God is teaching me some stuff this week that I can´t wait to share with you, but it need´s  couple of more days to brew.  For now, I want to let you know what´s going on….ok,

The next time you wince while paying out that cash for your coffee, especially that high-end fancy coffee  (you know who you are), you should think again…picking coffee is slow, tedious and most often done on the slopes of a mountain.  ll that being said, helping our local contact Antonio harvest one of his coffee fields under the shade of huge avocado trees was an awesome experience.  Six of our team members went out this morning to help him with this work and we picked around 150lbs of coffee.

After the work was over, we had lunch right there under the coffee trees.  This brings me to the subject of chuchitos, my favorite Guatemalan food so far.  A chuchito is basically a tamale stuffed with chili and chicken…(and sometimes chicken bones.)  Antonio´s wife Filipa, who is a fantastic cook,  made them for us and one of the local kids brought them out.

Kristie is enjoying herself and has embraced the work we´re doing quite well.  At the house building site, she was mixing sifting sand for concrete.  At the kids program yesterday, she was busy blowing bubbles, taking pictures and laughing with kids.  Today in the coffee fields, she picked alongside me every step of the way and we made good progress on our baskets.  I´m extremely proud of the way she is working and interacting with the people….actually I think she´s great all the time.

Tomorrow we go back to building houses and doing children´s programs.  Please pray for our continued safety in travel and work.  Everyone´s health is good, so continue those prayers as well.  Above all else, pray that the kingdom work we´ve been placed here to do is accomplished.

Peace to you my friends.

Shaune

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We completed our first day of our mission trip and it´s been exciting to see everyone experiencing the culture of Guatemala, especially those who have never been here before.

First of all, we´re all healthy and well….a little sore and tired, but overall, everyone is in great spirits.

We met our crew leaders today: Cruz, Augustin, Magdaleno and Lusbin (I wouldn´t actually call Lusbin a crew leader, since he´s something like 8 or 9 years old, but I would call him someone who could work most of the people on this trip into the ground.  I worked with Magdaleno this morning and part of the afternoon.  He asked a lot of questions about how to say stuff in English and how much stuff cost in  the US.  He also was extremely patient with me as I re-learned the block laying skills I had acquired on my last trip down here.  Augustin was our main crew leader on my job site and he was diligent and serious about his business of house building…did I mention he´s 16?

This afternoon, six of us went to the San Gabriel Community Center and programmed an event for some kids from the community.  We sang some songs en español, played games, did puzzles and colored.  All of this tied in with a Bible story from John chapter 3.  Also, as one of only two men at this event, I was a designated jungle gym for these boys who found great fun in me swinging them around in the air…two at a time….I´ve been working out.

We are using an internet cafe close to the hotel right now, but I was able to find the wireless access point in San Lucas too.  (It took the local missionary convincing them that we would not steal the internet by walking away and not paying for it) so this means I  should be able to post some pictures tomorrow.

Tomorrow…Thursday, please pray for us as we continue to build houses and relationships.  Tomorrow morning, 6 of our 15 person team are going to pick coffee for Antonio, who another team has dubbed ¨The Most Interesting Man in Guatemala.¨  Two other teams will continue building houses, which are scheduled to be dedicated on Saturday.

Please continue to pray for our safe travel , our health and our mission here.

Peace my friends.

 

After a short trip from Houston to Guatemala City, and then a long ride from Guatemala City to San Lucas Toliman, we were able to get a good night’s rest at La Posada de Los Vocanos.  Now I’m drinking some coffee from www.kapeh-utz.com at our hotel, La Posada de Los Volcanos.

Today we start building 2 houses, 3 ovens and countless relationships.  We’ll be doing  3 childrens programs too. 

Please pray for us as we work and travel.

Peace my friends.

Shaune

Today has been a good day. I was able to go in to work today and wrap up some loose ends before we head out for Guatemala. Then, as we traveled to Houston, Kristie and I spent a lot of time talking about the trip and even practicing some Spanish with a game on my iPhone.

In Sugarland, we were able to pick up the last minute supplies (including the very important Dramamine pictured here) and get some fantastic food at Lupe Tortilla’s….fajita goodness.

We’re settled in for the night at our hotel which is bustling with business types and airline crews…(I wonder if our pilot is sleeping in this hotel tonight? I hope she gets a good night’s rest.). We even spent some time in the posh lobby computer terminal/hang out scene printing off some song chord sheets and writing some emails. Since Kristie politely declined any late night desserts at the restaurant downstairs (even though I asked her like 3 or 4 times), we came back up to the room to get ready for bed and for tomorrow.

Everything has gone so fast in preparation for this trip that we’ve had very little time to contemplate the grander scheme of the mission at hand. We’ve been so caught up in the details of packing that we’ve not been able to appreciate the gravity of what is about to happen in the lives of two Guatemalan women we have yet to meet. We’ll be building houses for these widows and their kids.

It always amazes me how caught up I get in my own well being, my own discomfort or my own general state. Even more amazing than that is that God still uses me in His purposes when I’m distracted like that….wonder what He could use me for if I was actually paying attention to Him more?

Peace friends. I’ll write more soon.

Today is the day that we leave our house to go to Houston to catch a flight to Guatemala. Honestly, packing was such an event that it seems the sheer joy of not having to pack today overrides any anxiety about the trip.

Make no mistake, there are anxieties about the trip….

This will be the first time that Kristie and I have done a foreign mission project together or traveled into Central America, so we both are wondering what that will be like.

I’m going in to work for a little while this morning, then we’ll head to Houston where we will spend the night before we board the plane in the morning.

I’ve heard it from good sources that we will have internet access in San Lucas, and that means I’ll be able to update the blog as we go. Please pray for us as we travel: safe, healthy, on mission, and that my language skills are ready.

Four days ago:  “We had someone drop out from the trip.  Do you and Kristie want to go?”

Three days ago: “OK, we’ll do it.”

Two days ago:  ”  Wow, I can’t believe we are going to Guatemala so soon.

Today:  “Four days until Guatemala”

We are going to participate in a trip with Stepstones Ministry International.  We’ll be building houses in the San Gabriel village which is in the Lake Atitlan region of Guatamala.

There are 15 people going on the trip and I know almost all of them, including my brother in law, so this should be a really special trip.

I don’t have any expectations about the trip other than I hope to be able to play the guitar and sing several times while we’re there.  Also, I hope to make at least a couple of solid relationships that I can cultivate over the next year.

Running is fun.  Don’t eat a Twinkie before your run….peanut brittle is OK is moderation, but a Twinkie will put you on the ground.