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Trip 2: Guatemala Day 1

Hola! It’s great to be in Antigua, Guatemala again!

Our first group got back into Salisbury around 1:30-2:00am on Sunday morning, and our second group was pulling out of Salisbury by 4:00am!

While it’s been a whirlwind of travel for me, one of the things that I love about my job is the spending time with the kids of this congregation. Week one was undoubtedly one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had, and this week is shaping up to be another great one! If you didn’t know it, the 35 teenagers we have on these two trips to Guatemala are amazing young people, with a great deal of depth and an eagerness to live out their faith even as they grow in that very faith. Today I realized just how much I love the relational aspect of working with teenagers, and it not only makes my job the best job in the world (sorry everyone else), but it also keeps me energized and hopeful – regardless of how little sleep I’m functioning on.

On this trip we’ve laid out some Core Values that we seek to live into each and every moment of the day.  Those Core Values include:
– Prayer
– Accompaniment
– Hospitality
– Safety
– Oikos (family)
– Being People of Story
I’d like to tell you a little bit about how these young people are seeking to be People of Story both this week and last week. We’ve now had some great conversations with all 35 of these youth about how we’re all part of God’s larger story and how we can spend some intentional time in the large story of God, reflecting on how the Word shapes the words we speak and tell each day. And that extends to the multiple social media platforms our youth live in each day.
This week our youth are blogging (here on the website), journaling, posting, snapping, tweeting, and sharing photos along with stories from their experiences. And we hope that you will follow along as best you can! And to help you, Autumn (one of the helpers here at GRACES) has helped put together a Storify page which captures all of our stories together from various media sorces. I invite you to check out our collective story! It’s pretty great stuff!
Looking forward to another great week in Guatemala!
– Kai Thurow
Youth & Family Minister

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