Because San Lucas is close to San Cristobal, the eight-person team stayed at the Shekinah Center and travelled daily to the village. Although the team was diverse – some had come two or more times before, some were first-timers, and they represented a variety of ages – all had a common goal. They came to share the love of Jesus by serving the Pokomchi people. It was apparent that the villagers had the same goal as a great connection was established.
“I was really glad we came. We learned a lot. We saw how huge the need was. We met some wonderful people.” – Mission Team Member
Let’s look at how this connection in Jesus’ name was made.
Building the rainwater collection tanks:
Divided into small groups, the team worked side by side with ASOSAP staff and the Pokomchi family who were receiving the water tank. Thus, they got to know the family, other team members, and ASOSAP staff. The families gave snacks and food to “their” team members during the day.
The Cultural Activity:
Getting Water and Doing Laundry-
The team hiked 20 minutes along a narrow trail in the forest to the natural springs where the families get their water. Here the families also wash their clothes for their entire family. The team had a chance to do this.
They carried the wooden wash basin and water jugs on their heads. The jugs weren’t full, but they were really heavy and uncomfortable. What did the team learn from this? How hard it would be with a full load of wet clothes and full jug of water.
How tiring it would be doing this every day. It was an eye opener that made the importance of the water tanks even more real and very needed.
In San Lucas, many families grow flowers to sell in the market and provide income for themselves. The team got to walk to where they grow their flowers and see how they plant and harvest the flowers. The village women gifted flowers to the team as I thank you for coming, getting to know them, and for the water tanks.
Growing Coffee –
They also grow coffee in San Lucas. The team got to try harvesting coffee, see how they process the beans, roast the beans, grind the beans, and then try a fresh cup of coffee. Every one enjoyed this as evidenced by lots of laughter.
San Lucas has artisans who weave using a back strap loom. The team was awed at the skill of the artisans and the
beautiful colors and designs of the weaving.
The kids’ activity was another chance to build relationships in San Lucas.
The team and village kids played together and had lots of fun. They had hilarious games, played soccer, blew bubbles, made bracelets, and did origami. It made for a day that each person would no doubt fondly remember.
Many of the children have very poor dental health. Dr. Beth and a nurse came on this trip and thanks to them we were able to impact the health of 165 school children in San Lucas. They taught the children about dental health and each child was given a tooth brush and tooth paste.
After brushing their teeth, fluoride was applied to protect their teeth from further cavities and decay.
The team compared the need for physical water to the Living Water that Jesus offers us. He tells us in the Bible that with this water, no one will thirst again, and will have eternal life. On one of the water tanks, a team member wrote Revelations 22:17, which says: “The Spirit and the bride say “Come!” And let the one who hears say “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come, and let the one who take the free gift of the water of life.”
Through these water tanks and the interactions between the families and teams, spreading Jesus’ love with each other pointed to Him. This was done daily, during simple, but caring acts. There were also more focused moments when they sang Bible songs together and shared a Bible story.
It was also important that the “first timers” of the team got to see the other areas in which ASOSAP works, to get the full picture. The vision trip to the two health posts and meeting the nurses, a chronic patient who received an improved stove project, and a PokoMaya artisan, showed this. One team member had this to say:
“A highlight was going to the medical outposts and meeting the nurses, who were so gentle, humble and compassionate. They are skilled and take care of thousands of people, doing all kinds of things, and being on call 24 hours a day/7 days week. They were just amazing. They take care of people in their own language, which is really important. They have developed a really good and trusting relationship with the people. It was a really positive, healthy place. The ASOSAP staff are great people. They were welcoming and caring. They’ve really established connection of trust with the people they live alongside and work with and it’s all done in the name of Jesus. It’s a beautiful, loving thing to see.”
A veteran team member commented:
“Every time I come, we’re in a different area and there’s a variation in experience. Even though we’re often making tanks, it’s not just a work experience, we have interactions with the people. In San Lucas, I was overwhelmed by their openness and desire to welcome us and interact with us.”
We look forward to seeing them again and we welcome you to come! Would you consider coming on a mission team? As you’ve heard and seen, this time together transforms physical and spiritual life and we hope to experience this with you.