What A Trip!!!

Thanks to everyone who prayed for us on our trip to Guatemala. It was a trip and a half!! We left Sunday afternoon for San Pedro Sula to pick up Roger Ortiz. Monday morning we got up bright and early and headed off to Guatemala. When we got to the border we discovered that we had forgotten our passports at home. There was no way they were going to let us cross. I wasn't about to drive 7 hours to get them. So I got some of our church people and told them what happened and I mailed them my house keys on a bus. We went back to Roger's house to spend the night and wait for our people to mail our passports back to us the following afternoon. Needless to say we were so discouraged. We were all thinking that maybe we should just forget the whole thing. As we waited that night, one of our church ladies explained to our landlord our problem and so they gave her a key to get in an upstairs door that connects to the second floor. She crawled down the stairs into my office and got our passports. Early the next morning she mailed them back to us on the bus. The bus was supposed to have arrived at about 2 in the afternoon. We were at the office by 1:30. When we got to the office they told us that the bus that was bringing our passports was in a wreck and had been delayed. They wouldn't be arriving until about 4 in the afternoon. I couldn't believe it. It seemed that everything we tried to do was failing. The bus pulled in at 4:15 I got our passports and made a race to the border. It was a two hour drive to the border and it closed at 6:00 p.m. If we didn't make it by 6 there was no way to get into Guatemala. I was flying!!! Talk about a nervous wreck. I pulled up to the border at 5:55. Just in time to cross!! God really helped us. It seemed like the devil had his hands in everything and just making things really difficult. I can't explain all the little details but I did feel really strange, it was spiritual warfare. I really believe the devil didn't want this pastor's retreat to happen. Not only did we have difficulties but the group of guys who were coming from the states also had problems. The day they were to fly out of Florida they arrived two hours early like you normally should for international flights. However, the line was so long that when they reached the counter they were told they couldn't fly it was too late. So they didn't get to come. It was one thing after another. But I tell you what, the retreat was a real blessing. There was a spirit of unity. We sensed God's presence in the services and we came home refreshed and ready to continue winning souls for Christ. It was worth all the effort.
Joseph reading books with Roger's son at San Pedro Sula.
While we waited for the bus to show up with our passports we went to the mall. Joseph just had to get his picture in Santa's sleigh.
Once we made it into Guatemala it was a long trip to Panajechel. Along the way we had to stop for about 45 minutes because of construction. Joseph decided to lay on the top of the car, he thought he was big stuff up there. We finally made it to Panajechel at 3 a.m.
The hotel where we held the retreat was very nice. The owner gave us a really good deal. 
 Getting ready to eat lunch with the pastors and their families.
We had some really good sessions and services. It was a real encouragement to the guys.
 Panajechel is a little village on Lake Atitlan. There are three volcanoes near the lake. It was absolutely beautiful. 
Guatemala has a lot of dialects and indigenous peoples. The people at Panajachel speak Spanish as well as some kind of dialect and still dress in traditional dress. It was very interesting to see how they lived. The town is a tourist town and people make their living by selling souvenirs. These ladies were making scarfs, runners etc by hand. These people had amazing skills.
The streets were lined with little shops where they sold their souvenirs.
Here is the group that was at the retreat. Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua were all represented. H.I.M. has a great group of pastors!! Some of the pastor's students and church people also came along with them.
One afternoon we all took a boat ride to the other side of the lake. Joseph loved it!

After a half hour ride to the other side we visited another little tourist village.
Rigoberto Vasquez. He is the president of HIM's Spanish churches.
Joseph wanted to buy EVERYTHING!
I loved their paintings.
Hannah wanted me to buy a pair of these pants. What do you think? I decided not to waste my money on something I wouldn't wear. haha.
These boys had caught a few small fish when we passed by. I would have liked to joined them.
Some of the guys with the captain of the boat.
Cristobal Garcia was our evangelist for the retreat. He did an excellent job sharing from his years of experience as a pastor.
Praying for a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit. This was a really good service!
On our way home we passed through downtown Guatemala City.
Getting back home was a little difficult as well. We arrived too late at the border to cross back into Honduras. The guard at the gate told us of a mountain road that would get us around the border. haha. We are residents of Honduras so we decided to go ahead and try it rather than sleeping at the border until 6 the next morning. It took us about an hour bumping along this mountain road. We came to one spot that looked like a small pond that we had to cross. The water came up to about the running boards. I was praying for a miracle!! If we would have gotten stuck we would have been sitting there all night. We made it across!! The Lord helped us get through the mountains and get home safely. It had rained the previous two days and the road was really muddy. Amazingly we made it without getting stuck. Hannah took this picture and you can kinda see what kind of road we were on. I'm just glad to be home safe and sound!


Jeanne said...

we are glad you are safely home...

mama2ryleigh said...

Wow! Looking at your pictures brings back a lot of memories for me. My family held a revival for Esdras Monroy in Guatemala when I was little & they took us to visit Lake Atitlan. Glad you had a good retreat & that you made it home safely!

debbie said...

Sounds as if this trip might make it into your top ten. So glad that God brought you safely home. I always think of robbers or thugs waiting on those old dark roads. Thank the Lord again for His Hand of protection. So glad too that you all had a refreshing time. I'm sure you are both due for a nice relaxing time at home now. Joseph looks so big. Can't wait to see you all.

Sounds like quite the trip! Wish we could have made it to the pastors retreat...

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