Team Guatemala News Updates
Wednesday was our final day in Guatemala. After packing up, eating breakfast, and saying goodbye to our hosts, we headed back to Antigua Guatemala to
shop for last minute gifts and souvenirs in the market. By now, we were good at bargaining to get the best price and we left with all sorts of cool
stuff to take home to the states. From there, we headed to the airport in Guatemala City to check in for the trip home. Our time here in Guatemala
is finished, and we are excited about getting back home. We have had an amazing trip, and it has been exciting to see how the Lord has really worked
over these past 8 days. We will never forget the experiences we have had here in this country. Thank you to each of you who have prayed for us while
we have been here.
Coach challenged us this morning to make today one of the best days yet and I think it was just that. We had the opportunity to travel to the El Shaddai
school in Villa Nueva and minister to the young people there. We walked through the gates and it seemed like all eyes were on us. We seem to make an event
anywhere and everywhere we go. We mingled with some of the students for a while and then gathered in the chapel where we were warmly
welcomed and introduced. We were able to share with them our purpose for being there and to minister to them through song and testimony. Anthony was
able to share a great challenge to all of us that if we take Christ's yoke upon us that He is behind us all the way, just like a farmer is behind his
yoke of oxen and guiding them all the way. We were then able to present the principal with a team banner and J316 ball after which he prayed one of the
most powerful prayers of blessing over us that I have ever felt or heard. I think I can speak for all the guys by saying that we were truly in God's
presence and had His blessing at that time. One of the things that he mentioned in his prayer was that we go back to the states with the same compassion
for souls that we did when we were here in Guatemala. How easy it is to get back in our routine and back into our own world and forget about those who
desperately need the Lord. Once all was said and done in the chapel, we moved out into the courtyard to play a little futbol. When it came time to leave,
most of the guys were flocked and asked for pictures by the flattered Guatemalan girls. There were many comments made that we felt like stars because of
all the pictures and autographs given out.
After we finally made our way out, we travelled up into El Hato in the mountains for a spiritual retreat.
There were great views of the surrounding cities, mountains, and volcanoes, and we took time out to reflect on what God has done on the trip. While we
were there, it started pouring rain so we gathered under a shelter and started singing and sharing how the Lord has moved us during this trip. After the
rain passed, we went back and played our beloved police force friends once again. Needless to say, we were able to defeat them 7-1 and build up our
confidence before heading home.
After dinner, we headed over to the town hall to exchange thank you's with the mayor and many of the people we have
ministered with this week. All went well and we are now back at the house packing up and getting ready to come home tomorrow. We have all had a great time,
but we are all ready to get back home. We sincerely thank all of you for your prayers and support. None of this would have been possible without you.
After another great pancake breakfast, the boys were off to the nearby homes to finish our "Building Houses, Building Lives" project.
Today we painted the houses we had built peach and white, and left these families with great big smiles.
After this we ate lunch and
travelled to Barcenas to play another match against Galcasa, their local professional team. Although we lost a close match, it was a
worthwhile trip because we shared the Gospel using the J316 ball with our "opponents." we also had the opportunity to trade jerseys
with them after the match.
After dinner, the team went to Antigua and another stop by McDonalds to talk with loved ones and communicate
with the outside world through the McInternet. Others walked around the town to purchase small items. It was another great day in
Sunday was another amazing day in Guatemala. In the morning, our team split into 3 groups to go to 3 different churches in San Bartolome. We took the
majority of each service as each of the 3 teams ministered in the church by singing several songs, sharing testimonies, and preaching. Each of the
congregations were very grateful and excited to have us in their churches, and it was awesome to be able to worship with believers in another culture.
Above all, we had the opportunity to share the Gospel once again.
In the afternoon, we held another soccer clinic with well over 100 kids, parents, and
local people in attendance. Even though it began to pour rain and was extremely cold, we were able to gather all the people under a large tree and share
the Gospel with them. We were also able to give all of the families there one of the soccer balls along with the J316 bracelets and tracts.
In the evening,
we were able to relax and further bond as a team as we had a time of praise and worship together to reflect on the trip and praise God for all that He has
done. We thank you for your prayers and support so far for this trip. God has been great and has been doing alot of work here in Guatemala.
Lucas and Nick
Saturday proved to be a full day of work and fun. It began with the team splitting up into two work groups with the task of completing the construction of
two houses for the members of the local churches. These families were in very difficult living conditions and were extremely grateful for our help. We were
glad to have the opportunity to serve them by giving them a few hours of our time to complete the project. In return, we received many huge smiles, hugs, and
After the construction project, we were expecting a quick return to the house but God had other plans for us at a local school. What was
originally intended for no more than a meeting place for the teams quickly became another unexpected opportunity to share the Gospel. When we arrived at the
school, we were welcomed by a group of boys who wanted to show off their breakdancing skills. Anthony took the opportunity to show a few of his flips and
juggling tricks and we instantly had a big crowd watching us. Some of the kids were also eager to show us their basketball skills and challenged us to a
full-court game. Needless to say we dominated and after some friendly competition, we had a God-given opportunity to present the Gospel that we never would
Lunch was a refreshing return to American culture again as we were able to make a much-needed stop at McDonald's in Antigua. That evening we
travelled to Club la Montana to play papifutbol against two Guatemalan all-star teams. This was the first time this club had hosted an American team and they
rolled out the red carpet for us for this special event. There was a large group of fans to watch the Americans take on their hometown teams. These 6v6 games
were played on a wet astroturf field, and we played 2 full games against these teams. We gave them 2 good matches and ended up taking home the trophy in front
of the appreciative fans, and we also took the opportunity to share the Gospel with everyone there. Afterwards, the tournament hosts provided us with a special
dinner and gave us full access to their huge indoor pool, sauna, and hot-tub facilities for the end of an awesome day.
Mac and Anthony
Friday (Viernes) was another eventful day in our total-immersion Guatemalan adventure. A distant rooster signaled the start of our day, which meant being
awake in bed for an hour or two. Fantastic french toast prepared us for our 10 minute excursion into the jungle, which actually took about 2 hours. A muddy
trail into the jungle with no signs led us off the main road to our first soccer clinic for kids, which was in the small village of Pampay, somewhere in the
mountains above the clouds. When we got there, we didn't see many kids but when we got the soccer balls out they came from everywhere. We were able to share
the Gospel with over 50 kids using the J316 soccer ball. The clinic was successful despite the soccer balls lost down the mountainside. Our 2nd clinic of the
day took place at a Christian school that is free for its K-6 grade students. The team had a blast interacting with and giving the Gospel to over 200 more
children there. After the 2nd clinic, we travelled to a park and played papifutbol (5v5) on concrete in the rain to prepare for a scrimmage. The scrimmage
took place later on a turf field with huge concrete walls that we still managed to kick over. We joined the team that we scrimmaged back at the house for
dinner after sharing the Gospel with them. Our Guatemalan hosts took great care of us once again. After a time in the Word as a team, we wasted no time in
heading to our beds to rest up for tomorrow's adventure.
Jeff and Tyler
Wow. What an amazing day! Today we had the opportunity to play against USAC, a high ranking professional team in the Guatemalan Premier League. We were
amazed to be playing against a team that included several players who have played for the national teams of Guatemala or Costa Rica. Upon arrival, we
walked into a beautiful complex and warmed up waiting for their team to arrive. During the match, we fought well but were outclassed by the strong USAC
side. After the game we had the opportunity to trade jerseys and share the Gospel with their players and coaches. We were also encouraged and challenged
by the testimony of Andy Herron, one of their players who is a strong Chrstian and a former professional in the MLS and with the Costa Rican national team.
After the match, we headed up into the mountains to visit Pacaya, one of 3 active volcanoes in Guatemala. Instead of hiking, we were able to rent horses to
take us up the 2 miles of steep inclines to the face of the volcano. This was a blast for us to have full control of these horses even though many of our
team members had never ridden on a horse before. While riding up the mountain, the view was incredible! It was amazing to see the beauty of God's creation
right before our eyes. Once we reached the top, the guide explained the history of the volcano which had unexpectedly erupted only weeks before. He also lit
a fire by pushing a stick into the ground. The stick was ignighted by the flowing lava beneath our feet! Since it was starting to get dark, we hopped back on
our horses and started riding back down the mountain. On the way down, a few team members had the opportunity to share the Gospel with the "mountain people."
Overall it was an amazing day. We enjoyed playing the game we love, conquering the mighty Petapa, and sharing the Gospel with everyone we met."
Adam and Dexter
We woke up extremely early to eat breakfast in order to get to our match against Petapa FC. Petapa is a first division professional team in Guatemala so
we were unsure exactly what to expect from playing a strong professional side. When we got there we walked into a first-class stadium facility and were
greeted by the Petapa players and coaches. We started the game strong with several quality scoring opportunities in the first few minutes. We put up a
great fight in the first half and went into the half only down 1-0. However, our lack of fitness (and availability of only 3 subs) showed in the 2nd half
as we tired quickly. Meanwhile, Petapa continued to bring in fresh players and were able to open up the game scoring several 2nd half goals. Overall, we
represented ourselves well and it was an enjoyable experience for everyone. After the game, some of our more fortunate team members swapped jerseys with
the Petapa players and we were presented with a signed game ball from the president of the club and the mayor of the city of Petapa. We also gathered together
with their team, and Jeff was able to present his testimony, and we shared the Gospel with their players as well as a large group of students from a local school
that had come to watch the match.
After lunch, we headed to the famous town of Antigua which is one of the oldest cities in Central America where we were able
to immerse ourselves in the Guatemalan culture. We visited the massive town market where we were able to barter and purchase assorted merchandise such as
jerseys, authentic Guatemalan garb, wallets, bracelets, and even pajama pants. Luis had the opportunity to give out the J316 ball and share the Gospel with
a group of kids there in the market. It was an exhausting day but very enjoyable and profitable.
Drew and Walter
Our flight to Guatemala went very smoothly today. When we arrived in the Guatemala City, it was cold, foggy, and raining. We met up with our guides and
crammed ourselves and our luggage into a small bus for the trip to our base in San Bartolome Milpas Altas (SBMA). We soon realized that Guatemalans
have little regard for speed limits, road signs, or traffic lanes as we maneuvered thorough the busy traffic. We saw many armed guards holding shotguns
outside of a number of buildings - they must have heard that we had arrived!
The house we are staying at in SBMA is comfortable. It has 3 bunk rooms and even has 2 huge guard dogs to keep us safe during our stay.
The people of the town have been very welcoming to us. We had a wonderful
meal made for us by the sweet Guatemalan women and then headed off for a friendly match against the local team made up primarily of local police officers.
We had a blast playing in the rain on the field which was covered with puddles. After celebrating our first win of the trip by a score of 4-0, we were able
to share with their team our purpose for the trip and give them the Gospel. Later that evening after dinner, we were pleasantly surprised by a visit from
the mayor of the city. She was a nice lady and we were able to talk with her, take some pictures, and pray with her. After she left, we were able to sing
some songs and share some devotion time in the Word as a team before heading off to bed.
Matt and Danny