Team 1st Covenant of Grand Rapids arrives Thursday

Dates: July 6th – July 13th.

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Check here for updates from the team.

 

46 thoughts on “Team 1st Covenant of Grand Rapids arrives Thursday”

  1. Hi everyone! It’s Tay, Jess, Emily P & Kenna Lee. What a great first (long) day! We all left the church at 3:30 am, and had plenty of time to get to our plane! We got to Atlanta and had some breakfast during our layover, then got in another plane to get to Guatemala City! That was a slightly longer flight, but most of us tried to catch up on sleep. Once we made it through customs in Guat City and got all 60+ bags, we found the vans, prayed, and left! The two hour drive through the city and mountains went fast because of all the excitement outside the window. For example, kids yelling for candy and running after the vans, and seeing the way people live here. We unpacked the many suitcases and sorted all of our donations. We broke up into house groups and packed suitcases for the families that we are building for. We will give these suitcases to them on Dedication Day. We also made suitcases for the medical clinics and the orphanage. Some of the girls took the fastest showers of our lives, only being allowed 5 minutes in a low pressure shower. Others of us played soccer, Kan Jam, unpacked, or ran to the orphanage. We’ve already fallen in love with the babies there and can’t wait to spend more time with them this week. We had dinner, which was rice and stew. The team had a tiny bit of free time before going to large group devotions led by Dan. We praised the Lord through song (and dance), listened to a message about prayer and putting God first, and read scripture. Dan reminded us that we are all here because we are called by God to be His servants. It is almost lights out now! We have an early morning tomorrow, Dan told us to wake up at 5:30am for personal devotions, breakfast, and getting prepared for our long day of building. We are all so excited to meet our families tomorrow and serve in a brand new way. Pray for good weather, safe driving and health, and a strong start to building relationships.

    P.S. We are having fun and will update you tomorrow after our building day 1! Nobody has messed up by drinking the water yet- we are very cautious!

    XOXO,
    Tay, Jess, Emily P & Kenna Lee

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    1. Thanks girls! It’s so good to hear some news of the first day, since the blog didn’t go through last night! Sounds like it’s already amazing! Praying for all of you!
      Love, Kelly Bajema

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    2. Hi girls!! Thank you so much for the updates! You are being prayed over at all times and are all so loved! What joy and excitement there is in your post tonight. Awesome!! We can’t wait to hear more about your faithful work experiences. Hugs from GR!!โค๏ธ

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  2. So good to hear from you!! Praying for God’s blessings as you continue serve Him!!
    Love and Prayers!
    Deb Piersm
    PS. Give Emily P a hug from me ๐Ÿ˜˜

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  3. I am smiling as I read this! Love you, Tay!!! Praying for you and the team! If you can take a five minute shower, you can do ANYTHiNg!!!๐Ÿ˜

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  4. Hi everyone, well as you have figured out, the Internet has been down so I am currently using Anyas wifi hotspot. Thank you to Bev for relaying my phone messages through emails:)
    The last two days have gone well. Friday was our first full day of work in a little village called Las Ninas which is very close to the village where we built our homes the first two trips we were on. It was supposed to rain on Friday but the rain held off until we got back in the vans to head back to the base – God is good! Actually it was hot when the sun came out. All of the teams worked hard as the homes were constructed, kids learning how to use a screwdriver, how to mud and then the lovely clean job of sanding :). Some of us were covered in drywall dust – makes for some great pictures! Speaking of pictures, I think we have over 2,000 pictures taken so far and we’re only on day 3 :). Yesterday was a beautiful and special day as the Medical Clinic and Outreach day was done in the village of Tonjue where we built homes on our previous trips. For those of us who were returning, it was so much fun to see some of the families and kids that we built homes for and grew to love. The cool part was that they remembered us too!
    We had a lot of fun coloring, throwing Frisbees around, passing out beanie babies and little cars and playing soccer (wow do those boys know how to play – our kids had a hard time keeping up :). As I try to type now, (it is soooo bumpy) we are driving back to the same village that we were in yesterday to finish the Medical clinic and continue playing with the kids that we grew to be friends with yesterday. The sun is shining and a new day is upon us full of anticipation, excitement and rejoicing as many new lives will be ushered into the Kingdom of Heaven tonight. It is an extremely special night tonight for the villagers as we get to be part of the dedication of the brand new Evangelical church that was just completed. How awesome is that?? The salvation message is being presented tonight so please continue to pray that their hearts would be receptive to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that lives are changed.
    We are building relationships, we are worshipping our Lord together, we are learning things about ourselves and growing closer to Jesus!
    We just arrived – blessings to all!!!

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    1. Thanks, Kim. So encouraging to hear how things are going, how the team is working together, and what the Lord is doing. Praying for you all!

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  5. Hello Team!
    We are thankful to hear how God is working through all of you! We are praying every day for all of you. May God use you in a mighty way!
    Love & Prayers!
    Jeff and Deb Piersma

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    1. Hi mom & dad,
      I miss you! This week has been amazing so far and I am so happy for everything that I have experienced so far and I cant wait to tell you all about it Thursday.
      By the way please bring lysol to the airport when you come so that I can take caution to spray my bag and myself from germs (:
      Love you!!

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      1. Hi sweetie! Ahh! So fun to hear from you! We can’t wait to hear all about your experiences – we love you and miss you!! I will make sure to bring the Lysol.
        Love – Dad and Mom

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  6. Hello Team!
    Thanks for the update! It’s so great hearing everything that you’re doing and ALL of the ways that God is using all of your gifts this week! We’re all praying for every detail to fall into place perfectly and especially for the dedication of the new church tonight!
    Hugs to everyone, especially Emily Bajema!

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  7. So thankful for the updates. We are praying for you all as we travel across the country. Doug and Sherry Bennett (Jon’s parents)

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  8. Family and Friends,
    Hello from beautiful Guatemala. The views here are breathtaking, we are easily able to see for 10+ miles away being up 6,000 feet. Yesterday we ran another medical clinic and built relationships with the families in the village and also dedicated a church many years in the making. The dedication included The Jesus film, a praise band, testimonies from Don, Jacob Pointe and Michaela were shared, the gospel message presented by a PBM Pastor and invitation given. Many lives were won for Christ! Many tears were shared by everyone! It was a truly life changing experience. Today we woke at 5:30 in order to continue to build the 5 homes. We finished with no issues but plenty of teamwork, stucco and paint covering the houses and our clothes. Tomorrow is a big day as we dedicate the houses to the families. We pray that those lives will be changed for eternity! Please pray for us as we enter into spiritual warfare. Also pray for our team that God will continue to use the experiences of this week away from our comfort zones in order for us to grow deeper in love with our God and Savior!!!!!
    His Servant, Jon Bennett

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  9. Thank you for the updates, team! I can’t believe you are already in your last 2 days! We all can’t wait to hear the stories and see the joy on your faces as you tell them. Please tell McKenna that her momma loves her and can’t wait to see her beautiful face! We are both so proud of her!! ๐Ÿ™‚ And a special big hug goes to Don Owen. Love you, Don!! You are truly an example of a faithful servant of God and I am so grateful you went on this trip again with everyone! You are such a blessing to everyone around you. Looking forward to Thursday!! Love and hugs, Brooke Lee

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  10. Hi everyone!
    Thanks for the wonderful update last night! Looking so forward to hearing about today and the blessings all received through the presentation of the homes you built for the families of Guatemala! I just personally want to thank all of the adult leaders on this mission trip, for the loving example of sacrificial dedication you have all given to our kids this past week! Thanks for loving them, and caring for them and showing them how to care about and love others unconditionally ! You are all so precious to me and have a special place in my heart โค๏ธ! Blessings to all of you!
    ๐Ÿ’—Kelly

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  11. Good morning team! We continue to pray for you all that God would use each of you in powerful ways to impact others for Christ, that seeds would be planted and that God in his faithfulness would continue to water and grow it. It is Macey’s birthday today and I am missing her. Happy day to you Macey, we love you and can’t wait to hear all that God has done both in and through you!

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  12. Good Morning to our family and friends back home! Today is Dedication Day and it is a powerful and emotionally draining day, but oh so amazing as many souls will be won for Christ today! Praising God for what it is to come! The sun is shining and it is beautiful here in Guatemala, but we are in need of your prayers. Many of our team members are sick with the intestinal flu (Emily K, Emily P, McKenna, Nate, Ryan, Adrielle, Greg, Laura, Riley) Please pray for healing in their bodies and protection for the rest of our team! Although we will be missing a lot of our team members today, we trust that God will be working in and through all of us whether we stay here at the base or out on the field. Please also pray for strength for us and that the families will accept the Lord Jesus Christ in their lives today! This is the Day that the Lord has made – let us rejoice and be glad in it!!
    Oh, and Happy Birthday to Macey ๐Ÿ™‚ She awoke to balloons, cute pink things and a sweet gift from her momma ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. I have been praying on and off all day! Especially for healing for those not feeling well. Happy birthday Macey! I love you!!!!

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    2. Oh no!! Kenna!! I am praying for you, sweetie! I was sure it wasn’t you as you NEVER get sick!โ˜น๏ธ I love you and will pray for healing and strength. ๐Ÿ˜˜โค๏ธ

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      1. Thank you Mom! I was sick yesterday and had to stay behind, but felt 100% this morning so I was able to attend Dedication Day. (I was actually the first person, along with Dan, who got sick first) Love you guys and can’t wait to see you guys Thursday!!

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  13. Dear Team!
    We are saying extra prayers for all of you, especially those who are feeling ill, due to the stomach flu. Please know that we are all lifting you up in prayer.
    ๐Ÿ’—Kelly

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  14. Macey,
    Happy Birthday sweet girl! I wrote you a message under your name on the roster, but not sure if you got to see it! Hope your birthday is very special! ๐ŸŽˆ๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿ’—

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  15. Praying that God will work in amazing ways and that many will come to know Him today!

    I’m so sorry that so many of the team are sick! I love you Emily!! Praying that you and your friends will feel better soon!!
    Love, Mom

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  16. Hello friends and family back home,
    Today was a very emotional and powerful day here in Guatemala. We traveled to all of the homes that each building group built, brought gifts for each person in a suitcase, and prayed over the families that they would become followers of Jesus and accept Him into their hearts. The group of people that built each specific home went into that house and shared their thoughts and feelings with each family. While doing this, the rest of the group either prayed, read their bibles or sang songs outside of the house. As God was working in each house, we were serving Him by placing hands on the home and praying continuously. The greatest and most exciting news was that every single person accepted Jesus into their hearts today!! We are all so happy and feeling blessed for this beautiful and life-changing day, even if there were some setbacks with illness. Poor Olivia wasn’t feeling well today in the village, but she is on the mend. But, God works in such amazing ways and we all need to be thankful for how He has blessed this mission team this week. “Thank God for your blessings and pray to God with your fears” -Kim. Kim is such a sweetheart and said these words to me that are just so true and I love the way she worded it. Please pray for safety in Antigua tomorrow, and for the healing and peace of the people who are sick. I’m sorry this is so long, there’s just too much I wanted to say about this amazing day! Thank you so much!
    Love, Emily Bajema

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    1. Praise God for those who accepted Jesus today!
      Thanks for the update Emily! We are praying for you and the team all the time!
      Love you!
      Katie and AJ

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  17. Hi Team!
    Emily, thank you for the wonderful updates! It sounds like those of you who were able to make it to the home dedications today were blessed as much as the families you built them for! Thank you Emily for going and serving! I’m so proud of you and I love you so much! Thank you Kim, for all of your encouragement for the team, and helping them learn how to lean on God when it is hard. We’re all praying here at home,especially for everyone who is sick, to be restored to good health and for the time you spend together to grow closer to Jesus Christ and each other . Hope tomorrow is a fun day for all of you! Enjoy Antigua and the market!
    โค๏ธ Kelly

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  18. It’s so exciting to hear of the new followers in Christ! I’m so sorry to hear some of you are sick and missed dedication day. I’m praying for you all. Love you T-chip and hope you’re feeling better! You too Liv.

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  19. I keep checking the blog to see if anyone else is sick! Sure hope everyone is feeling better so you can enjoy the market today! Sam keeps wondering what you are going to buy him, Taylor! But, I am also praying for the final devotions tonight. Praying that each one of you will hear a word from God that will be life changing!!!

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  20. Good Morning family and friends,
    Today is a new day and we are on the mend! Lots of saltine crackers and gatorade being consumed ๐Ÿ™‚ The sun is out and we are ready to head off to Antigua for a day of shopping. The ladies on base have set out some of their beautiful homemade goods and everyone is picking out gifts for their friends & family members. We hope for a safe car ride down to the city and that everyone continues to feel better. Once we get into Antigua we are able pick from Pollo Compraro or Mcdonalds for lunch. Most of us are really excited to have pop, ice cream, and many more food items that we have been deprived of throughout the week.

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    1. Olivia, it is good to hear that you are feeling better. We have been thinking of you and praying for you! Pray that God watches over you and the others.
      We love you,
      Mom, Keegan, Claire, and Owen

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  21. Praise the Lord for healing!! Enjoy this fun day! Prayers for safe travels for the team and looking forward to a great big hug with Emily Piersma tomorrow!
    We love you Dad and Mom ๐Ÿ˜˜

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    1. I am feeling great again, thank goodness! & I cant wait to see you guys tomorrow. I have a lot of gifts for you all!!!
      Love you see you soon

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  22. So very glad to hear people are feeling better! You’ve all been in our prayers! I really hope this trip has been a blessing to all — both US group and Guatemalans! Heard about a volcano 16 km from Antigua – Volcan de Feugo had some action on Monday, 7/10. Wondering if you can see any evidence . . . Continued prayers for everyone and everything as you finish your time in Guatemala and prepare to travel back. Love and joy, especially to Adrielle! (REALLY hope you’re feeling better and the trip has been a blessing to you and through you to others!)

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  23. Can’t wait to see all of you tomorrow! We’re all praying for safe travels tomorrow and sweet reflections of your time spent in Guatemala! Hope your day in Antigua was really fun and can’t wait to hear all about the trip, and see all of those pictures you guys took! Hugs to Emily Bajema, I miss you so much!
    ๐Ÿ’— Kelly

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  24. By the time you read this email, we will have been up since 2:45AM (4:45 Michigan time). It is almost 11:00 Guatemala time and the kids are still up but will be heading to bed shortly. I can almost guarantee that the plane ride from Guatemala City to Atlanta will be pretty quiet ๐Ÿ™‚
    Tonight was our last time together and it was powerful! We worshiped our Lord 1 last time together as a team – how beautiful it is to see these kids worship together and grow closer to our Lord. It was a powerful night as they reflected and surrendered as we brought our lives, our fears, our burdens to the cross of Jesus Christ. Our lives were changed this week, many lives were saved, many tears were shed, friendships with one another grew deeper and most importantly, we grew closer to our Lord. Thank you all for your prayers this week – we certainly felt them and couldn’t have gone through this week without them!
    We are excited to see you and share with you all about what God did in and through us this week!

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    1. Thanks for that last update before the home journey. So thankful to read about even the last day. God is good! See you all soon. TheLord bless and keep you, and smile on you!

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