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Calvary Chapel Team in their home churches this weekend…


What a week.  Calvary Chapels of Asheville NC and Greenville SC combined to send a 14 member team to serve this week with Vine International (Chico, brother we missed you).  Arriving on Saturday, we got all to their assigned rooms and discussed rules of the house and the schedule for the week.  We did note that flexibility is a virtue in missions. Ignacio and Sandra Sanchez came and shared their testimony and the ministry they do through El Barrios for Christ.  What an awesome time – ask the team members about that evening of sharing.

The Freed Family helped by meeting us at the airport and hauling the team luggage.  The Freed sisters baked cookies… none were left by Monday night (I am hiding some of those puppies the next time, Risa, Abby and Maredith!).  And then they returned to help us get the luggage to the airport on Saturday’s return flight.  They also made a quick trip to their house to get some medicine for a couple of the team members who were ill….  Another part of the Orphan Resource International (ORI) team Charlie Weaver, Nick (Charlie’s son) and Oscar worked with the team a couple of days to floor a house at the Fundo Ninos orphanage (see below).  Cindy and I sing the praises of ORI every opportunity we get.  Thank you gang.

We went to church on Sunday, ate lunch at Pollo Campero, raced to a local grocery store and got two carts of fruits, vegetables and eggs and brought those to Fundo Ninos.  The kids entertained us with a karate demonstration.  Every lap and set of arms were filled with kids.  Mike Davis and crew brought envelopes decorated by his kids and some young friends.  These were filled with stickers (which you see on some of the faces in the photos), coloring pages, crayons and candy.

Devotions were done everyday and one evening we discussed discernment and its meaning for the Christian walk.  Then on Monday the work began.  This crew did to me what the first biomed team did to Dennis Rice.  It became obvious by lunch that they worked much faster than I would have guessed.  They actually cleaned every shelf, every box, moved every pallet and mopped the floor on hand and knee (over 7,000 sq. feet) and were done by 2:30 in the afternoon.  I jumped on the phone and called Jim Leaman in country director for Orphan Resource International and he with Charlie Weaver set up the flooring project for the director’s home at Fundo Ninos on short notice.  (flexibility).

We started that project on Tuesday.  We were scheduled to go to Hospital Santa Fe in Chocola on the Pacific side of Guatemala on Wed. and I scheduled a container delivery for Thursday.  BUT, Dr. Castillo (Hospital Santa Fe) called to tell me that the “Jungle CNN” was reporting a regional strike by farmers to close the road about 40 kms before the hospital on our day to travel.  So flexibility and on the phone again, our expediters changed the delivery of the container to Wednesday, the team committed to work on flooring and of course play with the babies and children again on Wednesday and we traveled on Thursday.

Very early start on Thursday and to the credit of this team, we were in the van and on the way 5 or 10 minutes early and I was impressed.  That time can make am striking change in arrival times due to traffic in the city.  We had a typical Guatemalan breakfast at El Rancho, surrounded by mangos and sugar cane.  Then back the narrow dirt roads of Chocola to Hospital Santa Fe.  Dr. Castillo gave us a tour and talked of his vision for the future.  He always gives Vine International an embarrassing plug.  We feel blessed to be able to partner with this man of God.  It may be that near October this year Sergio Castillo can speak at one or both Calvary Chapels when he comes to the states for a fellowship training time.  Stay tuned.

We took the Castillo family out to eat and then dealt with terrible traffic on the return journey and a typical late afternoon rainstorm.  Ate some awesome pizza, that is except Rachel Osigian who went exploring and missed the pepperoni and supreme pizza and got back to the sausage which she wouldn’t eat.  I felt bad for her but she wouldn’t let me order one for her.  Some of the folks tried Horchata for the first time, rice, milk, sugar and cinnamon… I love it.

We spent Friday in Antigua and then back home to meet Ignacio, Sandra and a friend of theirs Dr. Smith and his wife.  After discussing the medical ministry that Dr. Smith does and potential ways that Vine International might help, we closed the week around a big meal at Hacienda Real.  The team graciously took care of my friends meals and excellent fellowship was had by all.

Friday night and Saturday morning spent packing and then to the airport.  Cindy drove in the city for the first time as she followed me to return the rental van… While the team flew, I took a three hour nap.  Cindy tried to nap but I found her washing sheets when I got up.  We found out today one couple got home about 4:00 this morning.  Sam and Claudia, I hope you slept in and slept well.

This team got more work done that I expected.  They were exposed to different ministries, medical, gang/prison ministries, and orphanage work here in Guatemala.  Oh yes we got to visit too briefly with Robin Braun Strong Tower Ministry.

There are three files of photos in our photo blog for this week please enjoy.  Links are here… Album I; Album II: Album III The first two albums you may have seen if you looked earlier in the week.  I have added captions to most of the photos in these first two albums.  Enjoy.  Thank you all for all the work you did while here in Guatemala.

In Christ,

Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon

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