Team Keokuk, Iowa 2015

Welcome to the blog for Team Keokuk, Iowa 2015

Follow along from March 3rd – 10th, 2015!

Just want to let everyone know we are all alive and well! The fact that we made our flight to Guatemala when the Cedar Rapids to Dallas flight arrived 20 minutes after the Dallas to Guatemala flight departed is nothing short of a MIRACLE. More details later. We have been building houses in a very poor, remote village that past 3 days, and it has been extremely hot. Now we are at the “Mission Base” up in the mountains where it is much cooler and conditions are much less rustic. Please continue to keep us in your prayers. Joycelyn

Sunday March 8    Good morning! We are enjoying a leisurely start to a beautiful Sunday morning at the base. What an amazing few days we have had! Yesterday we did our first medical clinic at Santa Rosa II, a small village about an hour away. PBM hopes this place will develop into a ministry hub that can be well-served by a large soccer field (looks like a perfect airstrip :))! Many people came to the medical clinic, many of them with more illness than at other sites. Our team also has a dental and hygienist team working separately and they were also very well received. It is such a blessing to serve others!

Many of us played with the kids, including soccer on that big field. The usually silent men laughed at our guys trying to keep up with the kids. We had fingernail painting, some crafts, dulces, hair stylings, and laid out a couple of hopscotch games on the concrete which the kids played according to their own rules!  We had a blast with several circle games that involved both boys and girls. Some of our adults ran fast and beat the kids back to the spot in Pato, Pato, Gonzo (Duck, Duck, Goose), a game they knew. We also did the Hokey-Pokey which spread laughter like the wind!

God has blessed our time here together with complexity and richness. We are grateful to worship and serve Him today in new ways. Please keep us in your prayers as we head out after lunch (lasagna!) to a second clinic day in a different village. God knows the name of the village and each of its people and we pray that He lets us see them with his heart.

Monday March 9  Free time at the base this morning has everyone ramping up for an afternoon in Antigua. Shortly we will have a briefing on how to be safe and have fun in the city. Most folks have packed up their sweaty and stucco-covered clothes in plastic bags and sorted off what to wear for the flight home. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we head out for the day. Tonight we anticipate more awesome devotions and time to reflect as a group on what God has done for us, through us, and within us.

Sunday’s clinic service day began and ended the same way: in prayer. We took a two-hour hair-raising drive winding around the mountains to end up eight miles away in a small village, Panatzun, where PBM ministered in 2009. Dan said he didn’t know why God had called us back there but by the end of the evening, he probably had several answers. One answer was that the village may be reached more directly by air, as they also have a beautiful soccer field laid out with no obstructions.

Our team fanned out into the small crowd that grew during the afternoon, as many families had been visiting or shopping on their Sunday afternoon. The dental team did double duty, working longer than the rest of us to help people with infected and impacted teeth. The medical clinic folks met with 60 families overall, and handed out many medications, eyeglasses, and prayer. Lots of fingernail painting, soccer, football, basketball, frisbees, circle games, and the group favorite–Hokey Pokey–brought giggles and laughs to young and old alike.

Many families stayed into the night, visiting in small groups, and then gathering together to watch the Jesus film, listen and sing along to our worship, and hear team members’ testimonies on how they had changed once they allowed God to direct their lives. Pastor Hermano Jesus picked up on the details and shaped his teaching into a powerful testimony of how Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Many came forward during the altar call. We celebrated with more prayer and hugs!

Afterward, a small number of people came forward to ask for direct prayer. Please keep these people in your own prayers this coming week. One family has a premie baby, so tiny, so cute, at risk for liver problems. One elderly gentleman, now a widower, has prostate problems. He is a longtime believer and cried softly as he prayed along with us, Guate style, everyone joining their pleas to our Lord. One family will wait for word this Wednesday on what illness the husband is suffering, with rapid weight loss and other symptoms that may take his life. PBM will assist him in getting to the hospital for diagnosis and plans for treatment. We also blessed two other families, the mayor, Estuardo, and PBM’s pastors, in a final circle by the vans.

So many encounters occur daily. Be sure to ask your family and friends when they come home about their experiences here. God changes lives everywhere every day and we are amazed at how He has worked with us this past week.