Jungle Kids First Day in School

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Hello Everyone from Guatemala

First let me say with humility, Gods ways are not my ways....

You see about a year ago, funds starting dwindling away and teams stopped coming and I just figured it was due to the economy.
The truth is: God needed to get my attention.

I was working so hard with team after team and emergencies and projects that I just did not have time for God. I thought since I was working for Him
He would be happy with my so called good works.

So he took me to the wood shed and let me know the I was not the Captain of the ship. I was just here to follow orders from the Captain. I was so busy being busy,
I forgot why I was here.

I lost the Joy in my heart for the work I was doing. I began to think of this as just a job instead of service to the people of Guatemala and for God.
But I came to a big revelation in my life about a certain principle of God.

One of the 10 commandments says. Thou shalt not use the Lord thy God's name in Vain.
I always thought that meant do not swear or use His name as a curse word.
But what I FOUND, was to use Gods name and promote your own agenda as if it was Gods agenda was using His name for
reasons other than to Honor Him.
That was using His name in vain.

So I decided to SURRENDER. I asked forgiveness and decided to stop trying to make things happen and let Him be the real Captain of the ship.

Since that time a series of events has happened to turn my world upside down. For the good!

People began giving again. Teams have started contacting me and setting up dates. ( We have 4 teams scheduled already )
We had a family who we thought would take over the Student Program, but they did not work out. So Marleni and I found our selves having to keep our word to those kids and take the project on.

At first I thought, this is the last thing I want to do. ( After all who wants to take care of teenagers? )

But after this past three days with them, and seeing the hope and joy in their faces, I fell in love with them.

So let me share what happened.

As soon as they arrived from a two hour trip from down river we noticed they had no clothing for the cold front that is here now.
They were frozen from the long ride on the open river in T-Shirts and shorts and flip flops.

So we got them some other clothes and gave them the guidelines and then prayed.

We had to give them guidelines to follow and even teach them about how to use a real bathroom. They only have outhouses or just go in the jungle next to their house. I had to explain to them after I saw them peeing right out on the front of the entrance way that they needed to use the bano's ( toilets )
Then my daughter Cielo said Daddy.... You Pee outside.... I said Cielo Honey, you can go play now OK!!!

We then began to get their lunch ready and while they were waiting I saw them take brooms and start sweeping and cleaning.

I said to Marleni did you tell them to do that?
She said no, they are just doing it on their own.
I was impressed. They were so thankful to be here they wanted to show us the only way they knew.

When it came time for lunch they got in line and could not believe their eyes. Remember they are used to eating a couple of tortillas for a meal.

They wanted to eat like they had never eaten before but out of respect they took very little and did not return for seconds.
I had to tell them please go get more food. We have plenty.

After lunch we passed out their school uniforms, their shoes, their school books and supplies, and then gave them each a set of scrubs. ( Medical scrubs)
They had only brought small bags with one set of extra clothes. They brought their best pants and shirts so they would not look poor and be embarrassed.
So we gave them scrubs to work in.

Marleni then sat them down for their first lesson in how to prepare their books and supplies for school.

They were very happy to get new books and notebooks and pens and pencils. They all got a Junglemedic T-Shirt
( never hurts to advertise..... There I go again, forgive me Lord)

Marleni explained the schedule starting next week of study and homework classes.

Then I told them since they did not have homework yet we had work to do.

So we all started painting the gate and front entrance wall.

These were supposed to be their work clothes but they were so proud to have these scrubs, they made sure they did not get a drop of paint on their scrubs.
But then as people walked by on the street they all stopped and stared at us. I thought "oh no" they think this is a prison and these are prisoners on work detail....

But they actually thought it was a group of medical students who had come to learn medicine and I had them painting.... ( You just can't win sometimes huh?)

Anyway the kids did great and said what else do you need done.

So we cut tress and palms and loaded the truck and trailer to take to the dump. On the way my breaks kept giving out. I have been working on them so long I have started drinking brake fluid and I think I am addicted. ( But I can stop anytime)

But they saw it was dirty work so they changed out of their scrubs and put their regular clothes back on.

After the work was finished I said you guys can now play football. ( what we call soccer )

They set up 4 old paint cans for goals. So I went to the hardware store and came back and made them real goals out of PVC pipes.

They played like they were at a stadium in the Olympics for hours.
( I wanted to run and play with them for hours also but I know it would not be fair for me to beat them so badly)

That night I set up the projector and let them watch a movie on the big screen I made out of two pieces of plywood and painted white.
Most of them have never even seen TV because their village has no electricity and of course they could never afford a TV.

You should have seen their faces..... I was like taking a kid to Disney for the first time. We made popcorn and passed it out during the movie.
Then I noticed no one was eating it. I said to Marleni why are they not eating the popcorn?

She said they do not know what popcorn is?
They finally tried it after we told them it was to eat. They did not like it at all.
They said it tasted like paper..... I laughed because I realized they have never had popcorn before or been to a movie.
( So I ended up eating it so they would not feel bad.)

But they absolutely loved their time here.

This morning we got up and all had breakfast of eggs and beans and they could not believe it.
To them eggs are like a steak to us. So they could not believe we would have eggs for breakfast.

They had been up taking cold showers, brushing their teeth, putting what looked like tons of grease in their hair and someone had a bottle of cheap cologne.
They all put so much on
I could smell it on the 3rd floor when they were coming out of the 1st floor dorm room.
(I am not kidding) They had been up since 4:00am they were so excited they said they did not sleep all night.

Here they are in their school uniforms ready for me to take them in the van to school.

You may see Janet the girl in the middle of all these boys. Well she worked just as hard as they did and played soccer like a pro.
She is going to do just fine.

When we got to the school they were the only ones with all their books and school uniforms and shoes. All the other kids looked like slobs. I was so proud of these kids.

After we got them all settled I gave them money to pay for the boat ride home when they finished school and they all hugged me and Marleni and thanked us.
Some of them said we wish we did not have to leave.

Now we have to go home and clear trees from the jungle with a machete and plant corn and really work hard for our food.

I said OK we will be waiting on you next week.

Folks I have to tell you there is a difference between having Joy and being happy.... Happy is an emotion that comes and goes.
But when you are in Gods will and have a purpose you have a
deep sense of Joy that is with you even through the valleys in life.

I have my Joy back and am ready to go to work with the Joy of the Lord to please Him not me..... Now I am human and not a good one at that,
so I have to just remember that and trust in God

Thank you to all those who donated funds and prayed for us this past month to help us get the food, and supplies and uniforms etc for these kids.
May God Bless You!

In His Service

Bryan & Marleni Buchanan