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The last time that Faith In Practice was in the city of Jalapa was 19 months ago, when the mission was cut short due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Today, we were welcomed back in an incredibly sincere and heartfelt way, through pictures, fruit, and tears. The Guatemalan staff, teams, volunteers, and the rest of the Guatemalan people have had a tough journey. We are excited and motivated to help and serve.

Our first day started off with freshly brewed coffee, cool volcano breezes, and a lovely devotional lead by Wayne Eberly. We had homework from Mr. Eberly the night before; to write an interesting fact about ourselves and submit them anonymously. During devotional we had some laughs and learned a lot more about our fellow team members.  It’s now well known that Dr. Bernie Gallacher is half Chiléan, that Cassandra has 4 doggos, and Linda Johnson was born on her mom’s birthday! Dr. John Riggs was kind enough to open and close the devotional with his mandolin as everyone sang along.
After an exquisite breakfast, we loaded up and took off for Jalapa. There was significantly less traffic than the day before so we made great time on the road. Shoutout to the awesome bus drivers. Char remarked that driving a bus must be similar to being in a bullfight! Lots of traffic to dodge and maneuver, and the drivers did it with style and grace. We stopped halfway for a break (and for me to load up on snacks). We then drove through Jalapa to the school and church to get everything setup. This is when we had a very heartfelt greeting from Amando and the rest of the local team. Then, it was all cylinders firing! Mostly everything was set up and ready for clinic by lunch time. Speaking of lunch, everyone was beyond surprised by the sandwiches that consisted of sautéed tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, and a mild cheese. We also had pasta and gooey brownies. With the carbs replenished, we made quick work finishing the clinics and unloaded around 100 wheelchairs. We knocked this out of the park and were back in the bus before 2pm. A quick ride back to our hotel in Jalapa, we unloaded and rested for a little. A few cards were played by the pool, and a few naps and showers were had. At 6pm we had an orientation meeting to prepare for the first day of clinics. After that, we finished out the day with dinner, photo sharing, and lots of new friends.

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