you, and can’t wait to come back to tell you all of our crazy, God-filled stories!

– Mallary and the Guatemala Team

Day Two – Medical Missions

Our final day of medical missions was spent at a traditional village waaaay back in the mountains of Guatemala. The road was full of bumps and turns, with our vans getting stuck more than once on the steep hills and many holes that speckle the dirt roads.

God filled our day beautiful people, laughing children, and lots of sunshine – even giving us just enough rain for one of the biggest rainbows any of us had ever seen. (We can’t wait to share pictures!)

I only talked about this briefly yesterday, but the medical clinic is a true miracle for the people in these villages. Medicines we take for granted (Tums, Ibuprofen, etc) bring so much joy to people who may have never even once seen a doctor. We also have the privilege of giving out glasses! You should see their faces when they put on a pair of glasses and see clearly for the first time! It truly is a beautiful moment that we wish you all could witness firsthand. God is at work here with us!

Oh and the altar call! What a night it was! Our prayers were answered as we laid hands on the 60-70 people who made a decision for Christ tonight. The cry of everyone as they called on the name of Jesus was incredible to hear. Not knowing what they were saying, but knowing where their hearts were and who they were calling out to…you guys, it was a beautiful night! Filled with tears of joy, we left knowing we had helped God transform a village in the mountains of Guatemala. What an amazing experience to be a part of. Again, thank you for sending us here to do His work! Your prayers and support helped lead a village in Guatemala into knowing and loving Jesus! How cool is that?!

Tomorrow we will head out for our first day of building houses. Please pray for our team as we are all anxious to get started and excited for the possibilities that lie ahead! God is GOOD!

We love you, our church!
– Mallary and the Guatemala Team

Day One – Medical Mission

Hi everyone!

We arrived safely on base yesterday, and completed our first day on the mission field today (Saturday)! It’s been a long and fulfilling day, so here’s a short recap of the miraculous day God allowed us to be a part of:

After a long and bumpy road down through the mountains, we arrived to a street lined with families sitting in plastic chairs and large rocks. All sat anxiously watching us as we unloaded ourselves from the three white passenger vans we’d been traveling in.

After a few fumbled attempts at conversation, we quickly learned that playing and doing were much better ways to interact with the villagers and their children. So, we spent the afternoon painting nails, playing soccer, watching children laugh and dance through bubbles, and making necklaces, amongst other things – all while the families waited for the medical supplies another portion of our team was handing out to them in the clinic.

As the medical clinic wound down, we did a few skits for the people, and then showed the Jesus film to a captive audience. Praise songs were sung, testimonies were told,  and Pastor Hermono Jesus preached an enthusiastic message to the villagers (I’d love to be able to tell you what he said, but, alas, no habla espanol). Then, the altar call. What a God-filled time! Each of us laid hands on the people and prayed with them as they made the decision for Christ. By the end, the front of the room was filled with people accepting Jesus and singing His name! Praise God for the lives He’s transformed!

The night ended with us talking (yes, we’d learned a few words by then!) and laughing with the villagers and their darling children. We handed out rice and beans to the families, then packed up and headed home. The trip home was a wonderful time of reflection for our teams, where we shared the triumphs and miracles of the day. (Don’t be shy to ask each of us about our stories when we arrive home! We can’t wait to tell you more!)

I know this was a short update, only giving you glimmers of all that we’ve witnessed, but hopefully tomorrow we’ll come back a littler earlier…and less sleepy!

One final thing I’d like to say…thank you! You all have helped equip each and every one of us to come down here and be able to do all that we are doing. Each of you is here with us, doing God’s work with us. The toys you donated are being handed out and making children smile and squeal with joy, the prayers you so diligently prayed are being felt and answered every minute, the money you donated is being used to transform lives of people you don’t even know, but you love, because God called you to…each of you are making a huge difference in the lives of people in Guatemala. Each of you are making a huge difference in the lives of these team members you sent here. Thank you.

We’re praying that this is also a time of growing for each of you back home. May God bless your week. 

Buenos noches, amigos!
– Mallary and the Guatemala Team

P.S. Pictures to come soon! We are having a little bit of trouble, but hope to have the issue solved asap.