This was my first mission trip to Guatemala. I visited Guatemala about 8 years ago during the adoption of our daughter, Katie. This was also her first trip back to Guatemala. I felt God was calling me to go on this trip, and God worked out the time I needed off work and provided financially for our whole family of four to go.
Leading up to the weeks and days before the trip, I began to question why I should go, because I felt I would not make a difference. I thought, anyone can do what I am going to do. If I am not there, someone else will be right there to do the exact same thing. Plus, there seemed to be several unexpected things that came up, and I wondered if I should be home to take care of them. That was my way out, and they seemed like good reasons (excuses) to stay home.
So I was going into the trip with that mindset, and I was ready to go home in the first day or two. I had already decided that I would not come back again. I figured what I was doing probably wasn’t making much difference anyway.
During that week, God spoke to my heart, especially through small things and experiences. I went in thinking that it had to be big events and big circumstances to really make a difference.
But what God taught me is that it is the little things and unplanned moments that really make the difference, especially in the lives of those precious children.
Unplanned time playing soccer with the kids with a water bottle instead of a ball, blowing bubbles in the hallway of the school while they waited to be picked up by their parents, doing a math contest to help with math skills, trying to speak Spanish, or playing basketball with Pastor Carlos and our great bus drivers.
Would someone else be there if I weren’t in those exact same spots at those same times? Maybe, but probably not.
God placed me in those circumstances at those exact moments in time. And yes, I did make a difference.
I thought I had my mind all made up at the beginning of the trip, but God worked on me and cared for me and told me, I do make a difference.
You might ask...Would I go back?
The answer is yes.
God has taught me more about the value of building relationships and that I really do make a difference. I can make a big difference with small acts.
- John DiMora