On our last full day in Guatemala, while the team prepared for the festival tonight in San Lucas, our roving reporter caught up with everyone and asked which memory would be strongest for them after we return home. Here’s what they had to say:

Rachelle: The home visits, seeing where and how the people live. Your first thought is, “Wow it’s so gorgeous here” and it’s such an experience to be there. They live in these tiny little houses and it actually seems cool at first, but then you wonder what it must be like to live in such a little tiny place, with no running water or anything.

Emily: Getting to see how much the festivals mean to the people, how much joy they bring. It was fun to see the kids at the school in Membrillal on the day the after the festival there, with their balls and the other prizes they won, and it’s fun to see the older people enjoy the festivals, too.

Emma: The smiles; from the teams, the kids, the workers, everyone.

Thomas: I’ll remember David (the 10-year-old grandson of the caretaker at the compound where the team stays) and our San Martin (restaurant) experience. He and I ordered the same kind of pizza and the same drink, and he was so excited by that. It was also great to have the workers from the church there, too, and enjoy their company in a more relaxed setting.

Rick: Two things. Visiting Angel, the child Linda and I are blessed to be able to sponsor, obviously is a highlight, even though it’s always very emotional for me. The other thing would be the shelter for victims of the volcano; how people in a desperate, discouraging situation are just trying to get on with their lives somehow.

Vicki: My favorite thing is that I just got a hug from Rachelle. We had a little disagreement earlier, and I felt like I had affected the unity of the team, and that’ just not me. It meant a lot for me to know that she and I were OK, and that the team was united, because I love everyone here.

Verna: Yeimi, the little girl I sponsored, hugged me when we arrived for our home visit and just wouldn’t let go. She recognized me from other places, but on the home visit she just grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.

Pamela: Getting to hear Pastor Tono sing at church. It’s like the heavens open when he sings, and the Spirit just flows in. Then getting to talk with him afterward, hearing the sacrifices he’s making to act as the head pastor now, while Merari is recovering.

Andrew: Being able to see George (a missionary who has worked at Iglesias Galilea for several years), I didn’t expect to get to see him on this trip, but being able to reunite with him and work with him this past week has been the best surprise of this trip.

Noah: Worshiping during the festival our last night here and hanging out with youth afterwards. The band was really talented and powerful. And the youth were so sweet and funny! I made some awesome friends I’m going to be in touch with. Oh and hugs were an awesome memory too!

Thanks for your support, friends, See you soon!