Guatemala Mission Trip 2015 Summary

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Guatemala Mission Trip 2015 Summary

It’s difficult to put into words how I feel after my recent mission trip to Guatemala. The trip was a quick one (Sept. 27- Oct. 4), but our team from Connection Church made a huge impact. Our week was full of opportunities to bless others, and we were blessed in return!

Day 1 (Monday)

In the morning, we toured the Hope of Life Campus. We visited the elderly home, Kelly’s House for special needs children, Children’s Paradise for orphans, and St. Luke’s Hospital. It was so heart warming to see people of all ages being taken care of by Hope of Life.

The afternoon was the most difficult part of the whole trip. We visited the local garbage dump where some families live and many survive off the garbage of others.  Three times a week Hope of Life supports these families with food and water or tea. When we arrived at the dump, adults and children both were already waiting in line. We immediately jumped in to serve them.

 

Day 2 (Tuesday)

On the second day, we went to the Village of El Cruce. El Cruce is a small village that Connection Church adopted to transform over 5 years. This was the 4th year in the village. In the past, our church built a water well, a church, and a school for the village people. On this trip, we completed the school bathrooms and added playground equipment to the playground.

When we arrived at the village we were surprised by our welcome! Many of the village people were gathered around the school waiting for us!!! They decorated, made a welcome sign in English, and set off fireworks!!!

The most exciting part of the first day was meeting Emanuel, my sponsored child. I recognized him immediately as he looked just like a picture I’d seen of him. We had a language barrier, so an interpreter had to tell him about me and that I was his sponsor. I maybe biased, but I think he’s the cutest child in the village!!!

Part of our mission during the trip was to teach the word of God. On this first day in the village, our story for the women and children was based the Fishers of Men. Both the women and children heard the story then made a fish craft.

Day 3 (Wednesday)

We returned to El Cruce for the day. Again the men worked on the bathrooms and playground while the women taught VBS (vacation bible school) and women’s bible study. The story for the day was David and Goliath. Pastor Rudy lead the women and children in a song after the story. I think I could have watched them all day!

The cement for both the bathroom and playground had to be manually mixed. The men dug holes for the playground equipment, then cemented it in the ground both for safety and security.

Day 4 (Thursday)

On this day, our sponsored children from El Cruce came by school bus to visit us at Hope of Life. For many of these children, riding a bus was a first-time experience. But things only got more exciting!!!

When the children arrived, we were waiting with open arms. I was standing by with my phone waiting to catch a first glimpse of Emanuel and his family.

During their short 2 hour stay, families were given a sandwich, cupcake, and tea. They were presented with gifts from their sponsors and they got to go swimming!!! Most of the children didn’t have swimsuits, so we collected various sizes for the kids to wear and keep.

Days 5 and 6 (Saturday and Sunday)

Days 5 and 6 were full of travel. We left Hope of Life after lunch on Saturday and headed for Guatemala City. After traveling over 4 hours, we arrived at our hotel and quickly unloaded and checked into our rooms. There was shopping to be done!!! It gets dark really early in Guatemala so it was a short shopping trip (by foot) then dinner at the hotel. Our hotel was a 5 star…it was beautiful, and we could actually drink the water and flush the toilet paper!! The skills I learned over the week were no more required…brushing my teeth with bottled water, keeping my mouth shut in the shower, putting the toilet paper in the trash can, and taking semi-warm showers.

Sunday morning (8 a.m.) we left by shuttle bus to head to the airport. It was an extremely long day!! We had two flights and a layover. We finally arrived in Detroit at 11 p.m.

Adjusting to being home has been difficult. I’m glad to be home, but part of my heart is in Guatemala. The Guatemalan people filled my heart with joy. Making them happy, made me happy. They have needs unlike we’ve ever experienced and there are so many of them just waiting to be loved.

If you feel it in your heart to sponsor a child from Guatemala, there is someone waiting just for you! Sponsorship meets basic needs (water, nutrition, medical assistance, and shelter), helps with the emotional well-being of families and assists children in attending school. Just $30 a month goes a long away in Guatemala.  If you’d like to find out more information about sponsoring a child, please visit Hope of Life.

As for me, I’m looking forward to what God has in store for me next. Thank you for reading and sharing my experience. God Bless, Rachel

 

 

 

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