Orientation & Group Bonding

Rise and shine SSTTers!

Shortly after these ambitious scholars arose from their slumber this morning, we departed for an early breakfast at 8:00 a.m. Our first full day of orientation began with a fifteen-minute worship session an hour after breakfast. The tunes of Open the Eyes of My Heart, and Over my Head filled our classroom walls as we tried out our worship booklets for our time together.


Along with worship, students participated in their first centering prayer. Centering prayer primarily focuses on calming the mind and orienting one’s focus around either a single word or merely the music playing in the background. As a whole, centering prayer will continue to be a large part of worship during our time in Guatemala.

Concepts surrounding how we perceive and experience the world led to stimulating conversation. From the initial impression of a frozen grape, to how that experience was interpreted differently by each student, the conversation expanded and stimulated new ideas for students. Further on Professor Keith Graber Miller led a Kahoot quiz surrounding the nature of Guatemalan history and culture. The photos below depict our time spent for the majority of the day in the classroom. From tearing down and rebuilding the body of Christ, to identifying various types of pilgrimage, the inclusion of these exercises prompted students to reflect on their knowledge of traveling as a pilgrim and scholars. Later on, in the afternoon students took time to write in their journals and reflect upon their personal experiences so far.


As the time for dinner grew closer, we took a caravan to downtown Goshen for some exploration. Students were allowed to visit the various stores and shops before going to Maple Indian for dinner.

The evening concluded at the Graber Miller home for some ice cream and pontoon rides across the pond. Tomorrow we continue with more orientation activities as we prep for our departure early Saturday morning.