Guatemala – Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Every Tuesday the InnerCHANGE teams around the world have a prayer time, a combination of Scripture readings and prayer. Melanie led the Xela prayer time today. JoLene and I attended.

The team had prepared a simple worship center of several items on a low table. I found this to be quite meaningful.

The prayer time ended with communion.

There is an American Bakery here in Xela, operated by a Mennonite missionary from PA and women from the outlying villages. We drove to the bakery and bought whoopie pies, a mango pie (now that is a real treat), bagels and other items.

I did tutoring in English conversation again today with German and Karla. They are making good progress, and I really enjoy doing this. Some of you may recall that in the distant past my majors at Messiah College were English and secondary education.

Tomorrow evening the staff here will hold an early Christmas party for the boys, so we went with Melanie to the mall to buy a sweater and jeans for each boy.

As we returned home, we saw a funeral procession, walking to the General Cemetery, which is located behind Iglesia de Calvario, Calvary Church. We see one or more such processions nearly every day.

The processions begins with men dressed in black walking in two lines, one on each side of the street, preceding the funeral car.

Behind the car are people carrying floral tributes.

Then comes the coffin, carried on the shoulders of mourners, sometimes men, sometimes women. Every so often, a new set of carriers relieves the previous set.

Then come the rest of the mourners, filling the narrow street.

Several other people were taking photos or videos, and no one was reprimanding them, so I concluded I was not invading the mourners’ privacy by taking these photos.

In the evening JoLene and I stayed home while everyone else went to a practice soccer game for our boys at a different court. We stirred up batter for peppernuts, a special, tiny Christmas cookie. The recipe comes from JoLene’s mother and grandmother, and our daughters consider it an important part of our Christmas celebration. The dough is now in rolled “ropes” and is in the freezer, waiting to be baked at a later time.

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