Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Guatemala Update 4

So we are still in Limon, but I was able to upload some more of our pictures so make sure you check those out.
They´re at:
username: misstritton@gmail.com
password: 307857

I hope that our blogs have been able to keep everyone informed at much as they´d like. If you´d like to ask us questions that you have you can write misstritton@gmail.com and I will try to answer them in the following blog.

Also, we´d love to hear from you guys. It´s not always easy to respond, but it´s a real encouragment to hear that you´re thinking of us still!
We´re having so much fun together and although things get a little stressful sometimes, we still all seem to stay on a good page, pray that continues as we continue to work.
We had our first day of VBS yesterday and it went very well. We were expecting about 30 or so kids and ended up with about 60 so that number will only grow over the next few days.
Cara picked out a few kids to act out the Bible story of David. We hadn´t run over it before we actually did it so it was funny when we got to the part where he cut Goliath´s head off. Tammy looking at Cara wide eyed and slightly shaking her head started to translate in Spanish the violent act. It was funny, but she did a GREAT job!
Annie and I were in charge of crafts. Between 60+ kids, beads, string, knots, and a lanuage barrier... it got a little crazy. We did end up with braclets and no fingers cut off though so all in all it was a success.
Chris and David were in charge of games. What better sport to choose than soccer?!? They closed off the street in front of the building for games and we divided up the boys and girls. Because the lack of goals, the guys stepped up to be moving goals. BRAVE SOULS. The kids had a great time and there were only 2 or 3 minor injuries (bumps, bruises, etc.)!
We´re looking foward to VBS tonight and can´t wait to see how many kids show up.
Thanks for keeping up with us as we continue on our adventure.
We love you all and we miss you all!
Team Guatemala

Dominican Republic Update 3

We had our first sunday here in cotui yesterday. The corps here is very active and there are a lot of members. It was nice to see so many people. I got to preach again but this time there was a thunderstorm that started right when I started. The rain came in and, well, lets just say it was interesting. God is good, however, and a few people came forward. We have been painting and doing open airs this week. It was interesting to do an open air when REALLY LOUD motorcycles came by every 5 minutes. The cars here do not have the thing that makes them quiet so it is VERY loud. That is one thing I do not think I will miss.
The corps officers here are very nice. They have accepted us as family. Personally, I think Mrs. Captain wants to adopt me. It's nice to have a family here. Andrew is all better now. He is giving blood tomorrow just to make sure. Everyone is a little sun burnt again but we are dealing with it. We are learning what it means to be servants and we really love it. We feel blessed to be working for Him. Oh! We also got to visit the hospital here. That was a different experience. There are about 4 to 7 people to a room and they have no privacy. We got to talk to a lot of people and asked them to come to church. It was nice to see the people and to tell them that God loves them and everyone needs to hear that. Keep praying... we all love and miss you all.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Guatemala Update 2

Don´t freak out. So there was an earthquake on Thursday night, I (Afton) was in my room digging into the word when I was pushed off my headboard... I lived in San Francisco so I knew immediately what it was... It was small, but you could feel it. It lasted for about 5 second. I jumped out of bed and ran into the "living room" to see if David, Tammi, Cara, Chris, or Maggie felt it... and of course they had no clue... I walked into Annie´s room and she said that she did feel it, but thought it was David running down the hallway. HAHA. I walked back out to tell them about it and I noticed that all the pieces on the light were moving and showed them as proof... Well, we finally finished the roof in Satelite (not Salite). Although we ran into ran a few times during the week, it didn´t hold us back too long. It was great to watch God work though. We prayed for no rain and we literally watch the rain move around the building. It was amazing. On Saturday we attended a youth rally at the school in Limon. We performed our timbrel routine for the first time. It went well for most of us (cough Cara cough)... Cara was also picked up as an extra in one of the skits... she was a robber and she did great. I´m hoping that I will have the chance to upload more pictures this week. To end the rally the school had their drumline perform! It was great. We all really enjoyed it. After the rally we were able to go to the mall and the movies. It was so interesting because we totally forgot that we were in Guatemala. The Cup of Worlds (soccer) was on here in Guatemala last night, they played St. Lucia. Guate won 6-0! There were lots of fireworks last night. This morning we were able to participate in the service by doing a puppet show... with sock puppets..... that we made. So you can imagine how it turned out. It was funny, but it seems that our team always finds everything we do a bit more funny than everyone else does. Haha! We all want to wish our Father´s a Happy Father´s Day. SHOUTOUTS Maggie-The city is beautiful by day and night- the view continues to amaze everyone with every new part of the city we see, surrounded by green mountains and volcanoes. Cara- Wow! I´ll be in Guatemala for 5 more weeks. I love it. I can´t get over how breath taking the views are. The people here are such a blessing. We get home cooked meals everyday. I can´t wait for the many more experiences the summer will have. Oh, by the way parents- don´t have me, but I have a mohawk. I love you all. David- I love you Mom, Dad, and Katie. Annie- It is still overwhelming to me that we are actually here! I am loving my time here in Guatemala- I feel so content here. Everything is so amazing- the views, the people, and the food too! Love and miss everyone! XOXO Tammi- Mommy, I love you so much! I love you! ¡Me estoy divertiendo mucho! God is blessing us so much and we are doing very well! Tell Amber and Flo that I love them! Be Bold Chris- One week down, 5 to go! Guatemala is amazing! The people are extremely nice and I haven´t eaten this well in a long time. By the way, I definitely "mohawked" my hair. It was a smart move on my part. We have made where we´re staying feel like home mostly because we have become a family. Continue praying for us as well as the other team. Afton- Wow, I miss all of you so much, but my time here has already become somthing that will never be able to be replaced. Coming on this trip is one of the best decisions I have ever made and I wish all of you could experience it! The more I see the hard it is for me to believe that with all of this beauty there are still people that don´t believe there is a God. It is our mission to change that though. Our team is marching toward making people aware of the hope that there is one Savior and one Redeemer that loved us so much he was willing to lay down the life of his own son so that we may live with him forever. I miss you all and I love you and I hope that you continue to keep in touch with us and pray for us. Dad, I love you so much and I wish I could be there to show you how much I appreciate everything you have done for me. Happy Father´s Day and know that you´re my hero. I am so thankful for the example you have set for me. I love you sooooo sooooo soooo much! Well, that´s all for now and please continue to pray for us as we head to Mesquital.

Dominican Republic Update 2

well, we are done here in santo Domingo. we have been to three corps so far...Tres Brazos, Los Alcarrizos, and Los Olivos. We have had an amazing time so far. And only a little trouble. We got to go to the beach yesterday, and pretty much everyone got burned, some more then others...apparently the sun is hotter down here :-). Andrew didn't get burned, but he did catch a little dengue fever....just a little though, so he should be alright. we were really worried about him for a while there. God is good.
we leave for Cotui today and should be there for almost 2 weeks. it is supposed to be more remote and dengue is worse there, so please keep us in your prayers. we are looking for more bug spray with deet, but that is hard to find around here.
we have loved spending time with mr. and mrs. major Gochez and their family. we feel like they have adopted us, which is a wonderful feeling when we are so far away from home. it will be hard to say goodbye to them. in Cotui we will be sleeping on cots underneath mosquito nets :-D. wow!
please continue to keep us in your prayers, we love and miss you all!

Dominican Republic Update 1

What a wonderful first week it has been. God has blessed us so much and we have seen so many amazing things. We were welcomed with open arms and the love of these people is awe inspiring. Our hosts are so wonderful and caring. And the food is great! We have been able to do community visitations and pray for healing in peoples homes. We have had a HUGE turn out for our VBS programs. The first expected around 100 children and ended up with almost 200. We have experience what it is like to have electricity one minute for our worship meetings and the next not, but to keep on worshiping God. We have gone through trial and error, and have learned how to come together as a group and decide how to fix problems. And the children! Oh! How wonderful. One our first day we developed a fan club and the have not left our sides since. Many of us are learning how to communicate without speaking the same language. We feel so blessed to be here living and learning among the people of the Dominican Republic. And we cannot wait to see what else God has in store. Thank you so much for you prayers, and keep them coming! We love you all!
~Dominican Republic Summer Service Team 2008

Guatemala Update 3

We started in Mezquital this week and we got off as much of the old paint as we could and started painting again. We were a little nervous because it´s not a safe area at all, but no need to worry we are already done there. There were tons of kids there and they loved playing with us and us with them. The view from the roof of the building was amazing and I am hoping that I will be able to upload the pictures on Monday.
We finished early so we started working in Limon. We had to sort clothes that had been donated and bag them. Along with moving a HUGE pile of dirt to the other side of the school. The Captain at the school is very nice though and when he found out that once we were at home (Ta Ta Chino) we had to stay there he offered to take us out sometime.
On Friday the Captains from Mezquital took us to the beach. The waves were awesome and the sand was black, which was different for all of us. We were all doing okay until the tide came up and nearly washed all of our stuff away. I think everyone was pretty much done after that. A few sunburns, but we´re doing well. We had lunch right next to the beach and it was great. It was funny because most ordered fish, but when an entire fish fried came out, we were a little shocked. It was great to be able to relax though and I know we all appreciated it.
We learned last night that we are no longer (not that we were ever allowed) to flush toilet paper down the toilet. So, that´s been an adventure for us to overcome.
Today we went to a market and thank goodness we had Major with us because he save us probably a couple hundred quetzals. He worked it. Haha!
This upcoming week is going to be a challenge for us. It´s going to be long days and tough work. We´re building a computer room in Limon. So keep us in your prayers. Pray for strength, encouragment, and unity... I know all of these will be tested for us.
Also it isn´t the safest of place, but remember Psalm 27: 1-6 says:
The Lord is my light and my salvation
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life
of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.
One thingI ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
For in the days of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.
Then my head will be exalted above the enemies that who surround me; at his tabernacle I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord.
Thank you all again for your prayers. I hope to have more pictures put up on our snapfish on Monday. Make sure you look for them.
username: misstritton@gmail.com
password: 307857
Team Guatemala

Friday, June 13, 2008

The first update from the Guatemala Team

So we made it to Guatemala City with no problems. It was hard to say bye to the other team but we knew that what we were going to accomplish would be well worth it.
We had a fun flight. Cara was asleep before the door shut and Maggie found out that she has the unique ability to sleep sitting straight up. The flight was calm and the views flying over the city were amazing.
We were all very excited to finally be here. Major Munoz, the divisional commander, picked us up and took us to the hotel we would be staying at for the next 4 weeks. We were all amazed at the beauty of Ta Ta Chino (our new home) but we were made aware quickly that we were not to leave the hotel because of the area.
We had our first meal together at the Major´s house and enjoyed each other´s company. They asked if we wanted a tour of the city, but we ALL wanted to rest. We all slept until we woke up to go to dinner.
The next day we started work...
We are currently in Satelite. We´re working on restoring the roof.
We had to take down a baptismal, then notch the roof. Which I think everyone would agree was long and tiring. We had to lower the concrete that we broke off down into a truck which carried it away. We then worked on sealing the roof and are now in the process of pouring more concrete. Our final step in this will be to seal it one more time.
You should be able to look up our pictures on Snapfish.
If you´d like, you´ll be able to order prints from them as well.
Go to www.snapfish.com
username: misstritton@gmail.com
password is: 307857
Thank you all so much for all your thoughts and prayers we can feel them and we are so blessed to have the chance to do God´s work.
Thank you again! We miss you all, we love you all!

Team Guatemala

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Safe and Sound

The teams have all arrived safely. Please keep checking back for updates from them. Also, check the link on the side to see one of the Guatemala team member's myspace account.

Enjoy everyone!