A Breath of Fresh Air

This week God blessed us with the opportunity to take the sixth grade class on their graduation trip to Lake Atitlan. We all piled into the bus and made the four hour trek to one of the most beautiful places in Guatemala. The kids were bursting with excitement and anticipation! The drive up the mountain was filled with the grandness and beauty of our God. The pictures taken cannot pay the workmanship of our Creator the justice He deserves. The two days spent at the lake were filled with laughter, silliness, family, GREAT food, pool time, and tie-dye!

Being a part of this trip and seeing the joy on each of the kids faces reminded me of a cherished time in my life. I grew up with a family that loved me with everything they had to give. I attended a small private school and most of my friends had more than they could ever ask for. But my family struggled financially and there were many times when we could not enjoy some of the same luxuries. My younger brother got a once in a lifetime chance to make a wish through Make-A-Wish. At first he wished for putt-putt, but after a little bribing and prodding from my other brother and myself, he wished for a trip to Disney World. That trip to Disney World meant everything to my brother and my family. To this day, I can still remember vividly moments from that trip, and I will remember them for the rest of my life. It will be the same for these precious children of Guatemala.

As I watched the sixth graders enjoy every moment of the trip to Lake Atitlan, my heart filled with joy. Some of these kids go home not knowing if they will have dinner that night. Some of these kids have to fetch water to fill up the sink outside in order to take a bath in the cold air of the morning. Some of these kids have never had the opportunity to get out of the city to breathe a breath of fresh air. These kids are the future of their community. They have been taught to dream big. They have been taught to believe that God will work through them, even in the small things. They have been taught that through Jesus, they will bring light and healing to their community.

These humble words of Paul were shared with the sixth graders as they move to a new school and face new challenges:

"I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, BUT I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward - to Jesus. I'm off and running and I'm not turning back." -Philippians 3.12-45, The Message

Written by Jess Haydt

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