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GAP: Guatemala

 Guatemala Action Project

 

In 2011, Pease Church decided to move out Globally with our missions... We reached out to an organization called World Renew and we were soon matched up with an organization called Vid y Pampanos (Vine and Branches) in Quetzeltenango, Guatemala. In 2012, we sent our first group of global servants to Guatemala for a week! They spent their time building relationships with the leaders  of Vid y Pampanos and the people of the rural mountain communities they serve. They spent their days traveling around the countryside visiting the local people, learning about their culture and listening to their hearts.

Since then, we have sent a group every February. On all these trips, time is spent working along side and building relationships with the wonderful people Vid y Pampanos works with. Our church works alongside these communities to support the people of Guatemala through friendships that bring hope and encouragement as well as providing funds which enable them to complete projects for schools and roads.  

Another group left this morning (1/27/2017). They will continue to build on existing relationships and hopefully forge some new ones. Our entire church has been involved in different aspects of making this trip possible. From making and selling apple pies, to congregational offerings, prayers, making different projects to send along and many other things that have been happening behind the scenes...

    This years trip is Feb 22- March 3 2019 Team will consist of 12 people. We will be heading to 5 communities this year, La Palmera, Esperanza Miralta, Monte Margarita, El Tineco, and Paxboch. Working to share God’s love and also to strengthen the relationships we’ve built throughout the years! 
 

Hi everyone!     2018

I apologize about the GAP team not having a blog this year- we were having some technical difficulties and they still haven’t resolved so I figured I’d at least send an update to you all! 

Travel day on Friday the 23rd: MINNESOTA WINTER STRIKES AGAIN! We left church around 1:45am trying to catch our early flight. But long story short, we didn’t get to Guatemala until about 11pm that night. Let’s just say we had plenty of time for team bonding in the Houston airport! 

Saturday: We traveled to Lake Atitlan and played tourist. We toured a coffee cooperative and learned how much work goes into a single cup of coffee. (IT’S A LOT.) Then we walked down the street into a textile shop and watched a demonstration about how the women make their beautiful pieces. We watched as they start with cotton, take out the seeds, soften it, turn it into string, dye it various colors using different natural plants, and then using the loom turn it into works of art- bags, scarves, ponchos, purses, etc. With both of those experiences, it’s amazing how patient and hardworking they are. 

Sunday: We enjoyed coffee and breakfast on a balcony overlooking Lake Atitlan. Bethany, one of the World Renew employees, points way, way up across the lake to the highest point on the mountain behind it and said that was where our morning hike was going to be…. Whaaaaat! We took a bus up most of the way but the last while that was the highest elevation we would be climbing on foot. Everyone was up for the challenge (some more than others) but everyone was so happy we did once we got to the top. You can imagine the view and I heard one of the team members say “How can they say there’s not a God??” After our time there we traveled to Xela, which is the hometown of Patty, Sadoc, and Luisa. We quickly settled Into the hotel and went for dinner where all of their families were able to join us. We even got to see Davinsky! He is the bridge we worked with the last two years but this year is working with a new company. Since we have Sadoc, Patty, and Luisa with us for a week it’s nice to get a chance to be with their families and create that bond with them as well. 

Monday: Today we went to the new community we will be working with, Paxboch (pronounced like pash-boch.) Here there were 140 students, and they put on a beautiful welcoming program. There was singing, dancing, beautiful decorations- it was a wonderful way to start our week! We had a short amount of time to play with the kids and then we went to the local church. There we met with some of the adults in the community as well as Vine and Branches Throughout the meetings there was great conversation about who V&B is, what the community is struggling with, and questions about how we can help them. We learned a lot about them and ensured them that getting V&B involved in their community is a huge first step to improvement. With that relationship, they can provide training for leaders in the community, and provide them with resources that they do not have access to. They seemed skeptical, like they wanted us to come in right now and help them- telling us they need water and they need new corn, but that is not how it works. World Renew and Vine and Branches focus is community development. So we pray that they trust the process and that we are able to see the changes in them in the new few years like we have in the other communities. 

Tuesday: Monte Margarita- the biggest community! 160 kids plus the adults! Again, a beautiful ceremony that filled the entire morning. Since we had been there last, they finished a classroom, added a new room for a kitchen, and even an additional space that they are going to use for either the principal’s office or a library. Our time with the kids was a blast. We played games, made crafts, did face-painting, and were able to hand out some of the cross necklaces that the GEMS made for us! This day was also our first time meeting with the adult women. By having a discussion, and usin

and we left wishing we would have started spending time with them separately years ago. After lunch we also had time to meet with the teenage boys and girls. What a turnout! They came from all around and we hope that through our conversations we planted a seed, and that the Holy Spirit continues to work in them and draw them closer to God. It was a full day… challenging, emotional, joyful, devastating. As always, I left with more questions than answers. But that is what makes it exciting that the GAP project has more support than ever. It is such a blessing to have Bethel on board and be able to share that down there that we are growing and the support for them is stronger each year. The changes and improvements of where this community is today, versus when we started there 7 years ago- is amazing. 

Today we head to Esperanza Miralta, 88 kids. This was a brief update but I just wanted to let everyone know how we were doing and thank you for your continued prayers! We are busy, a little sleep deprived, and a little sunburnt, but we are also creating such a bond as a team and are so excited each morning to get to the new community and share what we have planned for them and see how far they’ve come! I included some pictures of our team on that hike to the mountain on the lake, some games we played with Paxboch, and the craft. The craft is a little candle and we talked about the children being the light the world and how to let their light of Jesus shine. 

Julie Goslinga

 

 

Here is a link to the GAP BLOG. You can read about their trip and what's happening and see more pictures!  

 

If you have any questions or would like more info, please call Julie Goslinga or the church office.