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Tuesday // January 31, 2012

Last night, somebody said “what time is it?” We were all in bed and it was only 7pm. LOL. Cozy ain’t it…

After our dinner of black beans and rice, the men went down to the river. The Rio Suchiate (Sue-she-ah-tae), that separates Guatemala and Mexico, is a fifteen minute walk. A bucket bath just doesn’t compare to a swim in the river. (sorry, no pics)

We woke this morning to find the after mass from where the neighbor’s pig had gotten in our trash last night. Talk about the need for a leash law.

By 8am, “the hole” was nearly ready for concrete and then breakfast was ready.

Eduardo and Maressa at breakfast. We enjoyed her eggs, black beans, pico and fried plantains. As always, we are very well fed.

Fatigue from hard work and drastic temperature changes set in. It was 22 degrees when we left home and around here it’s 100 degrees. We are moving much slower but the work continues.

“The hole” is taking shape and by 3pm the first phase of blocks are completed. With a break in the action Pastor’s Epifanio and Isidro converse.

We alway are praying for a harvest of souls but seldom see those “great” numbers of conversions that I hear about from others. What we do see is steady church growth and new churches being planted. Since 2005, Esfuerzo Cristiano has grown from around 30 churches to over 50. This only comes through the power of the Holy Spirit working in the hearts of people. The church at Las Mercedes has grow in one year from 13 adults to 21. They don’t count children here, I suppose because they come so quickly. We praise God for the increase. Pastor Isidro and his wife are doing a wonderful job ministering in Las Mercedes.

We did have one incident yesterday…

Denny tossed a 5 gallon bucket out of the hole only to have an 8 inch cement block come down an hit his head. After some consideration we sent him to the hospital in Malacatan where he received multiple stitches and meds. We praise God that it wasn’t worse.

Thank you, again, for all your prayers.

Monday // January 30, 2012

Waking at 4am, we secured our load before heading out.

We over loaded our small trailer and all eleven of us piled in and on truck for the hour or so trip. The road to Las Mercedes is rough that we had to leave the van behind.

In just over an hour, we pulled onto the church grounds. We worked an hour or so while Maressa prepared breakfast. When it wad ready we were more than happy to oblige.

First on our agenda was to help finish “the hole” that church members had started three weeks ago. “The hole” as we named it, was 9′ x 9′ x 9′ and had a real mean kick to it. By lunch, we were pretty much spent.

The hole would serve as part of the new bathrooms and septic system at the church. What a blessing it will be when finished.

Bible school went very well as Ruth and Tammy were well prepared.  Eduardo did a wonderful job interpreting and helping with the children  Around 50 children attended.

Today was extreme but much got accomplished. To God be the glory!

Thank you for your continued prayers.

Sunday // January 29, 2012

“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!”

“Lord, I need to be reminded.”

After church we loaded the trailer and waded through the thick and contested, Sunday afternoon traffic, on our way to the airport. By 2:30pm, we had collected the team from Oakland Baptist and made our way back into this bumper to bumper madness.

It was good to see our old friends from Oakland and to meet Tammy, who had come for the first time. Everyone was excited to be here and to see what the Lord had in store for our week at Las Mercedes.

The further we escaped the city the lighter the traffic but there were many large sugar cane trucks on the road making the journey slow. The ride to the coast was going to be a long.

The condition of the Pan American highway was the worst I had ever witnessed. Pot holes that could swallow a small car, that could at the least ruin your front end, were everywhere. We slivered through using both sides of the road and the shoulders many times to avoid disaster. As darkness fell, it became a bit unnerving. Many times it was impossible to see the road as lights from on coming traffic blinded our sight. Rich, a truck driver from TN help me navigate, announcing what lied ahead. By our Lord’s grace we completed the seven hour journey and arrived at the dorm by 9:30pm.

The team wasted no time unloading and then reloading our food and supplies for Las Mercedes.

We finished late, took our cold showers, that were wonderful, and went to bed.

Thank you for praying,