Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:00

From the Grand Rapids Work Team

Written by Laurina VanderSloot
We arrived in Guatemala City about 10:00 p.m. on Friday, February 15. We were met by Ken and Jackie Herfst and Bob and Wanda McRae. After collecting our luggage we were taken to Seteca to spend the night. After an early breakfast we packed up for the five-hour trek to Cubulco. We had a 12-passenger van driven by Ken, five of us in a pickup truck driven by Jackie, and a landrover driven by Lawrence Kok. Our group consisted of 17 people, 9 from Grand Rapids: Paul and Laurina VanderSloot, Karen VanderSloot, Lawrence Kok, Pete VanKempen, Mart Bazen, Pete VanStrien, Rob Pennings and Mike Moorman; 3 from London: Tim Bergsma, Rien and Danielle VanMeppelen-Scheppink; Andy & Joanne Neven were from Brantford, and Gerald and Lydia and young daughter Kristiana Langbroek from Chiliwack, B.C. After a grueling 5-hour trek with two stops at "rest areas" in small towns we arrived safely in Cubulco. Nine of us stayed at the Kattenberg home and the other eight stayed at the hospital compound. The facilities were very comfortable.

Joanne Neven was our cook with some help from Alisa at the hospital, and she did a great job! We were well fed and meals were always on time! Sunday morning Ken preached an English sermon for us and in the evening we all went to the Spanish service at our Free Reformed Mission Church. Monday morning we all went to work on the various jobs that were to be done. Pete and Rien fixed and cleaned motors on the electric hospital beds, did some rewiring at the hospital and completely rewired the EvertsÕ home. Andy and Paul fixed and built cabinets and raised the low roofs on the hospital walkways. Karen and Danielle spent the first part packing up two rooms of dental equipment to be sent to the city. They helped wherever they were needed, especially with the painting--the bottom trim in the EvertsÕ home. Rob did some plumbing repairs, hooked up a water line, a fax line and Rob and Paul replaced all the ceiling tile in the EvertsÕ home. Mike & Pete built a carport at the hospital for the ambulance and a brick stove outside the nutrition center. Lawrence, Mart and Tim with Nathan OttenÕs help, did cement work: a new sidewalk in front of the Otten home, a large cement slab around the new stove and a cement slab for Ken to park his car. Gerald and Lydia, with the help of Tim and Karen, scraped, sanded and painted several roofs at the hospital compound, the hangar roof at the airstrip, and the entire inside of the EvertsÕ home--even the outside wall of the compound! Lydia and Joanne washed all the windows and curtains, the bathrooms and cupboards and wiped everything else that needed it. Everything was vacuumed. They even had Tim manning the vacuum. Laurina, with the help of Connie Otten and Katharine Herfst, worked with the children in the nutrition center. We told a Bible story, which was translated into Spanish and Achi. We watched a video of childrenÕs songs in Spanish and did a craft. A large and a small windsock for the airstrip were also sewn.

By all working together we accomplished everything they had for us to do. This gave us some free time to visit the market or climb the mountain. We visited some homes, the sugar cane factory, and the swinging bridge, which most of us were brave enough to walk across--scary though! After a hard day of work and supper we gathered with the Ottens or Herfsts for a time of devotions and singing. Thursday, February 28th, we packed up and headed back to Guatemala City, (a few of us had the privilege to fly back in Bob McRae's plane) so we could visit the various projects we worked on in previous years. We also got to spend some time with the children we sponsor. They are so thankful for the gifts we bring them! Friday afternoon we could do some shopping in Antigua. Then we were treated to a wonderful dinner at the Pan-American Hotel.

It was hard to say goodbye to our friends, but we were all ready to head for home. It was again, a blessed experience, and we feel privileged to be involved in this work. Because of bad weather in Michigan we had some trouble getting home, but all made it back safely Saturday night. The Lord be praised! Even though we don't understand the language, we do know we serve the same Lord!

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