Saturday Sept. 8th, 2012

Hola Niño’s and Nina’s,

It has been a year since I last wrote on a blog. That last blog post was done on this trip last year on the closing Sunday of our trip, which is coincidentally when I was asked to write this post. As I try to find the words to write, I’m reminded of the emotions I was coming off of last year as I wrote and comparing them to the emotions I am coming off of as I write this. Last year I wrote of the very tiring, yet fruitful day we had at an orphanage here called Fundininos. This year I am writing of the very exhausting, yet… well… just exhausting day we had training the Volunteer Firefighters.

Today started out a little earlier than normal because we had to fit 6 hours worth of class time into a few hours in the morning, and a days worth of fire related scenarios into another few hours in the afternoon. Another wrench added was that we had to change the venue of our class and drills to the central fire station here in Guatemala City. Getting there was no easy task due to an 18-wheeler overturning on the road we had to take to get there. This added some time to our trip and forced us to bypass our scheduled coffee stop (coffee to most firefighters is fuel that gets the engine running). Stuck in traffic, tired from training, no coffee, plans not going the way we had planned, and a long day ahead of us… you do the math.

As we arrived at the central fire station, the vocal leaders (Chad Neely and John Farrar) of “B” team went to work to find out how we were going to run the same drill we did at the training facility in a different setting. This was happening as the “A” team went to work teaching the class. As the class portion of the day went on, we on the “B” team decided that the only feasible option was to run one scenario in the afternoon as opposed to the two we had run during the other classes.

“A” team was able to execute minimizing their class, lunch passed, and we began to set up for our standpipe scenario. True to form, the afternoon clouds started to roll in. It was another rainstorm coming in and it was just a matter of time before the skies opened up. About half way into the first of 6 teams going through the drill, the heavens opened and we were all getting soaked. Not only was the rain cold, but it was also those really annoying massive rain drops that are only cool when you’re behind a window or under a roof watching it fFeet wet, shirts soaked, cold, close lightning strikes while on top a roof full of metal just asking to be struck, tired, barely any food in the tank… you do the math. We ended up canceling the rest of the standpipe drill and finishing up a different scenario under the cover of a roof.

**Bare with me. I promise this gets positive soon. Just not right now.**

So as we wrapped up our week of training, the Guatemalan firefighters showed their appreciation for us coming down to train them. We exchanged pleasantries, prayed for them, and we began our journey back to station 69. Traffic on the way home from the central fire station was just as bad as it was going there. I could give you 100 guesses to why traffic was bad and lay down $100 if guessed and you probably wouldn’t guess it. A monster truck rally was causing our back up. A. MONSTER. TRUCK. RALLY…in Guatemala. So we arrived back at Station 69 and my white flag went up. I was a stones throw away from emotionally losing it. All I wanted was a hot shower and a Mooyah burger. Instead I had no warm clothes (due to my packing deficiencies), soggy feet, and an empty belly. A hot shower after a week of freezing showers would have worked just fine, but all of those things crossed my “I want” list.

As the night wound down and we filled our stomachs with pizza and our “face” of the Guatemalan Bomberos, Javier, gave the closing statements to our week. He told us of the work we had done and the impact that we had made with the men and women who so faithfully serve this country and this city. My heart sank as I heard these words and was reminded of how selfish I was being after what had been such a fulfilling week. Philippians 2:14 “Do ALL things without GRUMBLING…” directly hit me in the grief bone with a frozen sledgehammer.

So after I was asked to write this blog, my original answer was no because “I wasn’t in the right spiritual state.” One minute later, conviction of that being a cop-out was all over me. I’m here writing this now because the Lord called me on my selfishness, desire to be in control, and how truly blessed I am. We are here because we are to live out Psalm 57:5, “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth.” My cold wet skin, empty belly, lack of clothing that I didn’t pack, or desire for a burger that is only given because He gives to me is no reason for me to “grumble”.

I have been convicted today, but I have also been sanctified. For it is only by His grace that I have been given this opportunity to come and play in what the Lord is doing in the Bomberos of Guatemala. Many lives were changed this week because of His love. Will I “grumble” again one day? Sure. Today, however, is a day that I will take with me as a reminder of how good He is to me, to those who are on this team, to those reading this blog, and to those in Guatemala despite the circumstances.

My week with this team of men has been so incredibly awesome. I will not soon forget the time we’ve spent together and the journey we have encountered sharing the goodness of our Savior with these men and women.

Thank you for sticking with this incredibly long post.

Kevin Bailey
Lewisville Fire Department

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One Response to “Saturday Sept. 8th, 2012”

  1. Janet Neely Says:

    Loved your story and your humbleness. May the Lord bless each and everyone one of you and keep you safe. Thanks for sharing.

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