Today is something of a celebration day for a few of the people we´ve encountered on our trip.
Today, two women got new houses. For our celebration lunch we had a thick chicken soup with squash, potatoes and the biggest carrots I´ve ever seen…and tamalitos, which are just like tamales, but usually without any flavor. Today there was a little smoke flavor since they were cooked over a 3 stone oven (a three stone oven is a campfire with three stones around it to hold up the metal plate that you cook stuff on. A lot of heat is wasted and there is a lot of smoke inside the kitchen, the missionary here also works with groups funding and building new stoves are very, very efficient and clean.) Anyway, in case you ever encounter tamalitos, they are best dipped in something like thick chicken soup or any sort of gravy that might add flavor.
At the dedication ceremony today, Consuela, the sixteen year old mom that we built for in San Gabriel, told us that this was something they never could have afforded and that it was a huge blessing to her and her son. Since most of the families we encounter are very poor, they have no margin in their lives to save money of any kind; all of the money they make goes to buy food. The money that comes through StepstonesMissions.org goes to build houses for these sweet families. (For roughly 2000 US dollars, an abandoned or widowed mother around Lake Atitlan in can have a house that she never could have afforded otherwise.)
Another celebration is for Filipe, our host at La Posada de Los Volcanes (our hotel). He has his 57th birthday today, so it´s party time tonight at dinner. There´s been talk of a singing competition some sort between a few of us on the trip and his wife Marvila….a Guatemalan Idol competition I guess…I really have no idea, but it should be fun. Filipe is being treated for throat cancer and can only speak in a whisper now, but he´s taken time each to talk with me and teach me a few Spanish phrases each day. Besides be just a generous and friendly guy, he and his wife Marvila are sort of community celebrities because of the civic campaigns they have initiated in the community here in San Lucas. I´m looking forward to this evening and I´m sure we´ll have fun celebrating with this family.
Pray for us as we program a kids event tomorrow here in San Lucas. We are expecting 100 kids to show up for songs, games, Bible stories. I´m one of the song guys.
Everyone is still healthy. I felt rather tired yesterday and this morning, but I began feeling better throughout the day. Also, pray for our team as we continue to build relationships that represent the Kingdom here in San Lucas.