Dear family and friends,

I write as we drop off the team that will begin the water unit installations and we head off to LaBarranca for our first medical clinic. Yesterday we spent the morning in Chichi and headed off to experience the market first thing in the morning. It is always an experience of colors and sounds and smalls as well as an experience of close contact with people of all ages. For some it is a stimulating experience and for others it is a bit too much stimulation!

Many of us made our way to the big Catholic church where a mass was going on. It is almost impossible to describe the experience of a priest serving communion while candles burn and flowers lay on low tables in the center aisle – prayers of celebration and desire to gods of fertility and harvest and marriage… The smell of burning incense is everywhere warding off the evil spirits.

We then toured the local cemetery, an interesting mix of Christian tombs with Mayan burials sites and ceremonies. It always strikes me how many people are in the cemetery placing fresh flowers on the graves and really honoring their deceased. Our cemeteries are vacant in comparison.

We then had a wonderful lunch at a buffet at the hotel. It was just what we needed as we started the 3 hour drive to Cunen. The country side is amazing. Very mountainous and vast. We are so blessed to have the opportunity to visit this beautiful country and the beautiful people. Traveling with us are several of our local interpreters. It is one way the the mission gives back to the community – hiring local interpreters. And it is a delight to work with them. We have worked with most of them before : )

So – we settled into our new hotel, worshipped together, dined together and then spent time talking, playing cribbage, and just enjoying one another’s company. I feel God’s blessing already on this team. I can’t wait to work with them today.

Lastly we celebrated Robin’s birthday Guatemalan style with fireworks (they look like a red snake), song, and a cake!

We are now at our first site and i need to help set up the clinic. Continue to hold us in your prayers especially on this first day of work. We will we entering into new relationships, experiencing the Mayans trust in what we offer, and knowing that what we offer is small compared to what we can access at home and small compared to what we will receive in return from the people here. More later….

Much love from Guatemala!

Blessings, Linda