Meet me in Chicago

For the past three summers, I’ve been taking Young Life kids from Hinsdale down to Guatemala for work trips. Every year we come back with story upon story from our time in Guatemala – remember the sandwich club? Remember when the bus went the wrong way down the one way street? Remember how Ashley broke her toe and got to ride a motorcycle around Antigua? Remember all the work we’ve done, the relationships we’ve formed?

This year I was on the receiving end of the Chicago trip – I’d always heard from YL Guatemala staff that the Chicago trip was the “trip that keeps on giving,” and now I know what that means. We got to look forward to the trip, plan the details, enjoy hosting the group, get A LOT Of work done in the week, and share fun stories after the week. We get to use the donation items they brought down to have a “clothes fest” for the Mamacitas girls and leaders. We get to give the toys they brought as Christmas and birthday presents to kids whom otherwise wouldn’t receive gifts. We get to look forward to going through the whole process again next year.

Personally, it was a super encouraging week for me. I got to share my life and ministry here with dear friends from home. It was an all star line up: Chad and Melissa Perry – my old Area Director, great friends, mentors, etc, student leaders and friends who are now serving as college leaders, high school students – some of whom I knew, some of whom I got to know, and a group of dads who served as the comic relief and helped make things happen.

Here is a photo journey through the week –

We took the group straight from the airport to breakfast in Zone 3, and then to hike Pacaya. A highlight is "sliding" down the volcanic ash!
Hinsdale kids dove right in and did their best to build relationships with the kids and families in El Recuerdo.
We mixed concrete and poured 3 new floors.
We spackled and painted 3 houses that previous teams had built, painted the Community Center, and painted a few people.
Sam and Ryan took the hit on this club game - thanks to Hinsdale kids for a great skit and leading the games!











We ended our time in El Recuerdo with a "Despedida" for the work team and for the Greene's.
The Gringos won the "Vida Joven Classic" for the 3rd time (with the help of a few Chapines who deserted to our side!)
We spent our last night in Antigua celebrating and reflecting on the week.

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