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Saying Good-Bye to Thursday and Hello Friday

As we were packing and preparing to head back to the city Thursday night we received some bad news. The bridge at Retalhuleu had washed out earlier that day. Perhaps it was partially damaged during the tropical storm a few weeks ago and now the continued heavy rains finished it off. Our concern now was getting the team back in time to catch their flight on Saturday.

The Pan-American Highway runs through Retahuleu about half way back to the city. Ely knew a way around the town but it was questionable whether or not the road would be passable by van. Our only other option was to drive through the mountains. This would add at least 3 hours to our trip. Either way we knew our journey back to the city might be eventful so we decided to leave Piedra Partida at 5a on Friday morning.

At 7a, about two hours into our trip, we learned that the road around Retaluhelu was only passable by 4X4. Our final option was to go through the mountains. The roads were good but there was still much clean up being done due to the recent mud slide in the area.

As always the mountains were very beautiful.

Some of the team members stretched their legs and enjoyed the fresh mountain air.

Even though the trip was long everything had gone well and it did look like we were all going to get to reach the city at a decent hour. As we made our way down off the mountains we entered into the city of Chimaltanego, around 5000 feet above sea level and it was 2 more hours to the city. We were almost close enough to smell Guatemala City and I breathed a sigh of relief.

With my next breath and without warning traffic came to an abrupt stop. Soon, horns began to blow and impatient drivers started making their own way forward. I have seen this many times before and usually it ends in a horrific traffic jam. I call it the Guatemalan version of a “Mexican Stand Off.” We learned that a sink hole had swallowed half of the road ahead and detours were set up.

Lewis

Thursday Part 2 – El Triunfo

The roads to El Triunfo were a bit challenging but we made the short journey in one hour. As soon as we arrived, children, who were on break from a nearby school, gathered.

Soon The World Cup was on between the Americans and Guatemalans but the game was cut short by the bell. As children made their way back to class the team brought the food to the church. Once the food was inside the church the team blessed the families gathered there.

Food distribution is always a special time for team members. It touches your heart to see how so little can bless so much.

Soon team members were receiving hugs and there is never a question of who gets blessed the most.

Lisa Johnson receives a big hug.

We said our goodbyes and headed out hoping not to get caught by the rain on the bad roads.If the weather permits we will probably take the team out to Port Ocos to see the beach and the Pacific Ocean. The weather cooperated and we made it to the beach and the girls pose for a pic on the lifeguard stand that had been turned over.

Eduardo and the guys do……well what guys do…..dig, play and get wet.

The Johnson family takes a break on a large peice of drift wood.

Our last day at the coast had been a good one, in fact, it had been a really good week. Once again we are thankful for the opportunities the Lord had given us to serve. Your prayers are so very important. Thank you once again.

Lewis

Thursday, It’s a Wrap!

At 6am the roof was still wet with last nights rain so we would have to wait until it dried before finishing painting. We decided to load the truck and make preparations so we’d be ready to leave for the church at El Triunfo at 9am. The team will deliver food to the believers there.


After breakfast the sun poped out enough to dry the roof and the “Roof Crew” sprung into action.

It didn’t take the guys long to finish. Finally the mass of rust and metal now wore a new white shinny coat. Hopefully it will protect and suffice for a long time.

Let me introduce you to this wild and crazy roof cleaning/painting crew. Trent and Michael, top row, worked like mad men from the get go. (Bottom L to R) Team Leader, David painted and supervised the operation whole Zack brushed the ridge and Greg, all the way from CA, painted the opposite side. I must say that after Monday I had my doubts about finishing the roof but these guys, as well as the entire team never gave up. They gave 200 percent 24 – 7.

Ely lead us in a devotion. Ps 137:2, “Don’t stop doing what God has gifted you to do.” Afterwards we headed for El Triumfo.

Lord bless – Lewis