Marty flew in for a VERY short weekend in Guatemala. We had a tour of a local coffee plantation, got caught up , enjoyed lunch at a resteraunt looking out at sweet, tiny birds..lemon and bannana trees, took some quick photos and then we were off to hike volcanoe Pacaya.
I felt so badly for Marty. There are many entrances to hike Pacaya and wouldn't you know that they carried us to the LONGEST and HIGHEST point for our hike. There is no way to know where you will be let off when you hire a tour company (well, ...if you have exceptional Spanish and an exceptionally honest tour guide) and so in the van we go ..up to the starting point we went. The hike starts at about 6000 ft. and you climb about another 2500- 3000 ft (NORMALLY)... it appeared from the point where we stopped that they were going to go another 5000 ft possibly. Anyway, the altitude was very taxing on Marty. Sweet thing.. she had NO time to adjust and off we go to hike this thing. Anyway, after much debate with the tour guide he agreed to allow Marty and I to wait half way for the group to return back down the volcano. I petitioned him for a male of any nature to stay back with us..it's dark, we're white...we're girls...anyway since chiverly doesn't naturally exist here but me begging DOES he provided us with a young guy to "stay back with us". No sooner has he pointed this guy out to Marty and I and this "young guy" disappears. We think that maybe he has gone to get a horse and take us down the volcano....I mean , was he really going to sit with us for several hours while the hike finished???...He came back alright and he must have been a little nervous too because he was carrying a sawed off shot gut and NO horse...we were staying!!!!!!! He patiently and faithfully watched us the rest of the evening ! This picture cracks me up because of the spacial distance between me and the gunman and Marty and the gunman. In a weird way it warms my heart because apparently I'm getting use to being up close and personal with amo which could only mean that God is allowing me to see the person and not all of the paraphanelia that they come with !! You gotta laugh!
We did have a great view and beautiful horses to watch (which Marty loved -smile) the whole time. As soon as night fell the teams were returning back down the volcano. A man came to the point where Marty and I were at and collapsed down to the ground carrying his 14 or 15 year old daughter. She was bearly breathing and in dire need of medical attention... PROBLEM (1) we're in Guatemala (2) we're on a volcano!!! We layed the girl out on the ground and the I had the opportunity to pray over her. Excitedly, her father joined in saying that he was a Christian too!! As SOON as we finished praying , the young girl opened her eyes enough to communicate that she was having major pain under her breast at her heart and then she fell out again. Keeping in mind that we have just prayed alound in the name of Jesus with many witnesses ...many with unbelief...and a GERMAN SOLDIER comes up and has a thermal blanket and special drink for victims of altitude and thermal shock issues( My backpack had chocolate, camera and ONE water bottle in it ) What a miracle ! She continued to shake but did warm up with the blanket on her. We were all very concerned that she would not make it down the volcano alive. Her father had called for an ambulance and no one could come except for somebody that they found in an old pick up truck. The cost for them to come 1/2 way up the volcano was 150Q = aprx. 15$ and the father did not have it. **Miracle*** Because of the young guy watching over Marty and I ...I had 150Q in my hand to give him for watching us and was able to pay for the pickup truck to arrive*** For every person who financially supports us ..YOU ALL carried her down the mountain for help that night... I have NO money except for that which is given to me to be here ! THANK YOU! Anyway, due to the condition of the volcanic sand the truck had to have us carry her down to them. We took two walking sticks and several jackets...ran the sticks inside the sleeves of the jackets , zipped them up and made a gerny(sp?). Myself and 5 other people carried this young lady down the volcano and put her in the back of the pickup to be carried away for medical care. We prayed fervantly that she lived. Back in the van on the way back I was asked many questions about responding to crisis and prayer and being "religious".... Lord, may I never be "religious" but instead zealous in seizing any opportunity to be your hands and feet.... and to have a partner in prayer up on that volcano with me... I had NO reason for shame or timidity because I KNEW that my sister Marty was praying without stopping for me...for us all...ministry here has taken me by surprise so many times. It never looks like the photos in mission magazines or the adventurous missions videos that I watch....it finds me in my normal day doing the things that I do...my Christian faith is the greatest thing that I posses and it carries me out on the wildest adventures !