Wonderfully made

The markets in Antigua are a brilliant jumble of vibrant color and incredible creativity.

I stopped to talk with 78 year old, abuela (grandmother) and watched her work. She has been weaving tapestries for 8 years now. It takes her about 6 days of working 7-8 hours per day to produce what we we call a table runner 18 inches wide and maybe 8 feet long. And then she asks 350Q. That’s $45.32 in US dollars. I hesitated for a moment admiring the work of the fabric in my hand and she quickly dropped her price to 300q, which is less than the dollar per hour she originally asked.

Her grandson stood nearby in the booth the family leases.

Less than a dollar an hour for her creativity and her labor…

I thanked her and gave her the 350Q she asked for originally plus another 5Q for welcoming me to photograph her.

I stayed for a few more minutes to watch her weathered hands move quickly and skillfully; creative hands made in the image of our Creator.

I thought of one of my favorite verses in the old manuscripts I read to shape my life and focus my thoughts.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14

Abuela is wonderfully made in the image of God. I am too and so are you.

Wealth, position and status have absolutely no impact on our worth in the eyes of our Creator.

My sister weaving in the market is dearly loved by my God. My shoeless, 9 year old friend, Johan, in Yalu is dearly loved by God. My sweet girls in Oratorio are valuable to God.

How I wish more of us could see each other through the eyes of Jesus and understand that our worth is not tied to our wealth. In fact, once again, I’m leaving convinced that my wealth is often a barrier to my understanding of true worth.

Today I will return to our friends in Oratorio at the school our church family supports to celebrate the teachers and staff, have a pool party at a nearby hotel and have a banquet if thanksgiving. It will feel like a little piece of heaven for me.

Wealth has nothing to do with worth.

~Scott

Access to Resources

This sweet, little girl now has a leg up, as do all of the children at the AMG Florida School in Guatemala City. Claro, the largest cell service and internet service provider in Central and South America, recently partnered with AMG to make this center the first state-of-the-art education center in terms of computer education and access to online learning.

They donated and installed this computer lab, upgraded all electrical systems and even repainted the building.

I simply was overwhelmed seeing it all. I’m sure those of you who have traveled with me are amazed as well!

These children have a brighter and clearer (“claro” in Spanish) future because of access to resources. Even the teachers now have access to further education because Claro also is providing free internet service. Dios es bueno!

Thank you, Claro, for partnering with AMG Guatemala. If you were in Maine, you would be my cell and internet provider!

My prayer is that this is the beginning and that one day all of the children in the 33 AMG schools will have the same access to resources.

Joy!

Joy. The teachers at each of the AMG schools impress me so very much. Their love for the children radiates.

Picture trying to organize 200 children, excited by the thought of receiving their only gift for Christmas. These teachers do it with smiles and amazing energy.

American Santa is not a big deal here. Why not? Think about it for a minute. The excitement of Christmas here is about being with family to celebrate the birth of Jesus with tamales and fireworks on Christmas Eve.

I am having little success uploading pictures to my blog. Check my Facebook page and www.Facebook.com/firstbaptist.westbrook for more.

Today we will head to two more schools.

Blessings,

Scott

Hugs and smiles in Oratorio – some pics

Day one of distributing bundles of love was all that I expected it would be with hugs, smiles and some tears.

In Oratorio, the children received uniform shoes for public school. They cannot attend school without the proper uniform that they must provide for themselves. Of course, after uniforms are purchased, they get passed on to child after child but the uniform shoes must be replaced.

The children were thrilled!

At the end of the day we hiked up a very rocky path to visit Sandra and her 4 children in their home. They try to find work as day laborers and washes laundry for others. One of her children’s sponsors is stepping in to help Sandra in a major way. Their lives are about to improve.

The internet is not behaving but i will continue to try to update.


Meeting the team

Just jump

Juliana and Matthew are 9 year old twins here in Guatemala with their mom and dad to serve on our 2018 Bundles of Love team.

While we were here in the team house settling in, sorting, planning and waiting for all to arrive, a group of us went up onto the roof.

Adults chatted, teenagers laughed and Juliana and Matthew explored. They found another level of the roof and quickly figured out that they could run down a small slope and jump off a four-foot wall onto the lower roof.

So, they ran and jumped. Of course they did. That’s what children do. We adults walked past that same wall and none of us thought, “hey! Let’s jump!”

Even after seeing their smiling faces and hearing their laughs, we did not jump. If they had invited us we would have immediately started listing our limitations and why we shouldn’t jump.

The first time I jumped into foreign missions was in 1980. I was nervous. Since then I’ve jumped numerous times.

Now, like the twins with their jump, I get excited. I run toward the wall, kick my feet up, throw my hands up and jump.

It’s amazing what God does when I trust him enough to jump into his work. I love it.

Tomorrow the real work of the 2018 Bundles of Love team begins. Today we’ll worship together, get some cultural context, organize our stops and build our team.

I cannot wait…

-Scott Linscott