...Jesus said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." Mark 10:14

Monday, June 28, 2010


The crew was supposed to leave today from Guatemala around 2:00 p.m. Unfortunately there were delays at the Houston airport and they didn't actually leave Guatemala until close to 4:00. This put them into Houston too late to make their connecting flight. They are confirmed on a flight to Kansas City tomorrow, but are on "standby" for the last flight leaving Houston tonight at 10:30 tonight. This (if they can get on it) would put them into KCI after midnight tonight. It has been a VERY long day for our crew!

Below are more pictures of their time in Guatemala:

Delivering clothes to families (The children they met)....

More pictures of the school...

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Wow! It seems like it took a "forever" worth of planning to finally reach the day when FCC would make it to Guatemala. Now they've reached the end of their stay. Some of the crew are pretty sad that it's over, although they will be happy to get home. I'm sure next Sunday we will have plenty of pictures to view and stories to hear from their journey.

If you made it to first service today you were able to see Pastor Cliff and some of the crew. Unfortunately it started raining hard and they had to leave before 2nd service started. They were disappointed that they were unable to see the students of the school there due to the heavy morning rains.

The group stayed at the hotel today because of the rain. Some took this opportunity to rest, nap, or read. They were able to take a walk around Antigua during the moments when the rain would stop.

Please pray for the people of Guatemala as the heavy rain they received today brings the fear of more mudslides. This would be devastating to the people who have had to deal with so much already.

The people in the group have had a wonderful opportunity to meet beautiful people, have made new friends, have had the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children, have helped people who have lost everything due to mudslides, and have been blessed by the opportunity to serve. We thank them for representing our church and for doing God's work.

"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.'"Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?" And the king will answer them, "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me." Matthew 25: 35-40.

Kairos Christian School and Students

Saturday, June 26, 2010


This morning was an opportunity for some of the group to see the sites. While that group left to go to the coffee plantation and museum (the monastery was not open when they got there), Jim, Greg and Brad headed back to the school to help the Guatemalan mason crew. As mentioned previously, a friendship has been made with these men. Today the mason crew wanted to show their appreciation for the help given by our group so they made lunch (meat, guacamole, and re fried beans) for them. As you can imagine, our group was very touched by this offering.

The hard work is paying off! Jim finished the cabinets today and Mayra told the group that they are actually a couple days ahead of schedule! How awesome!

Everyone is looking forward to tomorrow's church service at the school and meeting the kids. We are hoping computers cooperate so we can talk to our group in Guatemala. This will be a wonderful experience!

It's hard to believe this trip is coming to an end. Tomorrow will be the last full day in Guatemala for our group. They will leave Guatemala around 2:00 p.m. on Monday and arrive home a little after 9:00 p.m. It will be great seeing everyone and hearing about each of their personal experiences.

Guatemalan Fact for Today...

(Taken from www.gvnet.com and www.cnn.com)

A recently published report by the Joint Council on International Children’s Services has revealed that one child is abandoned in Guatemala City every four days – and over three quarters of them are newborn babies. Families and parents in Guatemala abandon children because they feel they have no other option. Poverty and large family sizes mean the children simply can’t be cared for. Other children are abandoned because they are physically disabled or have learning difficulties. Without social services to help them, these children and babies are struggling to survive on the streets. The more fortunate ones are cared for by older children or street families. The less fortunate ones will die. Unfortunately adoption is not an option at this point for these children.

As a result, the thousands of street kids who inhabit Guatemala City do what they can to scrape by -- begging, selling bananas for a few pennies, salvaging what they can from the garbage dump, and some will join gangs and turn to crime.

Most of them are homeless, sleeping on sidewalks or by an abandoned train station. To curb their desperation and hunger, many have become inhalant addicts, sniffing industrial solvents that almost certainly cause brain damage.

The street kids also face another menace -- death squads practicing what is referred to in Guatemala as "social cleansing." Although the police still figure in many of the atrocities, as well as private security guards hired by business owners who see the kids as a menace, the government does not run a single youth shelter for these children in Guatemala. Their only refuge can be found at one of the handful of private shelters in the city.

Children arrive at these shelters filthy and suffering from disease. They are cured of infections, and their wounds are tended. Often malnourished, they are fed back to health.

In a society where many poor people never break the bonds of poverty, the street children of Guatemala City are perhaps the most forgotten of all.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Today the group split up with some delivering the clothes to families of Kairos students who were effected by the recent mudslide and some working at the school. After the group met together for lunch, they traded jobs so everyone would have a chance to meet some of the families whose children attend the school. Tomorrow the remainder of the clothing will be delivered to victims of the recent mudslide who live in the community.

Jim worked on cabinets for the school today with Brad (in the morning) and Dawn (in the afternoon). The school is coming along nicely. Everyone is working hard.

Tomorrow most of the group will be going on a tour in the morning of one of the coffee plantations and a very old monastery. A few will stay to work on the school.

Sunday the group will work at the school and get an opportunity to meet the students. The students will be served food on Sunday by the group. :) Additionally, on Sunday there will be a church service at the school with the students present. The group is really looking forward to this. We hope to be able to speak with Pastor Cliff during our church services on Sunday (via Skype) in order for the congregation to see the work being done there and meet the students as well. We hope everyone can make it to share in this excitement!

Guatemalan Fact for Today...

Poverty in Guatemala (Taken from http://www.articlesbase.com/)

Unequal distribution of wealth and a rapid population growth have given Guatemala one of the highest poverty rates in Latin America. More than 75 percent of the national population lives below the poverty line and this is even more severe among the rural and indigenous population.

Guatemala's income is one of the most unequal in the world with the wealthiest 10 percent owning nearly 50 percent of the national wealth and the poorest 10 percent owning less than 1 percent. Land also is concentrated to the few.

Guatemala has a population of over 12 million, half of which are under 18 with approximately 60 percent of the population between 6 and 18 living in extreme poverty. The high level of poverty and the lack of social support programs mean child labor is the only way of survival for many families. It is thought approximately 14,500 children live on the streets throughout the country with 4,500 street children located in and around Guatemala city. About two thirds of children live in poverty with 68 percent under six and 63 percent of all children under 18 living below the poverty line.

Education is not a great priority for poor Guatemalans as children are needed to work to contribute to the family income. Only 44 percent of school age children attend classes and only 55.6 percent of the total population is literate. Child labor significantly inhibits the ability to attend school.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


This morning April and Carolyn went to Mayra's to sort the children's clothing, Greg and Brad worked at the school, and Pastor Cliff, Jim, Dawn, Andrew, Sara and Michelle went to San Miguel to shovel mud from houses. Greg said he couldn't believe the amount of mud in the homes yesterday. He couldn't imagine anything like that. It really made him grateful for the weather we have in Missouri!

As they did yesterday, the crew met for lunch at the school and while a few went back to the hotel, the others remained to help with the work there. Greg said it was starting to take shape.

Baseball caps the crew had brought with them were handed out to some of the kids today and the kids really liked them. :)

Everyone returned to the hotel by 5:30 this evening. They had a little bit of down time before they met for dinner.

Here are pictures of the work they have been doing...

Sorting Clothes

Proudly displaying Grain Valley Speedway's Banner!

At San Miguel

Look at how deep the mud was!
Today's Guatemalan Fact...

Hunger and Malnutrition
  • Guatemala has the 4th highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the WORLD and the highest in Latin America and the Caribbean.

  • Currently 49.3% of children under 5 years old are malnourished. This is worse in the rural areas of the country where the indigenous population is concentrated. In the highlands 7 out of 10 children under the age of 5 years old are malnourished.

  • National health services cover approximately 60% of the country.

Some of the causes of this problem...

  • Low level of education and health

  • Illiteracy

  • Most of the rural areas lack water and sanitation systems.

  • They have limited access to an adequate diet due to income restrictions and poverty. Some diets consist only of corn tortillas!

  • Guatemala is prone to natural disasters - hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and mudslides

Please pray for the starving children in Guatemala and the world!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


The crew who helped with cleaning mud went to San Miguel (a city near Vieja) this morning to work. They shoveled quite a bit of mud and carried buckets of it out of homes. They met up with Jim, Pastor Cliff and April at Kairos around lunch and ate together. They stayed to work at the school after lunch in order to dig out a line for footing.

Everyone made it back to the hotel around 6:00 and had dinner together. It has been said that Michelle has taken a really good/interesting picture of Jim that everyone must see. We can only hope to see this soon! :)

Tomorrow a couple of people will go to Mayra's home to sort out the clothing collected for the children, a few will work at the school, and the remainder of the crew will shovel mud.

May God continue to look over them during their journey and the work they are doing.

Today's Guatemalan Fun Fact...
(Taken from http://www.travels.com/)

Guatemala is a Mayan and Toltec phrase that means "land of the trees." Unlike other countries in the Central American region, the name of the country does not come from the Spanish and was eventually adopted by Spain during its colonial period.

The Ceiba Tree (National Tree of Guatemala)


Greg sent pictures last night of work at the school. Here are a few of them...

Greg said this morning Pastor Cliff, Jim and April were going to work at the school today. Greg, Brad, Dawn, Andrew, Michelle, Sara and Carolyn are going to help shovel mud out of homes. The crew had breakfast together this morning. The school group left around 8:00. The others were heading out around 9:00 a.m.

Check back later this evening to find out how today went!