After lunch we headed back to get cleaned up briefly at the hotel, and then it was off to the church to begin preparing for our evening outreach event. We passed out hundreds of invitations to all of the neighborhoods we’d been working in all week to come to a special closing event at the church, which for many people would be the first time they have been to the church we’re helping to support this week. We didn’t know what to expect, but we invited and we prayed.
When we pulled up to the church to get set up, there were probably already close to a hundred people waiting at the gates and the event didn’t start for an hour! We quickly got set up and watched as bus after bus rolled in with a ton of people. All told we counted over 550 people, from the neighborhoods that showed up tonight. We got started with some group games that got everyone participating, then everyone got to eat (except us, because they ran out of food, which was a good thing). After dinner, we split into two groups; the adults went with Joaquin and Tom, while we had a massive carnival with the kids. We joined together in some exuberant singing, puppet skits and a lesson; and we had a ton of fun with lots of carnival games with many of the kids we had met throughout the week at our VBS. Our team did a superb job at helping run things, and we had an absolute blast. It was an amazing night.
We gathered back inside the church building once everyone from the community had left for the evening to say our goodbyes to Joaquin and his family. It was another day that wrapped up with the feeling that God had shown up in some pretty amazing ways. We we’re excited and hopeful going into the evening, but I don’t think any of us expected what happened tonight with all of the community people to be what it was… God always has a way of blowing the doors off of our expectations, doesn’t He? As we sat there waiting for the busses, someone started singing and everyone joined in on a spontaneous time of worship. We all sang and worshipped with thanksgiving for the opportunity to serve our Lord as He’s led us this week.
When the buses came and we started heading back on the 3 KM drive to the hotel, there were murmurs of what might be in store for us for dinner… We were a hungry bunch and we were totally spent, having poured out so much for the kids and people that we served this evening. When we arrived back at the hotel we were delighted to see box upon box of Dominos pizza complete with cheesy bread and cinnamon sticks! Keri Phillips was the most excited of all, but it was a welcome taste of home for all, and really hit the spot.
Tomorrow (Sunday) we load up at around 8 am and drive about four hours to Antigua for some sight seeing and shopping. After Antigua we’ll be heading back to Guatemala City to stay overnight near the airport where we’ll be flying out on Monday morning. Please pray for safe travel on the mountain roads to Antigua, and for our continued witness for our last days in Guatemala for now.