Saturday, August 16, 2008


so today was our trip to antigua. it just wasn't a trip there but it was a day to spend with some new friends. william, carin, david, and juan brought us to antigua. these are just amazing people! they spent their day with us driving us to an extremely touristy place just because they wanted to. i'm sure they could have been doing so many other things today, but they chose to spend it with us. these are people with such hospitality like i've never experienced before. joel had introduced us just yesterday and yet they seem like dear friends. carin is the principal at the christian school (her father was the one with the vision to start the school). william is her husband and they have an adorable little 3 year old boy (fernando). william is the youth pastor and works closely with carin's father. neither speak english. david is the english teacher (and band!) and speaks incredible english. juan was the driver and is someone with such a story. he used to be in a gang but because of the prayers of carin's sister and friend - juan walked into their church one way and came out a changed man. we told him that we were glad that he was a part of our "gang" now!

antigua was just as beautiful as i remember it from last october. we visited some of the same sites we did before but were so glad we could come back and experience it with mom & dad this time. the flowers there are beyond beautiful - there are no colors to discribe them well enough.

not only were the flowers so different from each other so were the people we saw. i saw a mother nursing her infant child while holding out a container asking for donations, a father giving his son a ride on a horse, people dressed in authentic guatemalan dress trying to sell their wares calling out to us "for you.....ten dolla", tourists taking pictures of the ruins, older men with amputated legs begging for food, and a blended "family" - some from guatemala and some from michigan enjoying the day together.

we were able to do some shopping in this open air market. my highlight of the day!! yes kids, we are not coming home empty handed for you!!! it was such a sensory overload! david was fantastic at getting the best prices!

lydia did amazing! she did great on the long ride there and back - and even fell asleep on the way back. she's showing us her independence a little bit by sometimes not wanting us to hold her hand when she is walking. we found out she loves pudding, likes rice krispies, and drinks alot of juice. she still doesn't eat alot and we've started her on some 3rd stage baby food. the orphanage director said that she's used to having her food pureed - so much to catch her up on but i don't think it'll be long!!

when it was time to say good-bye, we couldn't believe how hard it was. even though we've only met these people 2 days ago! we were in a circle in front of the hotel and william said a prayer for us. i had no idea what he said but i think it was the most beautiful prayer i've heard. we may all not speak the same language, dress in the same manner, or live in the same community but we all serve the same God. it was an experience that we'll always remember. we've fallen in love with guatemala.....we will be back (sarah - you won't be getting rid of these van wienens just yet!!)

thank you once again for your prayers......they are truly felt!!!



Julie said...

What an amazing couple of days you have had! Truly a great adventure! Lydia looks SO GOOD in your arms - and I'm sure she FEELS good too! So happy to hear that she is continuing to do well! Praying that God will continue to protect you, and reveal Himself to you through His creation, and through the Guatemala people.
Julie Cole

Jen said...

Can a picture be anymore "perfect" than the last one you just posted? Maybe the one tomorrow when the rest of the crew greets their sister! So happy that you have made friends in Guatemala and even more wonderful in the faith that you can share. Praying that your last day there is restful, safe, and even more amazing than what you have experienced so far. Safe journey home, my friends!

Julie said...

Dear Greg, Jolyn and Lydia,

I also sent you an e-mail -but I wasn't sure if you would get it before you left. We just wanted to let you know that we will be praying Psalm 91 over you as you travel home tomorrow. We will be also praying for smooth, relaxed and restful (especially Lydia) travel! We won't be able to see you at the airport - helmet deep in football! (all three of my men ) But, we will be very anxious to come and see your sweet new little girl once you get back to Hudsonville!
God's blessings during your last hours in Guatemala!
Greg, Julie and kids