The City

Week #1 Letter From Lauren - GUA

By Ellis Prince in Gallery Church Downtown about 1 year ago | 354 views Link:

Hey guys!

I can’t believe the week has come and gone already. It flew by, but at the same time I feel like I’ve been here forever. I’ve lost all track of time. Everyday I have to stop and think about what day of the week it actually is. Almost like vacation, but CERTAINLY NOT vacation haha

Currently, I am sitting in the airport with Claudia while we wait for the next team to arrive.. We’ve got to wait like 4 more hours with no wifi.. the struggle is real. In all honesty though, it’s been so nice to unplug from the real world. Hardly using my phone, hardly having any communication, and hardly seeing things on social media is helping my heart to not feel like I’m missing out on things at home. I don’t miss home yet, and I’m so thankful for that.

Ok now let’s tackle the task at hand: telling you what I’ve been up to. I’ve decided to email you weekly so that when I get home, I don’t have the struggle of things blurring together. And plus I know many of you (sorry if I added you and you don’t want to know what I’ve been doing…whoops) want to hear from me.

When we arrived on Friday, Claudia and I had a couple hours to stall before the team arrived (Btw I love Claudia so much. We’ve had the best time together this week). I was eager to meet them, but also somewhat nervous because I was younger by A LOT. And let me say, my first impression of them was “oh man what am I going to do?!” They’re … interesting. They actually apologized to me for how they were going to act when they found out I was a PK. Idk the whole thing was just weird, but saying bye to them today was sad. Over the course of the week I grew to really like them.

Saturday was spent in the bus, after eating the best breakfast ever at the hotel. That hotel.. whew 5 star easy. They like to bless World Help with super discounted rooms. No complaints from me there. Oh I didn’t say, we stayed in a hotel Friday night because it would’ve been too late to arrive at Hope of Life with the time that the team landed.

Sunday we got up early and went to a local church. It was super great. Then we headed back to HOL for the tour and to organize for the week. We spent HOURS organizing all the supplies the team brought. They had 9 giant suitcases of medical stuff, crafts, and sports. Job well done on their part. The team was only 11 people.

On Monday, we had a chill morning at the hospital hanging with the babies and stuff. Then we went to the dump to feed the people. The fumigation from all the melon crops cut that short though. Our eyes were burning worse than from cutting onions, so we had to get out of there. (And of course because it’s bad to breathe that stuff in) They burned for like an hour after that, it was great. I was sad because we didn’t get to walk out to the actual dump part and pray. That was one of my favorite moments of my January trip. Thankfully I’ll get to do that this week. When we got back from the dump, we went to the senior center to give them a pizza party. Sooo much fun. We did some crafts, and colored, and blew up balloons. It was great. I love talking to some of them. They’re patient with my horrible speaking skills (please please pray for that).

Tuesday we went to La Sidra which is a village in San Augustin way up a mountain. We had to ride in the back of pickup trucks which was SO AMAZING. The view was gorgeous and it was a blast. Once we got there we went from house to house praying and meeting the people. And in the afternoon we played with the kids. I face painted for two hours, others played soccer, did bubbles, etc.

Wednesday we trekked back up the mountain again. However on this day, the main goal was to have a medical clinic for the village. Shauna is a nurse, and Alexis is in nursing school, and Amber is a PT… it was awesome to see them do their thanggg. So over the course of the day, they saw over 100 people and were able to treat them and stuff. They went through so much Scabies cream and prenatal vitamins (and so much more, their stash of meds was incredible). I say they because I was face painting again.. this time for 4 hours. My back was literally killing me by 2, I had to get Karin to take over. But the kids LOVED it. I ended up painting arms and hands in addition to faces. It was funny because they wanted the same things over and over: hearts, flowers, butterflies, spiders, scorpions, and stars. I kept telling them I wanted to do something else, but they insisted on those.

Thursday we were supposed to go back up to the village, but tropical storm Nate screwed that up. That morning had such a sense of defeat because there was still so much that needed to be done in the village. There was no closure and so many empty promises. But God had a plan, four of the team were able to go up since they could fit inside a truck. Shauna could get special meds to the people she promised, they could pass out the food bags, give the soccer jerseys and cleats to the school that Carlos donated, the hygiene bags that we took so much time stuffing could be handed out, oh and all the sports equipment could be given to the school. Meanwhile, all of us left at campus made the most of our disappointment. We poured into so many kids and their moms. I was able to spend an hour and a half with just Manual. He lives in Kelly’s house which is the home for special needs kids. He’s 4 and has cerebral palsy. He is a sweetheart and I’m so in love. I met him on Sunday during the tour and had been itching to go and spend time with him. So thankful I got to do that.

And Friday we left at 4 am for Antigua. Antigua is gorgeous. I went on a two hour zipline canopy tour, shopped, walked a lot, and saw some gorgeous buildings. There are two more Antigua trips during my time here so I’m excited to see more of the city.
And the hotel…….. even better than the Guat city one. It’s literally a dream. We stayed there for a quarter of the cost. It was so sad leaving this morning haha

I’m running on so little sleep. I don’t sleep well at night because it’s just impossible with the sleeping conditions. Every morning is an early morning, and every night is a late night. And of course there are no times for naps. The team this week met in the morning before breakfast and at night after dinner to have their lessons and discussions and devotions so that added to the lack of sleep because mornings were earlier than necessary and nights were later than needed (whatever the group does, Claudia and I have to do too). BUT the time together with them was good for the most part. I felt really included in this group and had such a great time with them. They made everything fun. So much fun. I can’t wait to get all the pics from them so I can show you.

And now, I have to start all over with no recovery period and this week is going to be even more exhausting. Wooohooo

I’m sorry that this email is so long, I won’t be offended if you don’t read these. Part of it is for me to keep for future reference. I love you guys, please continue to pray!!

Lauren Prince

Missionary to Guatemala

Gallery Church of Baltimore

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