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Guatemala–August 2008 (R)

September 23, 2008

If you want to be a pipeline to and from Guatemala, it helps if you’ve been there. Lucky for us, this August, we got to take our first trip down to Guatemala with a couple other people from eXchange to see what was going on in Guatemala and how we could be more involved.

But before we started exploring Guat City, we went up in the mountains (to a town called Nebaj) to be a part of a New Testament dedication. In 1953, Ray and Helen Elliott first arrived in Nebaj to begin translating the Bible into the Ixil language. (I can’t imagine being the person who has to try to figure out which of the first disciples (Peter or Andrew) was the older of the two brothers because the Ixil language has no word for “brother.” There’s just “older brother” and “younger brother.”)

 

Anyway, the good news: 55 years later, the New Testament is finally finished and in the hands of the Ixil people.

 

Let’s talk about transportation. If we had wanted to, we could have volunteered to be motion sick for 8 hours straight in a chicken bus that was driving up the curvy roads to Nebaj.

 

Or we could have flown.

 

Guess what? We flew. All I can say is that the half hour flight was waaaay better than that drive could have ever been. Especially since the pilot let Nate fly. You have to check out the video that Scot Longyear put on his blog.

 

Another great thing about the Nebaj trip was that this was when we really got to know the people we were traveling with. Long hours of playing True Colors (aka “The game you play when you want to lose your friends”), laughing together in restaurants over three hour meals, and walking down dirt streets, in the rain, under an orange poncho can bring you together like nothing else.

 

All I know is that, after this trip, I would go anywhere with these people. It was that good.

 

Back in Guatemala City, we met up with John and Emily Wiggins. John and Emily deserve a lot of credit for eXchange being in Guatemala. They were the first ones to take a trip, and their experiences motivated the rest of us to get involved.

Not only are they committed to visiting Guatemala and helping out all the children there, but they have also decided to adopt a sweet little Guatemalan boy named Juan Pablo. Trust me– you want to read their blog.

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Along with hanging out with John and Emily and the babies, Scot, Steph, Mariah, Jody, Nate, and I visited several orphanages and transitional homes. I would try to describe our experiences, but I think I’ll defer to Jody and Scot, because they tell such great stories on their blogs.

At this point, I think I should tell you that while we were on this trip, we discovered that the absolutely best thing for us to do would be to pack up, move south, and live and work in Guatemala. Yeah. Right. I wish. A lot of good things did come out of the trip though, including dreams and ideas that we are already putting into action. Doesn’t it kill you that I say that, but I won’t tell you exactly what we have planned? I hate it when people tease me with vague statements! Nate did the same thing to you in his last post! But, the thing is, we’re just getting started on these projects and everything could change. One thing I hate even more than vague teasers is telling you we’re going to do something and then not doing it. So, I will tell you this: what we think these kids need most is to feel loved. They need to be recognized as individuals, not just faces in an orphanage. They need to feel special and important. And we think eXchange is ready to help do just that.

Rest assured, when we know more, you’ll know more. We won’t keep you in the dark for long.

Until then, keep praying. There are lots of details and obstacles that need to be worked through!

Rachael

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2 comments

  1. Thanks for keeping us tuned in & for striving to be clean pipes! We loved seeing you guys sing today, & I think I may have spotted Sophie in the crowd! We also met Mrs. Bush at the Farmer’s Market this morning…! Exciting Day:)


  2. Nate & Rachael,
    I would like to talk with you about what you are doing in Guatemala. I was there in September and I am planning another trip back in Feburary. You could come along if you like. You may contact me through Kim Butts at your church.
    Thanks,
    joe



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