Saturday, May 21, 2016

Hola amigos y familiares!

Our last day in Guatemala has left me in awe of the beauty of God's creation.  In the morning, we explored the astonishing Mayan ruins at Iximche.  As our guide told us the history of Iximche, I was able to paint a picture of the city.  I saw children playing and families offering sacrifices to the sun, moon, and wind.  In every action, the Mayans were aware of the spiritual world.  For example, they walked up and down stairs sideways as to not turn their backs and show disgrace to the sun god.  I believe there is something to be learned from this act of devotion.  How often are we thinking about God when walking up the stairs?  Personally, stairs are not something I traditionally associate with my faith.  Yet, how different would our lives be if we were to actively seek God in every moment?  I am not suggesting that we change the way we walk upstairs (which would most likely result in a hospital visit for me), but that we use the "mundane" in our lives to reflect on God's presence.  Perhaps, instead of throwing the alarm clock in the morning, we can reflect on how God calls us to always be spiritually awake (Luke 21:36).  Perhaps, instead of complaining about cleaning the house, we can remember God's work in cleaning our hearts (Psalm 51:7).  Taking the time to think of where God is in the everyday makes God appear to be everywhere.  God is everywhere!  God is active in the lives of Guatemalans, those in the States, and everywhere inbetween.

In Guatemala, we are away from our everyday lives and are intentionally thinking about God's presence.  Yet, our time here will mean little if we do not allow it to impact our lives back at home.  At tonight's devotion, we were called to reflect on our sense of call and how we will let Guatemala change us.  These are important questions to consider before the busyness of life sweeps us away.  Personally, I hear a call to wake up.  This call wants me to be aware of the impact I have and can have on society.  This is a call I hope to answer saying, "Lord send me".  I look forward to seeing all the ways in which Guatemala will effect my life.

*new blogger*

In addition to seeing the ruins of Iximche today, we also had the opportunity to experience the city of Antigua. Bumpy cobblestone roads are one of the distinct architectural wonders of Antigua. The cobblestone roads allow residents and travelers alike to see the wonders of the city, which include a large central park surrounded by markets upon markets. We all spent the afternoon wandering through the city and searching the markets for items to spend our last quetzals on. Within the different markets we saw handmade blankets, belts, clothing, and many other things. Personally, I purchased an awesome handmade belt. The souvenirs that we acquire on the trip will allow us to remember the incredible trip that we have had the opportunity to participate on. I know that in a few years, when I wear the belt that I bought, I will remember the reason I came I came to Guatemala; to learn and to grow in Christ with all of the friends that I have made while on the trip here.

I think that each one of us has had something specific on the trip that has allowed us to search ourselves and to think about our daily lives in the states. For me, I really enjoyed hearing about how dedicated some people are to educating the youth in Guatemala. In my own life, I enjoy working with children. After coming to Guatemala and seeing what the education here is like, I realize now the incredible importance of working with young people. I plan to rededicate myself to working with young people. This whole trip has been an incredible time for everyone involved, and I know that whoever can come back in the future will do their best to. Thanks for reading our blogs about the trip and for praying for us while we have been here in Guatemala! Peace out

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