Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Gautemala Decemeber 2011!

The day after Christmas a team went to Guatemala to assist in a variety of ways. Due to technical difficulties, we weren't able to publish updates during the trip, so we are excited to share them with you now. Here is one team member's experience of her time in Gautemala:

"I went to Guatemala! I made new friends and memories that will never leave my mind. Lisa told us to make one sentence to describe our time we spent there. He taught us each something completely different and my sentence was, “Radical faith in God reaps great rewards”…why you ask? Because of the people I had met while visiting the church. I could brag about their faith, humility, welcoming attitudes, and their sacrificial spirits.

I want to tell you about our amazing driver, Francisco [aka Paquito], and the ministry he helps out with. There is a ministry called Kairos, assisting families who have children in the hospital who are receiving long-term care. Before Kairos, families would have to sleep outside the hospital, while their children were cared for; but Kairos allows them a place to stay – sometimes days, other times months. Kairos also feeds the families, giving so much of their time helping these people, it blows my mind! Here’s the kicker....All their costs end up to be around $7000 and they don’t ask for a penny!! They trust God to provide the funds in order for the place to continue running. Talk about faith!

Another example of humility and sacrificial spirits: there were two women on this trip that fixed us breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We gave them presents for everything they did and thanked them for cooking for us and cleaning our rooms. We didn’t give them much, but they showed us it meant a lot because they quickly ran downstairs and brought something to us. We had no idea what they had in their hands but they invited us all to the kitchen area and gave us a handmade cloth, used for covering hot bread. It may have been something small in most people’s eyes, but God pointed out to me once again, “Look at this!” Compared to what we gave, they gave us their all.

Most people who give to mission’s trips wonder what people actually DO on mission trips, and what their money went towards. I can tell you about the things we did that mattered (but wouldn’t have had dire consequences if they didn’t get done while we were there.) These things were things like setting up a computer lab for both teachers and the students, putting stickers in the library books, cleaning and painting the church. Yet the things that mattered most on this trip involved relationships. It’s funny; it’s always supposed to be about relationships significantly more than “doing” things anyway, right? God revealed that truth to me with “look at this!” type moments and made it more evident how much these people care about us - and us about them. He did it through us giving the gift of quality time.

Guatemala has changed my life…it’s made me a little more open with people (because the people there were so welcoming and open,) gave me the desire to be more adventurous and gave me a stronger passion for God’s people worldwide. It’s sad that most of these relationships were made near the end of the trip, when we had so little time left, but that was also when less “doing” was being done (so we had time to build the relationships!) But I’m so glad I made them. I miss them so much already. But I can’t wait to return! " ~Written by Kaitlyn