As you know, Matthias is a big fan of food. Especially food that falls into the category that many people label junk food. People with nicer attitudes toward sweet things call them snacks. To Matthias – they are essentials.
Several weeks ago, a friend from my youth group came to visit. Somehow he knew that I need snacks. He filled his suitcases to the brim. Perhaps even leaving out a shirt or two to get yet another pack of double stufs in. Needless to say, I was quite pleased to receive this essential food. Several weeks supply. Or several months – depending on how disciplined or sharing I would be.
It was Holy Week, also known as vacation from teaching school. So Nathan, my visiting friend, and I headed to Antigua, Guatemala for a week of Spanish school. Melody Eash, another teacher from the deaf school, decided to go and further her communication abilities. It was great fun to spend time studying Spanish once again. Being in Antigua brought back many memories of a year ago when I spent a month there studying. It was very good for me to go back, correct mistakes that I have been making, and learn more about the many tenses of Spanish grammar. Many good times drinking coffee and eating ice cream in various shops around town.
Antigua was quite full sine it was Holy Week. Many many people filled the town. The Catholics spend a lot of time and effort reenacting the story of Jesus. They carry floats all through town. Accompanied by music. Some processions last for hours. It is a privilege that people pay for to be able to help carry the floats. Thursday night, before on of the main processions on Friday, people stay up all night making carpets in the streets. They use painted sawdust. They make many intricate patterns and pictures. The artwork is quite impressive. But short lived. The procession comes by, walks over top of it, and right afterward comes a crew cleaning it up. It was very interesting to see all the activities, but at the same time quite sad. Many people believe that they are earning salvation by their good works.
Normally the streets of Antigua are empty at night. Not during Holy Week. For many youth it’s there first time away from home and parents for the night. While the parents ignorantly believe the youth are helping in processions or making carpets, the youth are out getting drunk and having a party.
It was great to have Nathan here at the deaf school the week following vacation. Cooling off at the water park. Eating pupusas. Having great discussions. Thanks Nathan for all the encouragement you gave in your time here.
Thanks to each one who is praying for me. I feel a need of much prayer and wisdom. God is at work here. He is teaching me many things about life and about relating to people. Pray that I would have the understanding to get what God is saying and the courage to live it out.