Tuesday, December 17, 2013

by Kyla Bender

Greetings from Guatemala City!

Due to lack of internet for a week, technological difficulties and me just plain forgetting, this is the first update from Team Guatemala! For the first and third weeks since we’ve been here we have been staying at the YWAM base in Guatemala City. The second week we stayed in the village of Puerto Abajo just off of the city of Zaragoza.

We've been to different schools, churches, and organizations giving testimonies, preaching the gospel, and ministering to the people's needs.

One of the first days we were in Guatemala we went to an orphanage and hung out with the kids there for the whole day. It was so great to be able to love on them and they delighted in the attention. Many of the women on our team stayed in the Baby House for most of the afternoon and the men jumped into the daily soccer game with the kids. We painted faces, played the highly complicated game of "Chase The White People", and gave hugs and hugs and hugs. An 11 year old boy named Alexander had two toy watches that were modeled after a character from Shrek. He showed them to me and seemed to be extremely proud of them. And then Zayden walked up. Immediately Alexander placed one of the watches around Zayden's wrist and insisted that Zayden keep it. Zayden now wears a watch that has such a deeper meaning than telling the time.

 We also went to a children’s hospital to pray and talk with the children and their parents. Lillian and I and our translator Lili went into a very small room that had five kids all under 3 years old. 4 of the kids had their mothers with them. I was told that the 5th (and youngest) baby’s mother had not been there for 8 days. He was crying without relent. You know how sometimes a cry can have almost a hopefulness to it? This one did not. His cry was quiet, yet persistent. A cry that broke my heart because it had no inclination of ever getting what he needed to pacify. The nurse put an oxygen mask on him and that only made it worse. Lillian and I asked if we could hold the baby. As soon as we picked him up, he stopped crying. He passed his tears to Lillian and me. We left the hospital confident that The Lord is doing a great work of healing in the lives of those children!

In Puerto Abajo we assisted in putting on a VBS for the children. We had 200 children attend! Each day from 9 to around 2, we would be at the school telling Bible stories, doing crafts, playing, and eating lunch with the kids. During the afternoons and evenings we would do other types of evangelism like going door to door and putting on a movie for the parents. On one of the home visits, the parents accepted Christ because of the things that their child was telling them about the VBS! With all of the kids and parents that accepted Jesus that week, we welcomed around 100 people into The Kingdom! Our living situations were extremely different than what we are used to, but it was so worth it!

This week we ministered at a dump, a daycare, a nursing home, a park, Teen Challenge, and the streets. We also took some time this week to pour into each other and take an afternoon off from ministry to do creative intercession for ourselves. On Thursday afternoon, the men went to minister at Teen Challenge and the women stayed home to take time to pray for each other. We all took turns being prophesied over and prayed for. At the same time the men were seeing a lot of break through at the Teen Challenge center. It was an afternoon of physical and emotional healing!

A few pictures from the past three weeks…

The kids at the dump

Puerto Abajo kids

Teaching the kids the “God of Wonders” dance.

The orphanage

Always soccer. J

The daycare

That is a taste of what has been going on in our part of the world. Monday morning we are leaving Guatemala City to travel to Antigua to stay for a few weeks. We’re sad to leave the city but so excited to see what God has in store for us on the next leg of our journey!

Thanks to everyone who has been supporting us in prayer! We're feeling it. :)