Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Friends, Fellowship and Dry heat Oh my!!

Mid-April brought an exciting time of year for us again! We were so excited to travel with the Groffs (Tim, Julie, TJ, Simeon, and Gabe) from Belize to El Tule Guatemala. Why do you ask? For the EMM Central American annual Retreat.

a evening worship session

Chiquimula felt just as dry-hot (about 7-10 degrees hotter than what we are used to in Belize) as it did last year. We did arrive at a different time of year (last year was during March).  Trees and plants were a bit more green; so beautiful to behold.  One may get the impression that we who live in Belize are "used to" the heat, but to me the day it hit 101, all I wanted to do was return to Belize!
singing together

We arrived a day early and got to shop at Megapaca, the Guatemalan form of a thrift shop. Picking through long aisles of clothes which were not ordered by size (or color) in a non-airconditioned store just about did me in!  We found some good deals though so I can be thankful!

we tried out this "4d" ride at the mall for 25 q (3$ us) we found the ride to be lacking

It is a joyful experience to hug old friends and meet new ones.  This year the Guatemalan Vida 220 team, Jeanne and Emily Hess provided child care.  With 29 kids, 17 between the ages of 10-16, they have a big job cut out for them! Hannah Zimmerman is the TCK advocate and comes on the trip. She spends time with the kids (mostly the older ones but the younger as well). She talks them through issues and helps them navigate the unique world they all face.  It is such a blessing to have her come!

older kids getting prayed over

While we have morning and evening sessions, the afternoon time is free. A lot of time is spent either swimming or sitting in the only room with AC. I didn't not feel so inclined to hike this year, although my kids did.  My favorite time is reconnecting with friends and learning about what God is doing in their lives.

multiple games of foursquare happened here

This year we were blessed with an uneventful trip to and from El Tule!  Last year we had issues with the tires and people who came along for rides, and their visa issues.  We did listen to some audio books which was enjoyable (from my perspective!)

Monopoly Deal with friends

The most difficult part of our retreat is the goodbyes that happen. We are so thankful to be able to participate in the EMM retreat!

Nathanael found a Deaf guy at the market

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