Tuesday was an exciting day for the team. After spending some additional time on Monday weighing more rice and beans in 5 lb. bags and packing those up along with sugar, flour, and powdered milk, we headed out Tuesday morning for a village named Tierra Colorada on the side of a mountain southwest of Quetzaltenango. We had been forewarned that we might have to hike a good bit of the way as the road was steep and winding. Fortunately, the van was able to make it all the way to the top. We were grateful as we probably climbed between 800 and 1000 feet higher than the 7500 feet altitude or so that Quetzaltenango is situated at. Our first activity there was speaking to the kids in a community school. There were very well-behaved and paid close attention to the Bible stories and the presentation of the gospel.
After concluding the presentations in each class, we were invited for a typical lunch (chicken and rice) with some tamales as well at the home of the president of the parents' association. It was a few hundred yards down the mountainside to the home and the hike back up after lunch was breathtaking--literally. We were all pretty winded from the thin air by the time we got back up to the school.
There, we waited as the mothers of the children gathered to receive the bags of food that had been taken up the mountain in a truck (which gratefully also successfully climbed all the way to the village). Jeff Arnold, our youth minister shared a testimony followed by a testimony from Martha Wakely. Martha is bilingual so I didn't have to translate for her. Then Josh Stowe, pastor of Wyatt Park Baptist, shared the gospel utilizing the story of Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. Afterwards, the pastor of the Judah Baptist Church (our host church for the week) shared an invitation and several of the women responded.
We learned afterwards when we visited a neighboring church a few miles from this village that earlier evangelical groups that had attempted to share the gospel in Tierra Colorada had been run out of the village with stones. The principal of the school is a believer and is trying to share the love of Christ with the families who attend there. She was present on Sunday morning for the worship service at the Judah Baptist Church and returned on Wednesday night for the farewell service to express thanks for the inroads that the gifts of the food bags had made in the community.
We wrapped up Tuesday evening with the final night of leadership training at the Judah Church with representatives from three different churches present. I don't think anyone stayed up too late that evening after we got back to the hotel and had dinner. It was an exhausting but fulfilling day.