Friday in Guatemala

Stove Delivery Team: Day Five of stove deliveries was full of challenges and blessings. We arrived at Casa Angelina Orphanage and loaded the last fourteen stoves to be delivered bringing our total for this trip to 100- which adds up to 550 stoves in four years!! Before we left Casa Angelina we were able to see the Unity Presbyterian team get off the bus with the children to greet them. Unity teens Libby Minter, Ethan and Evan Rhodes have been a big hit with the smaller children.

We returned to the very hilly area around Acatenango volcano. The morning was the warmest we experienced all week. Our first delivery was down a hill so steep and muddy a wheelbarrow was impossible so Ken Sipes and Josue wrapped straps around the stove and carried it down. We then returned to an area where we delivered on Thursday. It is exciting when we deliver to many homes in the same area as all the neighbors gather in the street.

In Guatemala, the school year runs from January through October. Today was the beginning of a two week mid-year vacation so the elementary age children were in the village. Thanks to Dolls on Mission we had quite a number of stuffed dolls, dogs, and bracelets to give out. One young girl tugged at my heart. She was so friendly with the sweetest smile but with a mouth/dental deformity that broke my heart. Once when she was standing a few feet away me, one of the mothers pointed to my teeth and said pretty. It is so sad to see the very small children with a mouth full of rotting teeth from being feed sugar cane, cheap candy, and coffee along with the lack of dental care and poor nutrition.

About midday it began to rain so hard it felt like tiny hail. Imagine that in the bed of a pickup truck! It rained for the next few hours. It is the only time in my life I got a bit of sunburn on my nose and forehead in the morning and an inch of rain in my boots in the afternoon. Customers in a local diner waved us in to drip off.

Alas, no matter how cold, wet and tired we became, the privilege of being able to bring a gift that will make a impact in the lives of the people we met made the day worth it all. Seeing the flames coming out of the new stoves pushed us on.

Meanwhile back at the orphanage…

Today was a bittersweet day as we said goodbye to our new friends who have stolen our hearts. Our work crew finished the water meter project, which felt good leaving having completed a project. We will miss our daily play time and sweet hugs from laughing children. But we leave knowing they are happy and very loved! We are already looking forward to next year.

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