Last Tuesday marked the one month anniversary of our coming to Guatemala. To say that it has been an amazing month would be an understatement. Here are just a few happenings and differences. We moved to another country and into a new home. After being here in this apartment less than a week, we decided to sign a lease for a year…the lease we signed is in Spanish. We have attended church here held in the home of a friend. There we have fellowship with friends we have known for quite some time and with new friends we have only just met. We have disinfected and cooked with new foods that we have never cooked with before such as chayote or güisquil, as it is more commonly called here. We have found that buying some foods we have used in the past isn’t quite the same here. In some cases, we can’t find them at all and in others it is just different. For instance, we have been unable to find cumin powder but can readily buy the cilantro seeds that are ground up to become cumin. Yeast is purchased in bulk here and can’t be found in handy little pre-measured packets. A dozen large calla lily blooms can be had for 10 Quetzales…about $1.30. Jan and I have finished 4 weeks of Spanish school already. Our work with Project Salud Y Paz begins in earnest next week. Last Friday, I drove a vehicle for the first time in over a month, successfully navigating the downhill drive from Camanchaj (where the main clinic is) to our new home town of Panajachel (Pana, for short). I am averaging around 10000 steps a day so far. The produce in this picture cost $4.15, believe it or not.
I think I’ve given enough words to trivia concerning our move so I’ll proceed to the meat of this blog entry.
We are nothing less than completely blessed in this opportunity that God has called us to. The produce in the picture is but a small part of the beauty and the bounty that envelops us. That bounty includes friends and family in the US that have been donating time, money and resources to help meet our needs. It includes Heather Nielsen (seen here with us), whom we had the pleasure of hosting last weekend as she stayed here in Pana before joining a group from her grad school. It includes a community of new and pre-existing friends here in Pana who have embraced us, surrounded us with love and provided us with tips and help to ease our transition here. It includes the incredible Guatemalan people whom we will start serving soon. I’m somewhat embarrassed to tell you that our transition has been far easier so far than we have any right to expect. Oh, we have encountered problems to be sure, problems both new and old but we are feeling very much at home, except that we miss all of our friends back home. It seems as if we belong here already. To steal a line from an old MasterCard commercial, that is priceless.
As always, we want to thank all of you for your support! Without it, living God’s call would be so much more difficult.
May you feel and recognize God moving in your life today and always!