Thursday, February 28, 2013

Intermissions 2013

This past weekend we traveled to the town of Panajachel to attend the annual Intermissions Conference.  Intermissions is a community group for all English speaking full-time missionaries serving in Guatemala. They host an annual retreat for everyone and it is usually held at the end of February.  This year there were 131 family units present.  That equals 357 people total.  There were 230 adults and 127 children and youth.  The theme was "Maintaining Joy In The Trenches". 

It has been a few years since we have attended a conference.  When we first arrived in Guatemala it was held in Antigua.  We attended a couple of years when it was there.  This was our first time to attend in Panajachel, and our first time to attend since having kids.  Like everything else, kids make everything more fun (except for at meal times which it doesn't matter where we are- it's ALWAYS stressful!). 

The conference began on Friday night and ended after lunch on Sunday.  We had four worship sessions over the weekend.  There were also breakout times that offered sessions on many different topics related to missionary life.  There were break times and free time that offered everyone a chance to mingle with friends and also to meet and make some new friends.  It was fun for us to get to visit with some other couples that had small kids.  Overall, it was a great weekend.  We all enjoyed ourselves, and had a fun time.

This is the hotel where the conference was held.  Every family pays a reduced rate and some donations from the States helps offset the price.  It is a great blessing to the missionary community here!

The hotel faces Lake Atitlan.  It offers beautiful views of the volcanoes as well.

Saturday morning

Here are the boys on Saturday morning before we went to breakfast.  All of our meals were buffet.  They were also very delicious.  My favorite part was the waiters coming around with coffee after every meal.   Because I have either been pregnant or nursing for almost three years I have not drank much regular coffee (I have been drinking instant decaf).  But, I made up for it over the weekend.   I don't think I missed a meal or break time without a cup of cafe con leche.  Yes I overindulged, and I enjoyed it, haha.

While David and I were getting to sit still and attend the sessions distraction free our kids were getting loved on and played with by some great volunteers from the States.  It was wonderful to have that time of worship and adult interaction without having to chase after our kids.  It was also good for them to get to be around other missionary kids who look like them and talk like them.  I think we were all blessed.
Cruz's caretakers for the weekend. 
We worried more about them than we did him. haha They loved him though and said he was a lot of fun!

Ben's caretakers
All of these nursery and preschool volunteers came from churches in Arizona.  There was a team from Texas who came to work with the older children.  There was another team from Pennsylvania that came to work with the youth.

There were also volunteers who came down to offer haircuts, massages, manicures, counseling, professional photography, and eye exams.  There was a bookstore and several "free stuff" tables. 

The hotel had a small playground area that Cruz enjoyed.  They also had a large pool that we got to swim in during free time. 

We enjoyed getting to walk down to the lake and not only enjoy the views, but also watch the boats go by.  Cruz loved that!
David and the boys

me and Ben

It was a fun weekend for our family.  We spent time with our kids.  We spent time with each other.  We spent time with friends.  It was refreshing and just what we needed.  We cannot wait to go back again!

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