THAT’S A WRAP

We just wrapped production after two weeks of long days in various locations around Guatemala. The stories we captured are amazing and we are very excited to share them with the world. Fortunately, we made it through without too much illness. A few of our team began to have stomach issues yesterday, but nothing extremely bad. We are all running on fumes and ready to see our families again. Tonight we will celebrate Guatemalan style and tomorrow we head to the airport at 11 AM.

THANK YOU to everyone who helped make this trip possible! We ill be posting more photos and video next week after we rest.

God Speed,

el scotto

Struggle -> Life

What an amazing trip we have had so far!  I can hardly believe we only have a few days left before we head back to the US.  We have been so busy, this morning is the first opportunity that I have had to sit down and write about our experiences.  I have not tallied up the numbers yet, but when we leave on Sunday we will probably have interviewed over 40 people – maybe even more.  Each of these people have amazing stories which connect to one another through various themes: struggle, survival, transformation, faith, hope love, and life.

Many of the needs and conditions in Guatemala (gang violence, orphaned children, displaced people, extreme poverty, fear) are a result of the civil war which ravaged the country for over thirty years (1960 – 1996).  Fathers were killed, mothers were raped, young men were drafted into the army and children fled alone.  Many of these children traveled to the US seeking a better life. They lived on the streets and ended up joining gangs out of necessity for survival.  Survival …  I have never had to survive like some of the men, women and children that we have met over the past two weeks.  Struggle is not bound to a gender or place.  It exists in urban ghettos, hospital beds, wheel chairs, and rural mountain villages … in ways that I would never have even dreamed about in my worst nightmares.  Yet, in the middle of all this struggle, we have witnessed amazing beauty.

We have witnessed: a woman risk her life to care for the forgotten people in the most dangerous ghetto in Guatemala City … a former gang member become a pastor and open a rehab center for drug addicts … a woman feed children in her community and start a school to give them a better opportunity … a man care for the physically disabled who are hidden away their entire lives in a hospital … the list could go on.  In the midst of struggle, we have witnessed men and women serving and giving their lives away for the sake of others.  If I did not know their stories, I would ask why?  Why do these people care?  Why do these people give?  I would ask those questions if I did not know their stories.  However, I do know their stories … struggle, survival, transformation, faith, hope, love and life.  Each of these people have reached the end of themselves and come face to face with a compassionate God who has cradled them in his arms, stripped away their burden and transformed them.  These people care and give because they are responding to their own transformation; they respond with love because they have life.  They aren’t thumping Bibles, they are living out the truth of transformation … caring for and loving others as Christ loved them.  It is a beautiful picture of scandalous grace which flows downhill and pools up in the lowest places.

peace,

el scotto

Three Hours

Most of our team is looking at a solid three hours of sleep tonight. We will be airborne before the sun rises and tomorrow night we will sleep in a bed far, far away (but not THAT far … maybe just far away). Guatemala is actually in the same time zone as Nashville, so at least there will be no jet lag.

Tomorrow afternoon we will meet with several of the individuals whose stories we will be documenting. I am certain we will all be inspired.

Stay tuned for updates … God Speed …

 

OK … it is 3:15 AM and we haven’t slept a wink. Adrenaline is great when you are running away from an angry lion, but not so much when you are trying to get some needed rest. Oh well … even though I haven’t slept at all, at least my eyes were closed.

Here we go.