Saturday, July 16, 2011


While we were gone, the village of Esfuerzo called into the radio station and said that around 10 families were interested in learning more about this God and asked for a visit.
{The Village of Esfuerzo}

Domingo was waiting until we got back so that the first time we visited we could take our projector and show a movie. In that way the people could see the good news instead of just hear about it. The first day I could travel with him was July 3rd. All that he knew was that there was no road to this village and it was a 30-45 minute walk. He told me to be at his house at 7am, Sunday morning to start the trip.

Now that's early enough for a Sunday morning, but Domingo's house is 3 hours away from ours, so I left at 4am. The night before Lico asked to go along, so I swung by and picked him up at 4:30. Lico knows a little Kekchi from his time in the war and because of his desire to be a pastor, everybody thought this would be a good opportunity for him as well.

Besides being a normal village visit for us, this was also a scouting trip for a group that arrives July 23rd. Domingo is notorious for giving inaccurate information about distances, locations, travel time...etc. Domingo travels so much to new places searching for villages that it's a wonder he can remember where they all are and besides that he is very optimistic about how fast I drive.

From Domingo's house we drove 15 minutes and asked permission to park the truck in somebody's driveway?...yard?... I don't know how to describe it but it was in front of their house. Then we began walking. Domingo had arranged for a horse to meet us to carry our bags and the speaker, but my only bag was a backpack with my laptop and projector in it. The projector wasn't padded, and I didn't want to trust $3,000 worth of equipment to a horse so I decided to just carry it. Plus Shelley's dad just bought us a new bulb, which is a huge deal since we were way over on the hours those things are supposed to last.
{Horse with the bags}

It was only supposed to be a thirty minute walk anyway. We started walking at a pretty good pace and 30 minutes into the hike I realized we were only halfway there. At one point we crossed a river on a board...
but I felt safe after seeing the horse cross first.
And don't think that it was a nice flat stroll, this was a steep hike up and down several hills in the mud, in the jungle.
Lico and Domingo kept offering to carry my bag, but I heard the sighs of relief when I declined their help. I didn't think it would be fair to turn down the horse and then have them carry everything for me.

We arrived at the village but had to walk down the hill and then up another one to get to the house where they had prepared breakfast.
I had just eaten at Domingo's so now I had two breakfasts in me (4 eggs, 6 tortillas and 2 large servings of beans) and to drink they had warm cans of coke. Warm coke might not sound that good, but not everyone here boils their water long enough, so warm coke is ideal. It is also very generous of them. Then it was time to walk back to the other side of the village, down a hill and up another one, to get to the school building where the meeting was taking place.
Domingo and his brother, Abelino, had been there the night before with a band from the closest church to here (30 minute drive + an hour walk).
The band had placed their instruments, speakers and generator on horses and then hiked back and spent the night in the village for the two services. This saved us from worrying about transporting a generator, although we did attach a gas can to the horse.

We got everything set up and had a great turnout!
These photos were taken at the beginning, even more showed up soon after.

We announced our evangelistic group that would be back on July 26th and said our goodbyes. Then we walked down the hill and back up to the house where we had eaten before. 2 hours later and now it was time for lunch. They had chicken soup prepared and it was delicious. Caldo (or soup) is my favorite Kekchi meal. Another can of coke and a bottle of Pepsi for the road and we were saying our goodbyes.
{Lico is in the background and Flat Stanley is in the photo because of a project we are doing for a SS class}

Down a hill and at the top of the next one Domingo was tired so he stopped and called a friend who promised to bring a horse and carry it out for him.
Abelino, Domingo's brother, had ridden his horse in the day before and left with us. He kept offering me the horse and I would decline. Finally, with 20 minutes left in our hike, Abelino got off and Domingo said, "Brother, just get on the horse!"
For the record, I was walking faster with my bag than the horse and the two Guatemalans were before I got on it. After lugging my big Gringo self up there I felt like the horse was going to stop and call a buddy to come get me.

Along the way I got a lot of lessons in corn, fertilizer beans, field burning, orchids and mud. It was a fun trip and I look forward to doing it again soon. The best part was that at the end of the road is a village where there was no church or Christians, but now there will be both soon!

CRAZY ITEM OF THE DAY: Nothing makes you feel like you're in the middle of a war zone like seeing one of these with 2 guys with their fingers on the trigers as you pull out of the grocery store!
They extended the state of siege in Petén for another 30 days. We wish it would last forever but know that it won't. Once most of the military moves out, all the cartel wars will start right back up again. Notice the sign says, "Welcome to the Maya Mall!"


  1. Your beautiful pictures and descriptions remind me of a trip to Guatemala (doing much the same kind of thing) that I made once. I lived in El Salvador 5 years, now we're in the Middle East. May the Lord bless your ministry!

  2. This was a really interesting!

    Caldo IS good!

  3. I can't even tell you how excited I am to get down there!!! That looks beautiful! I can't wait!!!

  4. I am home for lunch and Diane told me you posted this. It's awesome to see how God is using you and your family. I too am looking forward to the trip, sounds like I'll have to catch up with Amy since she can't wait. God bless you. Love and prayers Colonel


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