This update is a super duper special one as we chronicle the work (and shenanigans!) of a short term mission team. More specifically our home church: Heart Lake Baptist.
By the way…our Canadian intern is in her second week with us AND our niece arrived for a two week visit. Talk about a full house, eh?
Why is this update a big deal? This is the first official team to come work alongside us and understand what we do as the newly formed ministry ‘PILAS’ under Catalyst Resources International.
Therefore this week’s highlights will be more in-depth than normal so that everyone can get a sense of how a team, interns, and visitors can assist and support a ministry.
We have to share that ALL our visitors rocked the entire time they were here and we had a blast reviewing the photos/memories from the past week!
Our hope is that through this update other teams would be inspired to come serve alongside us! Enjoy this week’s highlights.
The week started off with a BANG as we hosted Club Conexión in our home in conjunction with Iglesia Santuario.
There is nothing like a friendly yet spirited competition to get groups mingling together. That was certainly the case as the first ever (and perhaps last?) Canada vs. Guatemala Lime Eating Competition took place.
Who won? Check out the Canadians’ reactions in the photos and you’ll get a good sense!
By the way – it is tough beating Guatemalans in a lime eating contest any day!!!!!
Hula Hoop Pass was next on the agenda which was a great way to have everyone working (and laughing!) together.
Worship was lively as one of the team members played the violin (think: Canadian hoedown) and another taught some basic dance steps. We sang Spanish songs but also introduced two new English songs including teaching everyone the actions to “Days of Elijah”.
Our intern Emily shared her personal testimony with the group. We have seen God use these moments to impact those listening and help them with their comprehension of who He is in their respective faith journeys.
Anyone interested in a competitive game of Spoons? Not only was ‘Spoons’ THE game of choice throughout the evening with all the youth, but the elimination showdown at 11 pm was definitely the talk of the night.
Barb won against Marvin in what can only be described as riveting drama!
Bonus with the final showdown: not one plastic stool was broken! YAY!
The team had several opportunities to bond with the students throughout the week.
The ministry places a high emphasis on learning English and members took the time to read and correct pronunciation.
Wii is quite popular with the kids and the team challenged them to games of tennis, bowling, etc.
Gerry was not having much success in this particular picture! LOL!
It is nice to have supporters around when we celebrate special events or days.
Not only was it one of our student’s birthdays, but the team gifted everyone with a “Canada Eh” t-shirt!
Attending the church service at Iglesia Santuario was unique as two of the team members were integrated into four songs (singing and playing violin) alongside the regular worship band. It was cool to hear them trade off on Spanish and English lyrics on well-known contemporary worship songs. The team also met the pastor and his wife.
This was a common sight throughout the week as we traveled around Guatemala: ‘ooh’ing and ‘aah’ing at the incredibly beautiful landscapes.
Who knew that we had three Oscar-worthy actresses on the team?
Emily’s hygiene class for the week was shared not only at Club Conexión but at other activities and events. Through fun and over-the-top acting, everyone learned more about how to properly brush their teeth, bathe themselves, and other general hygiene practices.
The week’s Bible verse was from 1 Corinthians 6:19: Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
More on that later…
Thanks to the team’s efforts in collecting and bringing down donations, all the Club Conexión kids received a hygiene pack which included a face cloth, soap, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste!
A tasty snack was served to all the Club Conexión participants but not before they washed their hands with water and soap.
Practice what you preach right? All the kids were greeted by these smiling, welcoming Canadians! No wonder they all wanted seconds!
Club Conexión wouldn’t be Club Conexión without high-energy whacky games.
Dodge ball was a hit as both Guatemalans and Canadians were targets.
Poison Chair was a hoot as the Canadians were clear targets once again. It is difficult to win these challenges when it is 3 vs.1 or 2 vs.1 but let’s give the team credit: they did their best to represent their country proudly!
Pool noodle lacrosse is becoming a favorite in all the villages and the team was able to sense the competitiveness as they played with the kids.
Seeing as pool noodle lacrosse mania is sweeping the villages we serve why not introduce it to the CETEDI students?
The team had the opportunity to participate in CETEDI’s Principles & Values class. English worship songs were lead by the team - - - a nice way to introduce an English lesson to the básico students (grades 7-9) and their teachers.
The theme for the lesson was Caring for the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Barb taught the lesson which incorporated Emily’s hygiene lesson and an opportunity to see the amazing actors perform one last time!
A practical way of showing God’s love is doing something . . . anything!
The team dedicated themselves to painting some of the CETEDI classrooms and one of the bathrooms.
All work and no play is just plain wrong! During recesses the gals played with the elementary students and got to know them better.
We were also able to see Emily in action teaching English to the various grades at CETEDI.
What a blessing to receive the gratitude from the students and teachers after the rooms were painted. Hugs (and even kisses!) were shared in abundance to the point that we were all tearing up. WOW!
What a difference for the classroom we painted. The teacher was so content as were the students.
Another gift from the team was a much needed, larger water tank!
CETEDI has more needs that you could help out with. Send us a message if you are interested in giving them a hand!
Guachipilín is a tiny isolated community of approximately 91 people.
PILAS has two scholarship students from this community and also hosts Club Conexión each week.
We approached the community leaders and received an invitation to have a community event.
What an afternoon of fellowship and fun!
The men and older teens played soccer in what can only be described as God’s Country. What an unbelievable landscape!
It must have inspired Dave as he scored the first goal of the game! We’d like to say that it was a beyond belief ‘chilena’ but quite honestly he lifted his leg at the right time and scored. Hey – they all count right?
While the kids watched a movie in one classroom their mothers and older teens sat with the team members sipping coffee and making bead necklaces after a very valuable health talk presented in tandem by Emily and our scholarship student Maria del Carmen.
Maria del Carmen and Emily planned the entire hygiene lesson together! They were well prepared and had the attention of the women in the room as their talk was very interactive. It included personal stretching, how to wash hands properly and competitions to determine which foods were nutritious and which were not. Before the lesson Barb took some time to describe PILAS’ mission and vision.
As the women were wrapping up their time, the men cooled off with some refreshments.
Gerry took the opportunity to share what PILAS is all about and it was well received by everyone.
It is very difficult for people to travel to and from Guachipilín. Buying inexpensive clothes is best done at the Mega Paca in Chimaltenango – two bus rides away IF you can get out of Guachipilín!
Today’s used clothing sale was a HUGE help to the community as not only did they not have to use precious financial resources to travel to Chimaltenango but there was so much time saved staying right in Guachipilín.
The team collected tons of age appropriate gently used clothing to sell at the event and sell it did!!!
$80 Canadian was raised selling items as low as $.25 to $3.00. This money will be pumped right back into the ministry and more specifically Guachipilín as we plan to have another sale later in the year.
A BIG THANKS to everyone who donated items for this sale!
As someone famous once said: “It ain’t a fiesta if there ain’t a piñata”.
OK we are lying. Nobody famous said that – we did!
It was one heck of a fiesta because we had TWO piñatas! To make it fair for everyone we had one for the gals and one for the guys. We asked two older youth from the village to be in charge of this event. Our goal is to always give members from the community we are serving in the chance to take leadership roles and be examples to others.
Face painting was a huge ‘draw’, not only for the kids but the adults as well!
Check out some of the creative designs that the kids requested. Well done ladies!
To thank the team for their efforts one of the families prepared a typical Guatemalan meal.
Check out the mom’s reaction as we all dug into her delicious food. Priceless!
One of the village’s leaders shared that ‘never has an event like this taken place in their community and they were truly grateful for all the planning and efforts’.
The team received a heartfelt wave from the community as the bus left for Sumpango.
Prior to the team’s arrival PILAS held Club Conexión in three villages. That is not the case anymore as we launched Club Conexión in a fourth village! Over thirty kids showed up and we had quite the time introducing ourselves AND remembering their names!
Pool noodle lacrosse was officially introduced to Las Flores and what energy displayed by everyone!!! Crazy!
People Pretzel was a great way to mix up the groups and have them work in teams to untangle themselves from a web of hands and arms.
To get to know the kids better we asked them to create a ‘personal information sheet’ by cutting out images from magazines or drawing.
This included their birth dates; grade, number of members in their family, likes and dislikes, etc.
It is a very creative way for the kids to express and describe themselves even though some took more time reading the magazines more than anything! LOL!
Plus, it gives us something to take back and study so that we know the students a bit better the next week.
What did we say in a previous picture? Oh yeah: ‘It ain’t a fiesta if there ain’t a piñata’.
Here again to make it fair for everyone we had one for the gals and one for the guys.
Marvin and Rodolfo (two older students from other villages who are now our helpers in Las Flores) were a tremendous help today and we look forward to their participation in future weeks as we anticipate groups of 30+ to come out in this new village.
What a joy it was for us that the team was able to meet Fontaine and Edgar from CRI.
They took the time to visit the areas that CRI is serving in and explain the dynamics of each village along with the various projects.
It’s such a privilege to be a part of Catalyst Resources International!
The team also visited the CRI compound to get a sense of their team hosting facilities and education programs.
The gals sang a few worship songs for the church teams that were staying and serving with CRI that particular week.
A lively game of Cheat ensued where Justin and Isabel proudly represented San Cristobal! What a hoot!
How did the team do representing their church, serving the least in Guatemala, and being Jesus’ hands and feet? We think these photos say it all.
Well done guys! ALL OF YOU!
We enjoyed an amazing week with you and hope to see you again soon.
We miss you and love you guys!