The City

Week 2 - GUA Letter from Lauren

By Ellis Prince in Gallery Church Downtown about 1 year ago | 305 views Link:

Week 2

Last Saturday with the new team, Maranatha Bible Church, started out as a complete disaster. It took three buses and three extra hours from the airport to HOL because they kept breaking down. So of course I was like “oh great I know what type of week this is going to be” and it was for sure. It’s amazing to me how obvious it is that the evil one tries to sabotage. This week was filled with him trying steal our joy, distracting us from what we’re doing, and just flat out making things 10x more difficult. As if that wasn’t enough, he was in my mind whispering so much this week too. He knows exactly what to get me thinking about to throw me off my game. Gahhh I hate him. There were so many moments of me saying “turn your eyes upon Jesus Lauren.”

The weather wasn’t always our friend again (looking to the forecast next week is all rain too…), cell phones were lost, showers were broken, sleep was little, team members were sick and had to stay back, emotions were whack, there was a forgotten microphone, the language barrier, and lots of other little things. But for me, the biggest thing besides my own mind this week was of course my mom’s health. Wednesday and Thursday were rough. I’m so thankful that our God is Jehovah Rapha, the Great Healer, though, she’s on the right track for now. I’m at peace about not coming home, but we just have to keep praying that she keeps getting better and better.

Looking back at this week, the awesome thing is that we didn’t let satan’s sabotage actually sabotage. God’s kingdom grew through it. Oh how sweet our victory is in Jesus.

This church rocked their week in the village of Tequiz. The VBS each day was JESUS JESUS JESUS. The crafts, the games, the lesson. Everything. Same with the mom’s study. And same with the teenagers. I cannot wait to go home and plan our Gallery Guat trip to be outlined like theirs. 20+ women prayed to receive Christ on the last day. It gives me chills just typing that. And listening to 150+ kids yell “salvacion” when asked what the cross stands for… ugh it was amazing. The bonds that were formed were beautiful to watch too. Maranatha Bible Church knows how to love. It was an honor to be apart.

One super cool thing about HOL is their sponsorship program. During the week is a sponsorship party if people in the church sponsor kids. So the kids you sponsor are brought here so you can give them gifts, play with them, and grow the relationships. That happened on Wednesday and it was so cute to see the team members swim, play, and eat with these kiddos. I mean really, think about it. They’ve never swam in a pool before, never even probably been out of their village (this was the first sponsorship party that Maranatha has had). The thing that made me cry is when Rick and Robin’s little girl said that her favorite part of the day was that she ate too much. That wrecks me.

Craig, the pastor, last night ended though with talking about how we should be wrecked. Nothing is ever going to change in our hearts and in our lives if we aren’t. I have seen the poorest of the poor. That changes you and I’m so thankful for it. Now I can BE change. Ugh there are so many stories of people I want to share. Like Myrna’s sponsor child has CP and is 10? something close to that. So she can’t walk, and her mom carries her everywhere. When some of our team walked down to visit their house, they could barely make it down the steep rocky long path and back up again. That momma does it everyday with a smile on her face. Her house isn’t even a good one. Water pours in when it rains and the mud walls are crumbling. I’m going to cry typing this… We really don’t know how blessed we are. And you don’t know until you SEE differently and then get wrecked because of it. There are so many more just like them but I’ll save that for home:)

Ok so, this village was over 2 hours away. We would ride in a bus for exactly an hour to a gas station, then we would pile into the beds of two pick up trucks and one cattle truck for the haul up the mountain. My butt is soooooo bruised from sitting on the side of the truck, but it’s a blast and it builds muscle so I’m not complaining too much. ;) I’m in the process of making a video thing with some of my pictures and videos so when I get home you can see what I’m doing and not just read. The trucks will certainly be a part of that.

The highlight of my week was certainly Alexis. The sweetest little boy. I must be a magnet for little boys or something because every kid that’s been my buddy is a boy (there were a handful of girls too that wouldn’t let go of my arm and wanted to always be with me, but the boys are more fun lol 😂😂). There’s Manuel, Edvin, Alexis, Anderson, a super cute kid at the dump that I was playing ball with but was too young to say his name, and these two adorableeeeeee little boys on Wednesday. One is Daniel and the other one didn’t tell his name. But I was just standing there and Daniel ran up and gave me the biggest hug. We played chase for a while. Such a little flirt. I’m going to go visit them at their house later today if I decide to not be lazy. But back to Alexis, to put it simply: he’s so precious and I miss him so much already. I wrote a long thing about him on IG last night, I don’t really feel like doing it again. Too sad :(

The heart of this week was that the team was building a home for a family. A widow and her 3 beautiful girls. They. Had. No. House. The joy on their faces, the tears streaming down their cheeks, and the hugs at the dedication were beyond priceless. Their lives are forever changed now that they have a home.

Alright I think I’ll end with the cool thing about this week. I MET MY HAIR TWIN. Kali has the exact same curl pattern as me and same color. I’ve never seen anyone with the same hair as me, so that was awesome getting to know her this week.. from exchanging hair products to getting three cucos in one day to going deep. We’ll be friends for a long time:) but when you’re curly hair twins, it’s like a soul bond haha I’m thankful to have met her. And I’m definitely making a trip to Ohio to visit before too much time passes.

Each week HOL makes a short video, so here’s a link from last week. You’ll see me some ;)

Today I get to rest and to be alone for the first time while I wait for the next team to come with Donna later tonight.. wooohooo. I’m so exhausted. Our days are nonstop and then I get 5-6 hours of sleep at night, so fun right??

Thanks for all the prayers, I’m so blessed to have your support. I wish you could be here to witness all God is doing with me, these silly emails don’t do anything justice.

Just remember, if you turn your eyes upon Jesus you’ll ALWAYS have victory over the evil one because he has no authority whatsoever.

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