Each time we begin planning our mission trips we never quite know what our ministries will be. They sort of "evolve" based on our team members' gifts and passions. Our 2009 trips to Guatemala were no different! We knew that one of our teams would visit a Compassion Project that we have worked with for three years. We love this group of kids who are sponsored by Compassion International. We partner with the local church in Solola who hosts this group two days a week. The kids receive tutoring, Bible study, counseling, a great meal and lots of love! I've always been impressed with the church members who go above and beyond what is required by Compassion International. In fact, the ministry leaders are kids who themselves were sponsored by Compassion. Now they are giving back to kids with backgrounds like their own.
When we visit with the children, we try to take something that they can use and we make sure they know that the gift is given on behalf of the local church. It reminds the kids that the church is a safe place and that they are loved. Long after our teams have gone, the kids can always turn to the local church.
One of our team members suggested that we take fleece blankets this year. It was a great idea considering these kids are often the poorest of the poor. It gets really cold at night in this part of Guatemala. At one of our meetings a team member said, "Wouldn't it be cool if we could get all of the blankets embroidered, saying "Jesus Loves Me?" I'll be honest with you. This seemed like just one more thing for me to do. I was hesitant and skeptical. But I have learned to let team members go with their ideas. So we put a little blurb in our ENEWS - asking if someone would be willing and able to embroider 250 blankets.
I really thought that no one would respond. I was shocked! Within five minutes of the ENEWS being sent, we had responses! In the end three local businesses and individuals stepped up and were more than happy to take on the task!
Our time with these kids is always extra special. They usually give more to us than we do to them. They loved the blankets! It was a perfect gift for them. But I think the important part was the embroidery on the blankets; a reminder of how much God loves them. It was a reminder to me as well - that God cares about the details.
We want to thank the following individuals and businesses who made this project possible! We pray that God will continue to bless your families and your businesses!
Ashley Moore - www.sleekbabychic.com Greensboro, NC
Diane Mars - Designs N' Stiches - Greensboro, NC
Pam Watkins - Madison, NC