Oh Guatemala, how you have changed my perspective! It’s been exactly one week since we returned from our mission trip to the dump of Guatemala City, and it’s still taking time to process what we experienced there. I know there is so much more that God wants to teach me, so I’m taking each day with stride. Here’s a quick run down on what we did, what God did, and what I think God is showing me…and us.
1. The Dump: I was in a state of shock and speechlessness when we were first led into the dump on the first day of work. We were led in quickly and straight to the little shack where we’d be setting up our first medical clinic and prayer station. There’s trash everywhere, and people have set up homes using sheet metal, fabrics, and every kind of trash imaginable. There are kids playing everywhere, and skinny dogs rummaging in piles for food or somewhere to lay down. As we reached our shack, there were already tons of sick people lined up outside with their children and babies and families. We treated their illnesses, loved on and played with the sweet children, and shared the gospel and prayed with each family that came through. I loved getting to share the gospel of Jesus with people who have never encountered Him in such a way….it was such an honor. We did this 3 days…..each day was amazing.
2. Building Stoves: This was also a mission in the dump. We spit our team of 11 in half, one going to one home and the other to another home….2 separate days…so we built 4 stoves in these peoples homes. I don’t think I can express at all what I mean by “home”. It’s tin, dirt floor, old sheets for doors, a hole in the ground for a toilet, a giant bucket for bathing and washing clothes…you get the picture. It was a huge deal for them to be getting a block stone stove to be able to cook their own hot food and drinks. Mainly tortillas and hot rice milk or coffee. While the men did most of the building, it was a blessing and very touching to be able to watch the families in amazement as their stove was coming together. Oh the things we take for granted.
3. Children’s HIV Hospice Hospital: This was just sad. Imagine a hospital full of babies and children from the ages of newborn to 18…all with aids. We brought in snacks, toys and bibles, and art supplies so that I could lead them in a fun little project. We worked with them on coloring and painting their own crosses with watercolor pencils, writing “HOPE” and “Esperanza” (which is HOPE in spanish). They seemed to really enjoy that. After the art project I led a little worship in spanish. The feeling I had here wasn’t what I had expected….for lack of a better word, it was just sad.
4. Food Distribution: One night we were led into a part of the city where we would be giving out plates of food. In the weeks of preparing for the this mission trip, we would talk about what we would be doing each day…and I had remembered that we had enough money so that we could serve chicken in their meal for this particular night. I didn’t really think much of it….I know it was said that they usually get rice and beans, but I didn’t realize what a big deal it would be. That is until the adults and kids are standing in line, saying “pollo!” with excitement when they realized they were getting meat with their food. That night got gave me a little glimpse of things that we look at as the tiniest of details, and huge in magnitude to others.
5. Spanish Worship: One of the biggest challenges for me in getting ready for this trip was learning to sing in spanish! I am obviously a little country bumpkin, but God was gracious and kind and He definitely came through! We flew by the seat of our pants down there, so there was no prep time before our service at all….I just had to jump on stage and go for it! Can’t even explain how different it was than what I’m used to, but it was a beautiful experience and I LOVED hearing the sweet people worship in their language…it helped me get lost in singing in a language I had never led in….and I really loved it:) I even got to lead one of my original songs in spanish, “Estoy Libre” (So Free). Hearing them sing that was such a BLESSING!
There’s so much more…soooooo much more. But you don’t want to read any more right now. It will continue to come out….no worries!
Here’s a few pics!
Oh yes, and I’m very excited about the Christmas season:)