Reflections from Guatemala
As another year comes to a close we begin to reflect on the events that shaped our lives over the past few months. We are as clay being continually molded by each and every one of life’s experiences. Sometimes the molding process is gradual as we go to the same job and live out the same activities week after week. Sometimes it is more pronounced as we change jobs, get married, have children, or retire. Reflections from being able to see an entire team of people from different walks of life, step out of their comfort zone to serve families and children in Guatemala, was nothing short of amazing. We went to serve and transform lives. In the process we ourselves were transformed.
If you were part of this year’s Guatemala team, I want to thank you for giving selflessly of yourselves, allowing God to stretch and mold you for his glory.
I want to thank those of you who supported our team members in prayer and financial support. I thank those also who donated books for LAVOSI school for the deaf.
For those who were unable to go with us this year, I challenge you to consider joining us in 2014 for a life changing experience as we continue to build on the relationships with our partner churches and schools in Guatemala.
This year our team of 20 worked on three separate projects.
Our morning school project at Lavosi school for the deaf was outstanding. While communication was a challenge, the children and team members serving them made real connections. Really the most difficult part of this project was leaving on that last day. There was not a dry eye on the team. In moments like this you know the team went far beyond serving. They became truly invested in these children’s lives.
Our afternoon school project was with Asociación Niños del Mundo. This is one of those moments when God guides you into a project that fits like your favorite pair of shoes. All the team loved being here. They taught math, English, Bible, and played countless games. The staff that operate this school are committed to seeing these children’s lives transformed by educating and feeding them. There is no shortage of love to go around here.
Our build project at Rosa’s house. This was a growing moment for the team as we decided less than a month before our trip to take on this project with our partner church, Iglesia del Camino. This used much of our budget that was for meals, housing, and transportation. God provided for the team as he did when he fed the 5000. None of us went hungry or without shelter, and to my surprise, one of the highlights for the team members was riding on the local (chicken)buses. (That’s not a typo.) This was to build a home for Rosa, a single mother with five children. It was in a very steep location on the side of a hill. This was very demanding physically but the team pushed on. They had to mix concrete by hand in the street and carry it in buckets down a narrow trail to pour the footings for the new home.
Additionally part of the team helped teach Sunday school while others helped with youth ministry and worship.
Visions for Guatemala
As we look ahead to 2014 we plan to work with Lavosi and hope to have developed a system to teach the message of salvation in Guatemalan Sign Language. At Asociación Niños del Mundo, we are raising the funds to provide the school their own water filtration system. At Iglesia del Camino we plan to continue with Sunday school, youth worship, building projects, and helping serve in one of their feeding centers. We would also like to help another local ministry, Ministerios Espiritu YFuego build a new Church/feeding center and work with them teaching an afternoon Bible school.
– Rob Smith, GO Guatemala Director