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Thanh and Kacie flight update

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Due to a late landing in Houston, Thanh and Kacie missed their scheduled flight to San Francisco.  They’re now on United 1737, which should arrive in SF at 3:03 PM.

 

Owen.

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Coming Home by Sheila

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Today is the day that we return to the States. It is with mixed emotions that we prepare to return to our homes, as we feel that we have gained new homes here in Guatemala. However, it´s clear that we all want to come back someday.

Some things that I know that I´ve learned through the trip are not only skills that are helpful in a foreign country, but throughout all aspects of life. For one, I will never take advantage of my ability to ask a question again! While we have all learned how to communicate in a unique way with those surrounding us, there were times when you just couldn´t figure out what or how to say something.

Which brings me to my next skill, which is learning to interpret and communicate without words. As you can imagine, this ¨skill¨often leads to laughter, because I, for one, have made a complete fool of myself trying to mime what it was that I needed.

The most important thing I´ve learned, however, is that the God of the United States is the same God in Guatemala. In fact, he´s the same everywhere. How great is that? Never once have I felt abandoned by him. Never once have I felt like there was a dichotomy between the Father that I praise and the Señor my family and friends here praise. It is with this promise of security that I return home today, knowing that God has been on this journey with me and my team, knows our hearts, and knows exactly how this will impact us in the future.

As I sit in our office for the last time (alone, pobrecita yo), I want to say thank you to my students, who made everyday a bright and happy one full of hugs, thank you to my family, who housed me and made sure I was lovingly teased on a daily basis, thank you to Paris and Ury, who provided every comfort and extended such a warm, welcoming hand of friendship, thank you to all of the staff at America Latina, who made us feel like one of them, and, lastly, thank you to every single person back home who has supported us, prayed for us, and await our return–especially our families. We feel so blessed to have been a part of this wonderful school, and we can´t wait to figure out: what´s next?

Tracking flights

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Hi friends!

A parent asked about flight delays related to Hurricane Isaac. Our team’s flights probably won’t encounter weather problems directly, but it does appear that issues elsewhere are delaying those flights today.

Today’s flight from Guatemala City to Houston is delayed 5 hours, waiting for the plane to arrive. That suggests to me that their leg of the flight won’t have to deal with weather, but may be delayed by weather elsewhere.

Stay tuned at the United flight tracker at http://www.united.com.

Remarkably, Sheila’s flight to Ft Lauderdale is on time today. Track that flight at http://www.spirit.com.

I’ll let you know if I hear anything else.

Owen.

Home Soon!

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Hello, friends!

After a month in Guatemala, the team will return to the States this week.  As you prepare to receive them, here are some things I hope you’ll think about to help the team make the most of this trip.

For those of you meeting students at the airport, here’s flight information:

Kacie and Thanh return to San Francisco at 2:05 PM on August 30 on United 1456.

Grace returns to Philadelphia at 4:58 PM on August 30 on United 1559.

Sheila returns to Denver at 11:55 PM on August 30 on Spirit 355.

As the group returns, they’ll continue to think through this experience and its implications for their lives.  It’s likely that this mental processing will involve at least some of these elements:

  •  Relief upon returning to familiar surroundings,
  •  Frustration with aspects of home culture that appear less desirable than the cultural values experienced during the SPRINT experience,
  •  Sadness and joy over relationships and memories developed during the trip,
  •  And hopefully, Resolve to incorporate the learning from this trip into daily life as life moves on.

It’s our hope that SPRINT participants will return to “life as usual” with expanded worldviews and a clearer sense of God’s work in their lives.  The learning process continues after the trip experience; students will participate in a debriefing gathering in October, and will be encouraged to continue meeting with their SPRINT team to share the story of their host’s work and encourage future generations of SPRINT participants to serve.

I encourage you to give your student time to catch up on sleep, then set aside an extended period of time to share pictures and stories.  Don’t expect completely-formed opinions immediately; the reflection process takes time.  We remind returning SPRINTers that not everyone will have time to hear the whole story, but that they should find a few people with whom to share the longer, more in-depth account.

I’ve mailed team members some discussion questions and a copy of the Global Citizen Journal, published by the Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship (www.kristafoundation.org), to help them think through their experience as they move forward.  If you’ve got time, I’d encourage you to talk though some of these materials with your student.

Thanks for your support of students on this team!   Please let me know if you have questions.

Owen.

Dia de Guatemala

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Dia de Guatemala

Last Friday the whole school had a celebration, Dia de Guatemala. There was a parade, food, and each section of the school participated in showing their pride in the chapel. It was so great to be a part of it. We even got dressed up! It was a wonderful way to experience Guatemalan culture. Here is us with our friend Walter, a Bible teacher in the highschool who helped us with our chapels.