Hooray for all groups completing their first stove! We started our second stove and met our new families. We won't get to start up again until Thursday, however, because tomorrow is another "day of rest."
Our day will be tiring, as Candace said. We will be taking speed boats on Lake Atitlan, the center location of many villages. We will do a lot of walking from village to village, but more importantly shopping! So look out for some unique, homemade souvenirs friends and family!
Though today was a regular work day, we had an extra special evening. We were invited by one of Candace's friends to worship with a local church about 20 minutes out of town. Once we arrived, we were instantly greeted with kids and adults from the community waving on each side of the trucks. We walked into the large wooden shed sanctuary and saw lines of balloons tied to the roof and along the walls.
The service was in Spanish, but Candace translated some of it for us. The pastor even allowed us to say a few words and sing, so Lauren, Pastor James, and the puppeteers on our trip took turns singing and praising.
The locals were so welcoming throughout the entire evening, thanking us for being there over and over. One example of their hospitality is when they shared with each and every one of us a Coke and some crackers. Some of us reflected and thought about how humbling it is to see people with such little possessions and money welcoming a large group like ours with a treat.
The service was filled with live music and singing, while the crowd clapped along the entire time. Towards the middle of the service, we shared a powerful prayer experience. Women came to the front and started praying aloud. It increasingly got intense as time went on, and the women started to sob. This went on for about five minutes while we sat and watched, and some of us prayed in our heads.
Each and every day is a new experience where we continue to grow and learn about the Guatemalan culture as well as each other. We still have five days until we head home, and much to learn.
-The Guatemalan Team