Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Thoughts From Recent Trip To Guatemala

Caroline's Promise went to Guatemala in March for an administrative trip. While we had the great blessing of spending time with the children at Casita and Iglesia Adonai, the focus of the trip was to update school records of the sponsor children, train the teachers on some new equipment, assist in a one-day youth conference and plan for the summer teams.

She's just the sweetest thing.
As a sponsor, I was overwhelmed to see all of the children at Casita; getting to meet them in person, see how fabulous they are, and at the same time realize more fully the serious need they live in daily. Spending time with my sponsor child was so precious. What a blessing to love on the child we've been praying for, wrote letters to and supported! What an amazing opportunity to sponsor through Caroline's Promise, where the possibility exists to meet your sponsor child!

As a volunteer and supporter for Caroline's Promise, the trip opened my eyes (even more than I thought they were!) to several things:
1) the critical need of the children at Casita Adonai, the poverty they live in, the danger they endure not only for their safety, but for their well being, their health and education.
2) the necessity of the body of Christ (in this case, via Caroline's Promise) rising up to love on and care for those at Casita Adonai.
3) the integrity and dedication to transparency that the leaders of the church and school have in their partnership with Caroline's Promise, maintaining the highest standards of trust and faithfulness with the children, sponsors' support, and the goal of reclaiming hope for those within their community.

One of the privileges I had on the trip, was to train the teachers on a die-cut machine, called a Cricut. Previously, if the teachers wanted to create anything for the walls or bulletin boards, they had to cut it out by hand. See the lettering and the pictures of the women in the photo below? All cut by hand.
We were able to give them a Cricut with supplies, and teach them how to use the machine.






While we were there, we also labeled each child's backpack with their own name, using the Cricut machine. Such a small gesture, and yet, to the kids, having something of their own - with their name on it, is a huge gift.
This young man, after watching for about five minutes, was able to show the teachers how to use the Cricut! He was hilarious! 









Another incredible moment was visiting the sewing program at the church. The sewing program is currently working with it's second group of women, and we met them and watched them work. While we were there, some graduates from the first group stopped by to visit, and ended up staying to assist those who needed some help! What a great blessing to see these women helping out their own, not just receiving from the program, but giving back to the very group that offered them hope. We are excited to see what God has in store for this program and the women in it.




Throughout our days in Guatemala, every spare moment was spent with church leaders, planning what the three summer teams will be doing.  I was blown away at how thoroughly every moment, every activity is discussed and prayed over. Hours were spent discussing not only WHAT each team would be doing, but WHY, what was the purpose? How could the teams utilize the time in Guatemala to the fullest opportunity of blessing? The love that these teams will lavish on the children and staff offers not only a respite from the every-day-ness of their lives, but also provides a chance to encourage, equip and refresh them, impacting generations, not just for the moment, but for the future. We are excited about what God will do this summer!

In the next few weeks, I'll be adding some posts regarding child sponsorship from a sponsor's perspective, answering questions a perspective sponsor might ask.  We'll also post about the sewing program and how you can help grow this ministry.


 ~Jody (blog editor for Caroline's Promise)