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After a long wonderful journey from San Lucas to Mount Pacaya to Antigua, we had a wonderful experience and have now made it back safely to Minnesota!

Thank you to all who followed and kept our journey in your prayers.

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La Antigua

Saturday we had a whirlwind tour of shopping, eating, museums and topped it off with a hotel rooftop Mass in Antigua. It is a beautiful place to explore. Here are some of Mitchell and my favorite stops, mainly our time in the convent of the Mercedians. La Merced was a buzz with activity preparing for their grand processions during Holy Week. They dress Christ in these antique detailed outfits.

Tzununa

I sponsor a child, named Venita, through Unbound (which I encourage all of you to look into), and today I had the wonderful opportunity to visit her and her family and meet them in person! She lives directly across the lake from San Lucas. They were very kind to show us around their home and also visit their church.

-Fr. VanDenBroeke

Mi Casa, Su Casa

Today some of our group had one last opportunity to go back to the house we’ve been building. One last chance to make progress and talk to my new friend, Juan.

I had the opportunity to see it the first day and now our last, and MAN! It is crazy to see how much we can do in just a few short days. By the time we had to leave, the entire outer structure was built and a wall was put in the middle of the house. It will have 2 windows, one of which you can see in our group picture.

Most houses in Guatemala are either built from wood or brick, but without a construction worker who knows what they’re doing, it can be a futile attempt to make a sturdy, lasting house.

Enter Juan.

Juan was our go-to guy for all the tasks we had to accomplish, and after asking me to go dig a 2-foot hole for a 10-foot pole to sink into, nail the pole to the wall and saw open a window all by myself, we quickly became friends. I would not say I’m anywhere near fluent in Spanish, but I can hold my own in a conversation and I think Juan appreciated that.

More importantly, though, we got to meet the family that we were building the house for. The woman’s name was María and her husband’s name is José lo Mano. They have two kids, one about two years old and the other just a baby whom I never saw leave her sling.

What I’ve been struck by over and over on this trip is that it isn’t about the work as much as it is about getting to know the people. At one point during our work, some women gathered to watch us and when I asked them their names, they instantly lit up and shared that plus more about themselves. These people truly just desire connection and community. But don’t we all? We just want someone to be intentional with us. To show us they care.

So as we wrap up our week of mission and prepare for travel, I hope that you continue to pray for us. To be intentional and personal with all of the people we have the opportunity to meet; to be able to share the love of Christ with them just by being our authentic selves. But more importantly, I ask that you pray for José and María, that they can have a safe and blessed home to raise their children.

Thanks for reading my rambles 🙂

-Alli Theis