Blog, Faith, prayer, Spiritual Gifts, Travel

Expect the unexpected: Feeding the hungry in Guatemala

surprises

Recently I traveled to Antigua, Guatemala, for the first time. Although I want to travel all around the world, Guatemala was never on my radar. But it was a “God thing.” I’m writing a Guatemala blog series to show you the beautiful pictures and to share about the amazing things God did there. This is Blog #7, Expect the unexpected: Feeding the hungry in Guatemala. You can read my other blogs in this Guatemala Blog Series at the end of this post. 

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Before I went to Guatemala, my friend Dana Arcuri (speaker, author, and wellness coach on YouTube) was praying for me about my trip there. One morning she received an exciting word for me about the trip: “Expect the unexpected!” That is exactly what happened, in more ways than one! You can listen to her interview of me about this amazing trip on YouTube here.

When it was nearing the end of my trip in Antigua, Guatemala, my new friends Kim Rogers and Stan Edwards encouraged me to stay longer there. Kim said a week was simply NOT enough time to visit Guatemala! She is so right. They invited me to stay at their beautiful home in Jocotenango, which is close to Antigua.

Stan and Kim with lemonade at Guatemalan restaurant

Stan and Kim with lemonade at Guatemalan restaurant

I told them that I wanted to stay, but I had only booked my Air BnB in Antigua until Sunday and I was running out of money for my trip! They generously said that I could stay at their house free of charge and they’d feed me! (Stan is a great cook, by the way!)

Kim & me on her home's terrace, drinking coffee

Kim & me on her home’s terrace, drinking coffee

So, after praying about it and felt a peace from God that this was what He wanted me to do, I contacted the airline and rescheduled my flight to stay two days longer in Guatemala. Kim told me that the day I was scheduled to leave (Sunday), her friend Maureen Mckeon, a former Delta airline flight attendant, was volunteering at Parque Central (Central Park) with her friends to feed poor, hungry people. 

Maureen Mckeon

Maureen Mckeon

Maureen had invited Kim to come (to observe). I knew from God that as soon as Kim told me this and I had changed my flights, that God was going to use Kim, Stan, and me to help Maureen! And He did!

Mario Paredes

Mario Paredes
Mario’s Project

Janet Pickard Bausch and Mario Parades

Janet Pickard Bausch and Mario Parades

In March 2020, Mario Gaytan Paredes of Antigua and Janet Pickard Bausch began Mario’s Project to feed families in need due to the Covid crisis in Guatemala. Each Sunday, the volunteer staff of Mario’s Project feeds a hot and nutritious meal to the indigenous. The staff takes no salary and 100% of donations go to food and supplies. You can find out more about this wonderful work on Mario’s Facebook page here

Mario serving the hot soup/stew to the hungry

Mario serving the hot soup/stew to the hungry in Antigua at Parque Central

Kim, Stan, and I took an Uber to Parque Central from Kim’s house in Jocotenango. Stan and Kim gave me my first fun experience of  “Ubering.” You install the Uber app on your phone, enter your address and where you want to go on it, and an Uber driver shows up in minutes to take you almost anywhere–fast! It is not that expensive, and I loved it!

Uber driver & Stan

Uber driver & Stan

When Stan, Kim, and I arrived at Parque Central, they were just starting to serve the hot soup/stew and cold orange drinks to the line of hungry people. We offered to help, as well as Kim’s friend Jamie who had just gotten there, and Mario, Janet, and Maureen said yes. I knew it, haha!

Kim looked a little surprised as I began pitching right in. I knew without a doubt that this was just one of the reasons that God had sent me to Guatemala. I had no idea this would happen when I traveled there, but God did. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED, as my friend Dana had prophesied to me!

cold orange drinks to serve the people

cold orange drinks to serve the people

Beth Jones giving out orange drinks to indigenous in Parque Central, Antigua

Beth Jones giving out orange drinks to indigenous in Parque Central, Antigua

 Due to the Coronavirus, we practiced social distancing as best as we could, and because it is required everywhere in Guatemala, we wore face masks as we served the people. Obviously, getting the virus was a risk for us as well, but we trusted God to keep us safe and healthy. 

Stan and Maureen serving the people, Parque Central, Antigua

Stan and Maureen serving the people, Parque Central, Antigua

Stan serving the hungry

Stan serving the hungry

Maureen & Kim talking at Parque Central

Maureen & Kim talking at Parque Central

There was a long line of people waiting to get the food. That Sunday, we served approximately 85 people in Parque Central.  We noticed a couple of people tried to get in line twice or ask for a second, cold orange drink. This saddened me, as I thought it meant they were very hungry.

Indigenous people in line to get food and drink at Parque Central, Antigua

Indigenous people in line to get food and drink at Parque Central, Antigua

Our "team" at Parque Central, Antigua Left to right in front row: Janet, Beth Jones, Kim, Stan, & Jamie Back row, left to right: Maureen and Mario

Our “team” at Parque Central, Antigua
Left to right in front row: Janet, Beth Jones, Kim, Stan, & Jamie
Back row, left to right: Maureen and Mario

After we helped, we went to a nearby coffee shop to relax. I love how pretty they make the coffees with the cream (like art!) in Guatemala! The one in this picture below sure looks yummy!

coffee shop, Antigua

coffee shop, Antigua

Here was my delicious cappucino! Isn’t it pretty?

my delicious cappucino

my delicious cappucino

The shop had a winding staircase to go upstairs to more tables, but they weren’t allowing anyone to go up there “due to Covid.” I enjoyed this fun time having coffee with Kim, Stan, Jamie, and Jennifer. 

staircase at coffee shop

staircase at coffee shop

I’m so thankful that I had this great opportunity to serve with Kim, Stan, Jamie, Maureen, Janet, and Mario for Mario’s Project at Parque Central. God is truly an amazing God! Remember that God can do the unexpected in YOUR life, too! 

“For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.” ~ Psalm 107:9

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Did you miss my other blog posts in my Guatemala Blog Series? Here are they below. Enjoy, comment, like, and share! 

Blog 1: My trip to Antigua, Guatemala http://www.bethjones.net/my-trip-to-antigua-guatemala/

Blog 2: Travel requirements, the Guatemala grocery stores, and the street markets http://www.bethjones.net/travel-requirements-travel-requirements-grocery-stores-street-markets/

Blog 3: Antigua’s beautiful ancient cathedrals http://www.bethjones.net/antigua-beautiful-cathedrals/

Blog 4: The older Antigua, Guatemala cathedral, Iglesia El Carmen, and San Juan de Dios Convent http://www.bethjones.net/the-older-antigua-guatemala-cathedral-el-carmen-san-juan-de-dios-convent/

Blog 5: A surprise encounter at Parque Central http://www.bethjones.net/surprise-encounter-parque-central-salvation-prophetic-words/

Blog 6: Praying at Cerra de la Cruz for the people of Guatemala, a divine appointment in a coffee shop bathroom, and a little girl named Maria begging in the street

http://www.bethjones.net/praying-at-cerra-for-guatemala-divine-appointment-in-bathroom-little-girl-begging/

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