We are gaining ground with our language studies, though some days it feels like a great big "NOT." We keep reminding ourselves that "coherent communication" is the goal, not absolute fluency. There is a diff. We each have our own tutor, and it's great getting to know them not only as teachers, but as friends in the community. Thank you so much to those of you who have given specifically to help with our school tuition. We couldn't do this without you.
Rod started teaching at the bible school this week. Man, talk about a long-time-coming, heart's desire fulfilled. He is in his element and luvin' it -- teaching Principles of Christian Living from Ephesians, which continues for the next four weeks. I got a kick out of the challenge of prepping his outlines in Spanish for the students and had a blast working with my language teacher to double-check everything. She had her work cut out for her, but we had some great convo about Jesus in the process, and it helped us get to know each other on a deeper level.
On another note, we successfully completed our first border-crossing-re-entry-permission process. We went into Belize and back to satisfy this requirement. It was interesting. English is the national language, but that doesn't mean you can understand it. It's just as hot there as here. Brazenly bold iguanas. Ginormous geckos. And five and a half hours one way by open air bus, crammed full, with no room to stretch your legs out and not a lot to see. I will say... it sure felt like home when we crossed back into GT three days later. (Card punched. YES!)
BIG news: The prosthetics jornada just wrapped up, and our man, Salvador, whom many of you personally helped in obtaining his amputation surgery, was there bringing with him a two-fold, really cool story. First was how positive and upbeat he was. Don't let the pics below fool you. He was smiling big time, all the time as he talked about how before his surgery he prepared himself mentally for what it would be like afterward without his foot. As a result he never experienced a negative, depressive struggle over the loss. AND he didn't hesitant to say that this was God at work in his life.
The other really cool part was watching the restoration process from the perspective of his surgeon, Dr. Ricardo. It never occurred to me the emotional weightiness a surgeon experiences, but Dr. R told how very troubling it is to realize you have just altered someone's entire future with an amputation because so often -- as is the case in this country -- there is no prosthetic option afterward, which can mean unrecoverable, economic devasation for entire households. He was moved to tears to see his patient restored to wholeness.
Seriously, isn't that just awesome? And so like God to be at work in all these different things at once.
To see more coverage on the jornada, check out the video by Brent Wright HERE.
So, yes, it's been very busy, but a good-busy here in Guatemala. Thank you so much for faithfully participating with God at work, and for allowing us to represent you here as together we continue,
Rod & De Ishmael
Crescent Lake Christian Center, 1250 St. Louis Ave., Excelsior Springs, MO 64024