Missionary Sarah Burr Serving in Paraguay

By

And the Journey Begins…

ICA Language School

ICA Language School, Xela, Guatemala

“Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” – 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

Hola!

I cannot believe I have been in Guatemala over a week already. Time is already flying by. So much has happened in the last few days, but it may be best for me to just recap the highlights.

On Wednesday, October 15th, I left my house at 4:00 AM to catch my flight to Miami. There I met up with Dale Talsma of Global Lutheran Outreach and we flew to Guatemala City. Dale served in Guatemala City and introduced me to many members in the Body of Christ and the work they are doing there. We stayed in Guatemala City till Friday and headed to Antigua for the day. I got to check out the Lutheran Center there. The next day, we woke up at 4:30 AM to the glow of volcano Fuego to head out to Quetzaltenango (Xela), Guatemala.

Once in Xela, I met my host family through the ICA Spanish School here. My Guatemalteco family consists of two grandparents: Marco and Marta, along with their granddaughter Stephani, plus the multiple children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren going in and out. I meet someone new in the family everyday it seems! This is not counting their two dogs and cat. The cat has decided that at night jumping in my window from the roof is the best option. He takes over my bed daily, so it feels like home. But no one tell my cat Wilma in Indiana, she is possessive.

Meals here consist of bread, black beans, eggs, and rice typically. For lunch, soup and meat are thrown into the mix. Don’t forget the tortillas or coffee though! Coffee is all day, everyday it feels like. And the streets of Xela are filled with the scent of tortillas during the three different meal times. Most people do not make their own tortillas because it is so cheap to buy it from the other street venders and others making them. My family has them delivered to the house.

So far my typical schedule is waking up around 6:45 AM for breakfast at 7:00 AM. School starts at 8:00 AM and I have classes till noon. During the afternoons there is typically an activity to see some aspect of culture or see new things, but always practicing Spanish! In future posts, I will let you know specifically what I have been up to, but for now I’m keeping this on point. 🙂

Xela is a very special city to learn Spanish in because most people here do not know English. This is a total immersion setting. Whether I am eating out, walking around Xela, in school, or in my house, most people do not know English. The 8-year-old granddaughter is the most English I have heard in this house because she likes practicing, “Hello!”

The school had five students when I arrived, one just finished his few weeks and now there are four of us. It is nice because then we really get to know each other and the teachers. For my first week of classes my teacher was Edwin. He has been a fountain of information about not only Spanish, but the culture, and sometimes even about American culture.

There is so much more I could say about this week, but I think this is just a good place to start. I will be working on posting pictures, but click here to  friend me on facebook to see the ones I have posted now! Overall, it has been an adventure so far. I am learning so much about Guatemala, Spanish, myself, and God. I cannot wait to continue this adventure. Please continue to keep me in your prayers! If you want to contact me, please do. I would love to answer any questions. My email is sarahlburr@gmail.com. Thank you so much for your support!

Dios te bendiga!

Sarah Burr

By

Taking Off!

Do not fear “But you, O Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend, I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant,’ I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41: 8-10

My first flight leaves the Indianapolis airport in 32 hours. I leave at 6:13 am for language school in Guatemala, where I will be for a few months before settling in Paraguay. I haven’t finished packing, I still have things thrown around my house, which my loving mother has put up with all summer, and I have to get my haircut. I have less than 32 hours to get everything together, say my last goodbyes, and do my last load of laundry. Needless to say, I feel like I should be a lot more frazzled than I am.

Over the past month, I have spent an ample amount of time trying to get things in line for my departure on Wednesday morning. Besides the packing, I am physically ready. I have said most of my goodbyes to friends and family. Although these goodbyes were not been the easiest, I have been able to see the support and love of Christ and His Church. I have also felt the peace of the Lord.

For the past week, I have waited for the shock of leaving to set in. I keep getting asked how I feel, and in all honesty, I feel at peace. The peace that only the Lord can supply. Am I scared? I believe it is human nature to be scared. This is something that is different, and I have no idea what is going to happen over the next 15 months. What I do know is that my God is bigger. Veggie Tales taught me as a child that “my God is bigger than the boogie man,” but now I have grown and discovered that my God is bigger than anything the world can throw at me. Will everything run as planned? Probably not. Does that matter? No. My God is bigger than any adversity or struggle that I will face or any fear that will come my way.

Max Lucado wrote in his book, “Great Day, Every Day” that:
    “The presence of fear does not mean you have no faith. Fear visits everyone. But make your fear a visitor and not a resident. Hasn’t fear taken enough? Enough smiles? Chuckles? Restful nights, exuberant days? Meet your fears with faith.”

Meet your fears with faith. I may be scared, homesick, panicked, excited, adventurous, and full of the Lord’s joy at points, but through it all God will be with me. He will “uphold [me] with [His] righteous right hand” through it all. I will meet all of my fears and joys with faith.

Please keep me and my family in your prayers the next couple of days as I am traveling and getting adjusted to Guatemala for language school! Thank you for your prayers and support.

Blessings!

Translate »