15 Jul First Full Day – Day Two
We awoke in Antigua and had breakfast at our hotel. We departed at 10am on a four hour trek through the mountains to Xela. Our bus driver’s name is Edwin, and he is very safe. En route we had an orientation, given by Debbie Amsler. Also traveling with us are Mike and Shannon, missionary associates from Indiana, and Kaylee, an intern from Illinois. Additionally, we have Alfredo Casasolas, a national and children’s minister who plays a great clown, and Adelle, who is an assistant to Dave and Debbie. We received an education on cultural etiquette in both the church and secular sphere, tips on “what not to do”, and general instructions to help us have a successful time. About halfway to Xela we stopped at a rest stop so everyone could use the bathroom and get a soda. Debbie was prepared to exchange dollars to quezales in $20 increments. The students were very excited to spend their newly acquired Q. We continued our journey to Xela. It began to rain fairly hard. The road became more challenging, as mudslides are quite frequent in Guatemala. At one point we were stopped for about 45 minutes as the road was cleared ahead of us. We arrived safely and got checked in around 3pm.
After settling in, we headed to dinner at Pizza Hut in downtown Xela. Afterward we returned to the hotel to review our dramas. At 6:30pm we departed for our host church. Saturday evenings they hold a youth service, and we were invited to participate. The team did great! They performed the “Liberame” human video, and Doug preached. 12 students responded to the altar for prayer. On the ride back to the hotel, the students were asked what their favorite part of the service was. Most of them really enjoyed the worship. Their observations: It was loud, the trumpets were great, the vibrancy was ecstatic. It was a great introduction to Latin American Pentecost. We will be attached to this church all week, and look forward to the interaction.