A point of view from Nicole Grunsky:
I didn’t sleep much last night. I was constantly thinking about the 17 suitcases we were checking and going through all the lists in my mind. 3:00 AM came quickly but I was ready to get up and get our travels under way. There were months of prep work and finally the day had come to make our way to Guatemala. I knew even if I forgot something that it would be okay. Our team and our trip had been so covered in prayer that I could feel the Holy Spirit with us every step of the way. I knew He would provide and light our paths. I was at peace with all the preparation.
The fifteen missioners slowly trickled into the house. Some of them more tired than others. We were able to separate the morning people from the night people before we even lived together. Henry Moses was there with his roomy van and cheerful smile to help get us all safely to the airport. We packed the cars, distributed name tags, and gave instructions on the checked luggage that each person would take through customs. Richard led us in a devotional around our kitchen island and we were headed to Columbia!
As we drove, I thought about Sally. She is our pharmacist, and wasn’t feeling well the night before and thought she might not be able to go. She said she would meet us at the airport if she felt good enough but to carry on without her if she didn’t show up. I was saddened for her and all the preparation she had done and I knew she would be greatly missed on our team if she didn’t come.
We were just about all checked in and Richard texted Sally to check on her. She was already at the gate waiting on us!!! We were all so glad to hear she was going to make it! The team was all together!
Flights went smoothly and we landed Guatemala! Our adventure had really begun now. The sights were so different – a mountainous land, a different language, a different way of doing things and it was all so exciting. We had our temperatures checked shortly after landing and even I had stoop down so the Guatemalan lady could reach my forehead!
And then we went through customs. We were a little nervous about this part because we knew we were at the mercy of the customs agents. Mitch and I were pulled aside and a few suitcases were searched. We provided as much documentation as we could and just waited it out. After about 20 minutes they let us go and we reunited with the group. We had made it through with all the medicine & medical supplies!!!
Lucy & Wayne greeted us outside. They secured all of our luggage on top of the van and we headed to Xela. We were so exhausted from being up early and all the travel. We thought we were in for a 3-4 hour drive. But it took us about 5.5 hours. By this point we were running on fumes and our patience was wearing thin. But we persevered and arrived at the Bethesda clinic around 8:30 PM. Dr Luke met us in the driveway and helped us get situated.
We stayed 2-6 per room and each room had one full bathroom in it. The facilities were very nice and we instantly felt like it was home. We ate dinner and were off to our rooms for rest. It had been a long day and we knew Sunday would be a full day of adjustment, exploration and preparation for the week to come.
Check back tomorrow for the next installment of the Story of the 15 Missioners…