February Team – Awaken Church – Update #8

Day #8
Our last full day in San Pedro La Laguna is closing.  It was just as full as all the others, but bitter sweet.  We knew any project in process had to be finished today or left for someone else to complete.  There will be no tomorrow as far as our service here.
I was able to complete my project of installing a new bell.  It rings loud and clear.  Also the internet was running fast as lightning this morning. That did not last for some reason.  I just did not have time to track it down.
I was able to finally find a computer that would accept the software for the time clock as well as accept the hardware.  I got that installed, only to find the computer has a password that must be entered before you are able to open a new program.  I received the password at dinner tonight. We ran pretty late so I was not able to test it out, so I guess there is a tomorrow for me.  But it will have to be a quick one, we leave on the boat at 0930.
The play house was dedicated today and the children were all present to bless the house.  They were told rules of its use and days each grade may use it.  The small children may use it every day.
We had a painting project to complete.  The stairwell from the second to third floor.  I was able to help a bit on that.  Most of the painting was done by Tom and Nikki, thank you.
Pam’s bathroom is beginning to look like a real bathroom.  Nate and Kevin were able to get the pipes in I believe as well as the sub floor.  They have built a pony wall and installed the tub.  A real transformation.
Valentine’s gifts were given to all the children today.  One small pack of candy each and a collapsible water bottle that can be hooked to the belt or a back pack.
Tonight the staff gave us a going away dinner.  They served us and sang songs for us.  It was a traditional Guatemalan  dinner and very good. After the meal, a staff member would call one of the team up to the front.  They said how we impacted their lives or the lives of the children. Thanks and praise was the general topic.  Then they would present the team member with a gift.  Many tears.
Once each staff member was able to say something about a team member and all the gifts were passed out, we were given a chance to speak as well.  Many of us did.  Most said how much the time here has worked on our hearts.  I told them that I got so much more out of it than they did.  What we did for them on our projects will last, hopefully, for many years.  But it will eventually fade away.  What they did to our hearts will stay with us forever.  I truly feel that I am welcome to come back here anytime.
I was able to bond with one boy, the one I bought juggling balls for.  I found out he is not sponsored.  After discussion with my wife via email, we have decided that we will sponsor him.  I was not able to talk to him or his mother about it today.  I have a time set for the morning before we leave.  I plan to ask him if he will accept me as his sponsor.  I believe he will but he should have a choice and not just be told I am.
His older brother will be sponsored by my sister Karen and her husband Tom.  Another team member will sponsor the sister.  I think it is special to share a family with my sister and with the other team member with whom I have become friends on this trip as well.
My church is also going to sponsor a child.  We have asked the administration to look for someone most in need.  I will not know who that one is until after I get home but any one of them has a story and a need.  I will just have to come back again.  To visit my sponsor child and to meet the one chosen to be sponsored by my church.
It has been an experience that I could not have imagined.  Karen and Tom told me about their trip last year and that got me on fire to go.  But there is no real way to put it in words.  You have to be here.  You have to touch these children, receive their hugs and kisses.  Look at their smiles each time they see you.  Know by seeing that they are in a safe place, are being taught to love the Lord, and are receiving an excellent education at the same time.