Sunday, June 28, 2009

Where Should I Begin?

I have so much I want to say about our time in Guatemala, but I keep having problems starting a mega post. With such a long post, I do not know where to begin. So I think I will post several smaller ones about our days there, how I am feeling now that we are back in the U.S. and where we will be going from here.

Before I say any thing else, several people have asked if something is wrong. Apparently the tone of one of my posts from earlier in the week gave the impression that the trip was not going well. That isn't the case and in time, I will explain a little of what led me to write what I did.

I can't wait to share details from the trip, but I think there are a few (make that 9) people that deserve an entire post to themselves. To call the people that traveled to Guatemala a "team" sounds wrong to me. Before the trip, I might would have called us that, but during this trip the "AAB team" turned into the "AAB family". I am honored that the Butler's and the Salemi's traveled with us to Guatemala, thrilled that we all got along without any major drama and happy that everyone of them played such a big role in Across All Borders' first trip back to Guatemala. We live in the same area as the Salemi's, so missing them won't be a problem...we see them often...but the Butler's live in Maine and I am already missing them like crazy.

Thanks to each of you for the love you poured into Guatemala during our time and for your personal friendships.

To the Butler family - Thank you SO MUCH for diving head first in deciding to travel with us back in December! Your support and constant encourgement means so much. This trip would not have been the same without you and we are so happy that you are a part of AAB! We adore Krista and Reese and love Cassie to pieces (that's southern talk for, well, "love her to pieces" God has big things in store for her life! Please thank her for us, for her help with every thing and let her know that without her, things would have gone much differently during part of the week. She is a huge help and we loved having her with us (as well as Krista and Reese). We love y'all! :)

To the Salemi family - We see you often. I think I've told you what y'all mean to us, but just in case I haven't....

Thank you. For deciding at nearly the last minute to travel with us. For sharing your ideas. For supporting, encouraging and most importantly, for praying. For loving the people of Guatemala as much as we do. And for just being there at the best and worst times to either celebrate with us or help pick us back up. We are incredibly grateful for your involvement with AAB. We love Jake and Bella! You know that already and you know that we think Jake is one of the best kids on the planet. I have never met a child with such a big heart. We can't wait to see what God has in store for his life!

We spent the first two and a half days of our time in Guatemala hanging out in Antigua. As much as I wanted that time to pass quickly so we could get on with what the trip was all about, I think that things may have gone differently had we not had that time to just hang out together as individual families and friends. I needed that time to kind of readjust to Guatemala and the others needed it to begin getting to know a little about Antigua since our teams will be based there as long we are working Pueblo Nuevo. It was during this time that I heard about one of the kid's telling his mom, "I thought this trip is about Jesus...not you." He has no idea the impact those words had on his mother. Or on me. I wonder if he will ever realize that on the very first AAB trip to Guatemala, he kind of started setting the tone for a couple (or a few) people and his words are still ringing in our ears more than a week later? I wonder if he will ever know how many times that phrase was repeated throughout the trip and will probably be mentioned during every AAB trip from now on? (Jake - You rock!) And I am starting to realize that those two days were important in beginning to knit our group together...not just as a people going on a mission trip and never seeing each other again and not even as the majority of our Board of Directors, but as people and friends. Had we jumped right into what we were really there for, we would not have had the chance to just hang out and spend time together and I am so thankful that the other two families spent the first weekend in Antigua with us. Here are some pictures from our down days in Antigua. Next and details from Pueblo Nuevo.


Vanessa said...

I've been checking your blog often and waiting for you to post!! I can't wait to hear all the news on your first trip back!

Bobbi said...

Yes, those first few days were special, and fun too!! I love the pic of Reese and Tommy holding hands.

Jake, those words still linger in my mind. What a kid! And, yes, Cassie is going places. This was her calling. I am waiting for it to hit her.

We miss y'all and love you all to pieces as well. I certainly feel like I am missing a part of myself tonight as I sit on my couch thinking about the trip.

OH, and we tee-tee her now too!!!! We might just have to move South:>)