Laughter needs no translation.

Our morning was richly blessed with warm sunshine and a traditional Guatemalan breakfast prepared by the staff. We shared the meal with the children in their kitchen. We were also given a tortilla making lesson and had many laughs together, as our tortillas were not nearly as round and flat as theirs. But it seemed that they enjoyed teaching us and allowing us into their kitchen. Our team members certainly enjoyed the opportunity!

Breakfast with the children.

Tortilla lessons.

Dena explained that most teams concentrated on just the children but that the Lord has lead her to ask our team to spend more time pouring love into the staff here at Hogar. While most of the team was working hard to finish our projects (painting at the young men’s home and building a few closets), a few of us stayed back to spend time with the women on staff. Emily and Bobbie were able to have some devotional time on Titus 2:1-5; Women mentoring women. Afterwards they made up-cycled shopping bags out of t-shirts for them to use at the market. They struggled at first with cutting perfectly good shirts since no one here has an abundance. But because they could still be useful they understood. Even a few of the men of staff joined along to make themselves a sack. It was an honor to “fill their cups” this morning.

Tony and Bill building closets for the young men’s home.

Devotionals and activities with the staff.

The oldest girl here got a few hours of one on one time today.

Our team made an American meal for the children: Velvetta macaroni and cheese with mini pepperonis mixed in and chocolate/vanilla pudding cups. Our lunches were 30 minutes apart today so that the staff could then cook us a Guatemalan meal and eat with our team. What a neat experience to cook for one another.

Our day ended with a Rally (friendly competition with everyone here at Hogar).  We started by tossing a shoe into our circle and raced to grab someone else’s. Then we got to get to know the owner of the shoe and how long they have known Christ. The next game we played involved tying balloons to our ankles and trying to pop each others balloons. We then played a tag game of cat and mouse.  It’s so life giving for us to be able to come along side the staff and children; sharing hugs, laughter and positive memories.

Partnered shoe game.

Pop their balloons!

Although suffering and sadness are part of the human condition, God wants us to be joyful and to find happiness. Laughter is closely tied to joy because the feeling of joy can promote laughter. It is often said that “Laughter is the best medicine,” and it’s true!

There has been a lot of laughing this week, and there’s no translation needed for laughter.

The Lord loves us and fills us with joy and laughter when we are connected to him. One of the most beautiful things about serving on a mission field where you don’t speak the same language is realizing God’s love also needs no translation. It can be seen in a smile of the elderly, felt in laughter of a child, in the embrace of a mother whose family you helped to feed, or heard in a familiar song of worship sang in two languages. It’s definitely an experience unlike any other.

A cheerful heart is good medicine. -Proverbs 17:22