Saturday, September 24, 2011

Guatemala Mission Trip recap

Guatemala Mission Trip-To God be the Glory

In the early morning hours of 03August, a team of 16 willing volunteers met at the Atlantic City Airport to begin their journey to the wonderful country of Guatemala. For some members of the group this was their first time traveling outside of the US as well as their first mission trip. For others, this would be a return to the place they grew to love during the mission trip there a year ago. For everyone, this represented a step of faith in obedience to the call God has given to serve others in need. Despite the gloomy forecast calling for many rainy days, the weather was dry and beautiful for the entire week which allowed the team to accomplish more work than originally planned. Upon arrival, the team was met by Chris Mooney and Dick Rutgers of Bethel Ministries International as well as a 17th team member, Becca from Kentucky, a long-time friend of mine (who I met through blogging). The team loaded up 2 large vans and headed to the beautiful city of Antigua. The team spent the first few days at the Hermano Pedro orphanage and medical clinic. For everyone, especially those that had never been there before, this proved to be an intense emotional experience as they witnessed firsthand many young children and teenagers suffering from muscular dystrophy, muscular dystrophy, or cerebral palsy. As one team member put it, “this was a game-changer for me.” You see, when you hold a child who can barely move and can only communicate with her eyes, make some guttural noises, and smile, it impacts you in a very deep way. Within minutes of arriving, Chris Mooney placed a child into the arms of each team member. This proved invaluable as it pushed many of us out of our comfort zone and prevented us from giving in to the fear of the unknown. As the day progressed, the team continued to minister to the children as God ministered to the team. By the end of the second day, it was amazingly clear the team members had grown fond of these precious kids/teens and were reluctant to say good-bye.
Subsequent to our visit to the orphanage, over the course of the rest of the week the team moved on to complete the construction of 3 homes in Chimaltenango, distribute food to 12 families, and in Chichicastenango fit/distribute over 50 wheelchairs to adult and children who, prior to receiving a wheelchair, had to be carried from place to place by friends and loved ones.
The week ended with the team giving a monetary gift to Chris and Donna Mooney totaling nearly $3000 which represented excess funds that were raised prior to the trip. The team had identified some specific needs throughout the week and asked that the additional love offering be used to address those needs. These included:
• Food sponsorship for the 3 families for whom we built a home (est. $480 per family= $1440 total)
• Education sponsorship for 2 of the 5 kids from the 3rd home we completed (the mother has AIDS) (est. $25/child or $300/year = $600 total)
• $500 towards a water connection for a family in Tecpan to whom we distributed food and whose father had some significant medical needs.
• 2 tires for the truck used for wheelchair distribution (est. $400)

Overall each member of the team was stretched and tested physically, emotionally, and spiritually and returned home with new understanding and appreciation for how blessed we are to serve such a mighty, loving God.

Mark 10:45:[Soft Break]45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”


Anonymous said...

I consider myself blessed to be a friend and to have had the opportunity to share this journey with you. May many more await us!!

Love you,

Reba said...

What an amazing trip. Thank you for sharing. I hope someday to do something like this. So glad you all were willing vessels for HIM!

Bobbi said...

Sounds like a very successful trip. Well written