Saturday, December 24, 2011

Here it is, Christmas Eve in beautiful Antigua, Guatemala.  We had what started out as a quiet week with some ministry plans falling through, but God placed upon our intrepid team people to meet and places to go as surprises.

The first surprise came on Tuesday after Connie and Camila went to the clinic to get some cough medicine for Camila.  They were told of a family with a daughter, Sandra with pancreatic cancer.  Several of us went to their home just up the street to pray, share comfort and some crayons with her.  On the way home, we made balloon animals for many of the children along the way.

The next day we helped prepare a Christmas dinner for the homeless.  Generally on Wednesday's the YWAM group here does a "soup run" but this night before Christmas its turkey, mashed potatoes, vegetable, rolls and cookies.  50 meals were made and distributed to some of the homeless in Antigua.

Thursday was preparation for Kid's Club here at the base.  About 60 kids showed and with their mothers we have a crowd of about 80.  We sang songs, did coloring (this is the moms' favorite!), played games and told the story of why a candy cane has its color and shape.  On the way out everyone got a Christmas cookie, candy cane and a cup of punch (papaya and pineapple).  It was definitely enjoyed by everyone.

That night after supper, we went into Antigua for caroling along a main city street to the Central Park.  The group included our CDTS, some of the YWAM staff here and several other English speaking Christians here for various reasons.  All in all we numbered around 30.  We picked up some singers along the way for a few carols and then they would depart with the blessing of Feliz Navidad!   At one of our stops we were invited to go to a particular location so a TV crew could video tape some carols to be shown on local TV Christmas Eve (tonight!).  We all drove there, were greeted with smiles and then we sang (I don't see any recording contracts though).  Mark Annand was also able to have a gospel message recorded as well.

The second surprise came in the form of a ministry that YWAM has not worked with previously but the base director had made contact with last week.  Yesterday, we got up early to go to an orphanage for disabled children in Chimaltenango about 40 minutes away.  We were able to work with all the children, visit with the director Maureen and do a few chores.  Right before lunch, Josh broke his collar bone and the main concern for the rest of the day was for him.  He spent the night at a hospital in Antigua with Robin.  They're stilling waiting to decide if surgery or immobilization is what is best.

Well, today is "La Noche Buena" - the beautiful night, which is more significant than the actual day of Christmas here, and it starts promptly at medianoche (midnight) and will continue (we are told) until about 5AM - lots and lots of fireworks - I'm taking a nap this afternoon.  Going to make a fire and roast marshmallows on the roof tonite.  Tomorrow we are planning to make a semi-traditional turkey dinner.  I say semi because there are lots of items we are unable to locate - items for stuffing, cranberry sauce, etc.  That's ok- we will work with what we have.  For now, Merry Christmas from the land of Eternal Spring.                                                                                                                                                                                 Fireworks for Sale