Day 7 and 8 – Visiting communities on Lake Atitlan
By Gladden Lawrence
The plan all along for the Stove Builders was building the last stove on day 6, have a day of rest (touring) on Day 7, then fly back to Houston early on day 8.
The day of touring was anything but rest. We had a local guide (Miguel) who chartered a boat for the day that to take us (along with Miguel) to 3 communities rich with Mayan history;
We visited 2 Catholic churches dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries respectively. We visited galleries and watched how the Mayan women make and dye thread used to make such colorful dresses, wraps, and scarfs. We even watched a young 21 year old girl whose hands had been lost due to an electrical accident paint a beautiful painting with her teeth holding the brush.
Lunch was highlighted by dividing up the team into 4-person teams, each to be hosted by locals preparing an authentic Mayan lunch consisting of meatless tamales steamed in banana leaves, chicken breast, rice, and vegetables with fresh fruit for dessert. Such a treat to be off the tourist path and joining a local family for a meal. Pictured below are (l to r) Debbie Faulkner, from Ulysses, Kansas; Lisa Guinn, Team Leader, from Ulysses, Kansas; and Rick Smith, my travelling missionary buddy from KUMC.
Community was the way this mission trip began, and community is how it ended. Miles apart in history, language, and culture didn’t distract from focusing on simple truths that bound us together; we’re children of the same God who love Jesus, love each other, and all in community with one another.
The picture below will forever be in my mind as the reason why the Stove Builders do what they do. This young woman will get help the help she needs; hopefully soon so she doesn’t have to cook on the floor with an open fire.
To God be the glory for sending me to Guatemala and bringing me back home…
We can become so overcome by tunnel-vision in our day to day and sometimes the experience of going to Guatemala is not possible–so how can embrace the diversity of the body of Christ that is all around us? How can we continue to step out of our comfort zone and trust in God?