A Teen's Thoughts On Her Trip To Guatemala

Hello! For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Anna. I am 15 years old and just got back from my first missions trip by myself to Guatemala. (That's me in the striped shirt on the right, in the picture below.) The Lord taught me a lot on this trip. One thing He taught me was how to get out of my comfort zone. I was put in numerous situations where I needed to use my Spanish. I also had to step out of my comfort zone when I shared my testimony in front of a Spanish speaking chuch. And then I was put in charge of putting 7 little Guatemalan girls to bed when we ran an overnight camp for kids. Here is a picture of me and the 7 little girls I shared a room with: 

But God taught me more than just how to get out of my comfort zone. The big thing He taught me was that He gave me my values and gifts for a reason and I am to use them for His glory. I would like to share with you 2 different times where God showed me why He gave me my unique values and gifts. 

While we were down in Guatemala we helped a school/church by painting the walls, cubbies, railings, etc. The school and church is called Adonai and is located in the middle of a community called Hurricane Village. Here is a picture of me and a team member painting the railings:

In addition to painting the school/church, we hosted a 3 day overnight camp for the 3rd-5th graders from the school. These kids became a big piece of the trip and a big piece of what God had in store for me. On the second night of camp, we separated the girls and boys and we were going to talk to the girls about purity. Yet the Lord had other plans for the night. We had 2 members of our team share their testimony and during the second testimony which involved a father dying, the young girl sitting next to me grabbed my hand and by the end of the testimony she was crying.

This elementary age girl started trying to tell me something. I think she was telling me either why she was crying or what she needed; I couldn’t understand. I didn’t know what to do. I began praying for her in my head and soon I was praying for her out loud in English. Even though I was praying in English, I felt like she understood every word I was saying. Which taught me God’s Love is bigger than any language barrier.

Here is a picture of the village this little girl was from. We took the kids 45 minutes away for overnight camp:

Sometime during that night, I realized there is a lot of hurt and sorrow that has to do with fathers. It was hard for me to sit in a room where there were so many girls without fathers, and here I have an amazing dad. But that night I realized why family is so important to me. Most 15 year olds don’t have their family as one of their top priorities, but the people in my family (I am the oldest of 5 kids) are some of my best friends and I enjoy hanging out with them. God taught me that one reason He gave me the value of family is so I can give children a family love and show them that God is the best father they could ask for.
I want to share one more time God showed me that my gifts and values are important. It is very simple and short, but means a lot.

During the camp I taught dance class to the kids. We worked hard. We sweated a lot. But there were smiles on those kids' faces. Something as simple as a dance made those kids smile. The Lord gave me dance as one of my gifts for a reason. He let me use dance as a way to connect with the children. And something as simple as me, kids, and dancing is able to praise God. Here is a picture of me teaching the kids. Do you see their big smiles?

Before this trip I knew what my gifts and values were, but by the end of this trip God taught me that He gave me my values and gifts for a reason and I can use them to serve Him. Most of you, just like me, probably know very well what your values and gifts are. But you may not know how God is going to use them. I encourage you to ask for His guidance. I know He will guide you as He did me.