It is with a great sigh of relief that I sit down to write you, and realize that we survived July 2013! All year long, I've been looking at that page on the calendar with a decent bit of trepidation. But we made it! In the end, it was good. Albeit rather chaotic!
The first week of July we were still wrapping up the Awakening team that I told you about last month. The day they left was the 4th of July, which means our annual Independence Day BBQ! I always look forward to this so much, and it gets bigger every year.
We had 1 week to recover from one team and prepare for the next. "Preparing" doesn't quite describe it well enough though. This was a 13-person, 3 week long team. Going to 7 different villages, holding medical clinics, installing water filters and smokeless stoves, teaching a children's program, open air night preaching with Jesus films, and squeezing in a few waterfalls and Mayan ruins where they could! Getting ready for a trip like that requires many hours of preparation. Not to mention the other aspects of our ministry that needed catching up on. That accounts for the 2nd week of July!
Once the Global Encounters team arrived, things got crazy! They only had one day at our house (half of which we spent at the orphanage) to get everything ready for their jungle trip. First thing Monday morning, they were off! That week was spent in Tojolobal country. Dr. Rivas and family accompanied them for clinics with Bonnie, Gabby Ozuna, and Alex Leslie (all local San Cris friends) translating English/Spanish. The med clinics saw as many as 200+ patients a day with two doctors in operation. Several patients recieved Christ's free gift of salvation and there were a lot of tears and smiles going around. They found a lot of malnutrition and poor health education affecting the people physicaly, and of course spiritually a lack of basic discipleship.
When they returned from Tojolobal, they had a few days to unpack, do laundry, sleep in a real bed and take hot showers for a few days! Then it was packing up and heading out again, this time to Ch'ol. Dr. Rivas and family stayed home ill for this trip, and our GE doctor Elizabeth Cook got to stretch her wings a bit. She did great and her team worked really well together. Not able to run through as many patients with only one doctor, but still spreading health and Jesus to as many as possible. Nathan was, as usual, impressed with the quality children's program that GE teams produce. Teaching subjects that are as relevent to the kids as to many of the adults there eavsdropping. He used most of the subjects as spin-offs for his evening preaching, with good responses all round.
The GE team's last week in Chiapas was spent mostly here in San Cristobal. They helped out with numerous projects around here. Building and painting desks and furniture for the orphanage school house, and repainting our dining room were the big ones! They also spent several days at the orphanage helping with the children, and painting the new school house.
They flew out to go back home on Aug 4th. Can that be my excuse for getting this update out a bit later than I had hoped to? That, or the nasty head cold we got the day after the team left.
That was our July! We hope your summer has been as blessed as ours.
(for Nathan, Cloe, Gabi, Brennah and William too!)