Day Two: Scandal of the Good News, and Touring

Today was once again a full day for Goshen College’s Study-Service Term Scholars, from morning until night. We began with our 7 a.m. breakfast, then participated in a devotional time led by Lena, Leslie and Noah. Then Professor Flores led us in two sessions, one on “The Scandal of the Good News” and the other on “Come, Follow Me: A Radical Call.” Students were able to record on large paper their learnings from yesterday’s session and then reflect on the meaning of Jesus in their lives. Professor Flores told the harrowing story of the time he was beaten and nearly killed by paramilitaries during Guatemala’s civil war, and spoke about the need to have a clear identity with Jesus Christ. “To follow Jesus is to be a real change agent in the world, he said. “Salvation in the Bible is not a religious event: it’s a complete, embodied transformation.”

After lunch we toured the opulent National Palace, which was completed in 1943, a year before the overthrow of the government. We then visited the artisans’ market and fruit market in Zone 1 in the city’s civic center. Students picked up a few items before we returned to Semilla’s campus.

This evening after dinner we had worship led by Jahari, Nate, Glorianne and Talia — mostly thoughtful reflections on the day’s experiences — and then the group began working on journal entries or playing an interactive game led by Gloria and Peter. At 9:00, their raucous voices can still be heard as they continue relaxing together. Another good day of bonding, identity formation and reflection in Guatemala.