Day 6

Posted in Uncategorized on September 8, 2013 by clayrozell

Waking up to scramble eggs with cheese in them is always a great way to start the day.  I’m not sure who the cook is because they are waking up before me, but they deserve some credit for some well prepared huevos.  After a good start to the day, we set out for the church property we are using as a training ground.

Today we had a great class of volunteers.  Every class has started with the scripture reading and handing out of Bibles that Mitch has ran point on.  It has been a great way to share the Gospel with our fellow firefighters.  The responses we have got to the word of God from the bomberos in class has been stronger every day.  One bombero told us that he was tempted to skip the training several times today but felt compelled to show up anyways.  Another stated that it was her first day to return to volunteering after several years off.  She said she knew it was no coincidence that she was here to hear the Word shared and that it was God working to make it so.  It was encouraging to us to hear these words and to see the response to the Gospel shared.

While the classroom part of training was taking place several of us went to work on the training props outside.  Getting the props ready, I realized I really enjoy and am encouraged by these guys on the mission trip who have a strong love for the Lord as well as our profession we were called to do.  We went back to station 69 for lunch that ran a little long because of a rain storm.  Hearing the bomberos talk at mealtime about their jobs and the sacrifice they make to serve their country is humbling.

The afternoon training session was great.  Chris, Hayden and myself ran one training station in the rotation that was meant to simulate forcing an inward swinging door with a single firefighter and a halligan bar.  Since it was the last day we let them really get after the doors we had set up and we hosted a sledge hammer contest at the end as well. We had a great time teaching again and the Guatemalans did learning.  At the end one of them asked to pray over us, pretty cool.

Dinner was at Vera’s sisters house with her family and consisted of traditional Guatemalan food.   It was a great time of fellowship and a lot of laughter, we thank them for bringing us in.

This is my first year to come down here and I see why these guys love it and come back.  These men and women do the same job under trying circumstances and still love to help their neighbor in need.

Kevin Tarlton FWFD

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Day 5

Posted in Uncategorized on September 7, 2013 by clayrozell

Well, we’ve had another wonderful day here in Guatemala.  This is an absolutely beautiful country, not just the landscape, but the people as well.  One of the great things about coming down here to firehouse 69 every year is that we have gotten to build wonderful relationships with these firefighters.  They have been such gracious host, providing us a bed to sleep in, food, and allowing us to make some runs with them.  The other interesting aspect of us coming to firehouse 69 every year is that these guys understand that we are committed to the friendships and relationships that we have built with them, and also that we are here as representatives of Christ.

Today we spent sometime doing activities other than training.  This morning we went to the central firehouse in downtown Guatemala, and took a tour of their headquarters, which is always a great experience, especially for the first time guys.  After touring headquarters we went and had lunch at Fundaninos, which is a local orphanage that Casa De Liberta partners with.  What a wonderful, yet heart breaking experience, to get to spend time with children that have either been abandoned or abused by their families.  With that being said, these children are starving for attention from adults, and it was such a joy to get to play and interact with children on a personal level.  It truly was heart breaking to hear some of these kid’s stories, and to realize the trauma that they have had to endure.

So after we went to the orphanage we went and played softball and a beautiful private school in the mountains with some of the locals.  They were pretty good, but we were reminded by Chad Neely that there was no way were allowed to lose at one of Americas favorite past times, so we stepped up our game and wound up winning 14-8.  During our game something happened that none of had experienced before, the Texans anyway, there was an earthquake, and yes we all survived.  The epicenter of the earthquake was reported on the Guatemala-Mexico border, about eight hours away, and it was recorded as a 6.5 on the rector scale.  This was an experience we will never forget.  What an incredible feeling to have the earth moving beneath your feet.  This was an incredible reminder for me of the power of God, and a reminder of the fact that he has complete power of the universe that we live within.

As you can imagine, one of the greatest needs for the firefighters of Guatemala is the need for bunker gear.  So this year we were fortunate to acquire 35 sets of bunker gear from the Coppell Fire Department, thanks to Brian Stacy.  We also received an assortment of firefighting gloves and hoods, thanks to DFW Airport Fire/EMS and Mitch Grey .  This gear will be distributed throughout the entire country of Guatemala to the firefighters who need it the most.  Presenting these guys this gear tonight gave us a special opportunity to reiterate our purpose for coming to Guatemala, to remind them that we are not only here to provide them with training and gear, but also to let them know that our allegiance is to Christ.  This was a special time for us to get to go a little deeper with our friends.

 

Hayden Mooney- Lewisville FD

Pictures from Day 5

Posted in Uncategorized on September 7, 2013 by clayrozell

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Pictures from Day 4

Posted in Uncategorized on September 6, 2013 by clayrozell

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Day 4

Posted in Uncategorized on September 6, 2013 by clayrozell

Day 4 Thursday September 5

Today started with “traffic”.  If you have never experienced non-stop traffic then you truly cannot appreciate “still waters” like in Psalms 23.  The traffic here is truly 24/7 non-stop, but the relationships and love that Christ has allowed us to be a part of gives our souls “peace”.  After breakfast we headed to church to begin our second day of teaching.

To start off our day we began with passing out bibles to all the bomberos in our class.  We then began to share with them scripture with the bomberos.  Each day we begin our class with 7 verses: Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, John 3:3, John 14:6, Romans 10:9-10, 2 Corinthians 5:15, and Revelations 3:20.  This was very encouraging for me personally.  Each day that we share these verses I ask God to give us courage and His spirit to “withness” (Lan-mine) to the Bomberos.  I pray that God will use us as disciples to share the “good news”.  God answers prayers and He is showing His power and Grace to us each day.

Last night we heard a story that one of the bomberos at Station 69 got a phone call after our training and asked if the American firefighters were still there.  He asked if we were staying there and if he could ask a favor.   The bombero asked for one of our bibles that we gave out that day.  This is truly God moving throughout Guatemala.  The bombero who asked for the bible did not come to our training and worked at a station that was an hour away.  How quickly the word spread that we were handing out bibles and sharing the Gospel sent chills down our spines.  God is good and through Him and His spirit we are sharing the Gospel.

Today we got to witness more of God’s power through the Spirit.  We started our class like yesterday and passed out bibles and began read the scriptures as a class.  After each verse we would open up the communication with “what does this verse say to you?”  The answers were amazing and truly God showing Himself to them and to us.  One bombero shared a story of a rescue that he went on in a well.  When he got down into the well he began to run out of air and became trapped.  All he remembers is seeing a light and someone in the light.  He prayed to God that he was not ready to die and asked God to save him.  The next thing he remembers is waking up in the hospital.  He thanked God for saving him.  Words cannot express the emotion and heart-felt answers given today.  As we went through each verse the answers became deeper and deeper exposing how sinful we are and that Christ is the only way to repair our relationship with God.  God moved in our classroom and I am blessed to be able to be a part of His mission.

We ended the verses with Revelation 3:20, and I used the story that Lan shared the day before.  The story is about a painting at Oxford where it showed Jesus standing at the door holding a lantern.  The amazing aspect of the painting is that there is no handle on the door for Jesus to open.  He will Knock but we have to open the door.  Which is a great image to begin our class, which is about forcible entry.  We are teaching how to open doors by using force but God doesn’t use force, he will knock but we have to answer.

Chad taught the classroom portion today and the bomberos were engaged and really appreciated the knowledge we were giving them.  The bomberos were being taught to use a haligan tool, which there is only one or two in the whole department of 130 stations.  We brought 4 haligans with us this year to give to the Bomberos; this is critical knowledge for them to know because of the security measures people take to secure their homes and businesses.  Every door is either metal or has multiple locks on it, which makes forcible entry creative.

When we broke for lunch Jim was talking to the bomberos about where they were from and about their families.  He found out that one of the guys had traveled over 8 hours just to come to our training.  This guy lived on the Guatemala/Mexico border, needless to say founding out how important our training and us coming to Guatemala truly humbles us each day.   Jim also had a bombero come up to him and ask if he could have a bible to take to his wife.  We see God moving throughout this trip in moments like this.  The afternoon began with our four skill stations.   We have one station that Duane, Robert (RV), and myself teach on forcing open a door using the haligan.  The next skill Kevin, Chris, and Hayden teach using the baseball swing to open the door.  Skill three Brian and Jim taught on using a haligan on prying off a hasp and a pad lock.  Our last skill today Clay and Chad taught walking around the building looking at different doors and talking about how to force the door open.

When our training was complete we came home for a quick change of clothes and then off to dinner with Hector.  Hector is a member of Casa De Libertad who also helps to support Iglesia De Dios, which is a small church (around 50 seats).  We attended this church last year and all of us who went last year could not wait to go back.  To see the Holy Spirit move and soften hearts is an amazing experience.  Brain, Hayden, and Robert (RV) showed the courage of the Holy Spirit and strength of God by sharing their life changing testimonies with the church.  These testimonies truly showed not just life changing moments, it also showed the transformation from the inside out.   To see how God has used them to spread the Gospel, what a blessing.  After testimonies Lan got the opportunity to preach a sermon to the church.  He taught out of Colossians 1: 1-14.  The sermon was about not forgetting that we are “qualified to share in the inheritance of the saints in light” (verse 12).  Not to forget that we are forgiven and sanctified through the blood of Jesus Christ.  It was a true blessing to hear this message.  We are humbled and honored to get to sit in on this service and pray with these people.  This is truly a spiritual experience of God moving throughout our lives and theirs.  Even with different languages it brings joy to your soul to worship God together and then lay hands on each other in prayer.  Amazing.

After a day like today it shows that God is in control of our trip and His hand is working through us.  It is a humbling, pride crushing, and heart-softening journey that 11 firefighters from Texas can give no other credit than to God.  God has given us courage and love for the people of Guatemala to share our testimonies and knowledge.

Mitch Gray- DFW FD

Pics from day three

Posted in Uncategorized on September 5, 2013 by clayrozell

Having some issues downloading some of the other guys pictures, I will work on that ASAP

 

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Guatemala Day 3

Posted in Uncategorized on September 5, 2013 by clayrozell

Day 3 “Let the training Begin”

 

Hayden & I had rode out on the ambulance last night and were able to help with 2 different patients.  With every single call we make I am humbled by the amount of people the Bomberos help with very minimal equipment.  They also cover such a large area with minimal staffing, that when you leave the station for one call there is no telling how long you will be gone.  It is always an honor to ride with these guys and see how kind they are to the people in their town.  It was then a race to sleep so we could get some rest in preparation for our first day of training.

We woke up this morning to another beautiful day, the weather truly has been perfect so far this year!  Everyone was up and at it early this morning excited to get the training started.  As RV stated in yesterdays blog, we had scouted out the training site, brain stormed our ideas, and prepared as much as the props as we could.  When we want something at home we get a purchase order or credit card and run down to the hardware store and buy what we need.  Most of us also have the pleasure of utilizing different training facilities throughout the year with state of the art props.  Here we are required to be much more creative with our props.  People had donated some old doors, and we did manage to find a store to buy some other items needed to build our props.  We made a few phone calls to the Bomberos and they brought tools from their homes to let us borrow during the construction.

We split up into a couple groups to finish build out on the different props and to set up the classroom.  Mitch Gray went above and beyond in preparing for this trip and had purchased several Spanish copies of the Bible.  We were able to put one on each desk and give them to each Bombero .  Some of the guys had highlighted special scriptures and Mitch began our training day by having the Bomberos read the scriptures out loud with the class.  I love how this set the mood and we were able to share how so many of our family and friends donated money to help make this trip possible.  It is a given that we all hold a common bond as firefighters no matter where we are from.  However, we made it very clear that we are all here because of the greater bond that we have in Jesus!  Chad did a wonderful job with the help of our translators in teaching the different benefits in utilizing a haligan bar during forcible entry.  Most of the class had never seen this tool before.  After a quick lunch we returned to the training props and everyone got to practice with the tools.

Tonight was all about fellowship.  Mitch made a large pot of Texas chili and a few pans of cornbread.  We spent the entire evening visiting with all the on guys on duty.  We laughed and swapped stories.  We learned of each others families and what other jobs they have on there days off.  You can imagine the enjoyment when there is 15-20 of us in 1 station.  There may or may not have even been a couple friendly competitions between the Texans vs Bomberos.  We are all incredibly blessed to be here and are looking forward to another incredible day tomorrow!

Brian Stacy – Coppell FD