Guatemala Mission 2018

In the trenches...

God and Guatemala afforded thirty plus Northeasterners the opportunity to learn, share, connect, grow, help and hope this past February. The love, generosity and gratitude of the guatemaltecos was a cultural gift and lesson of Christian humility and love.

We could be part of the medical/dental, work project or women's retreat team. A select group of us (ages 17 to 60) were branded as the "Grunt Crew", working on the beginnings of a massive renovation and addition to a small church/school complex. Our primitive jobs included filling buckets with stone and water and hauling them up the ladder to the future second story. We also sifted stone and sand, and moved building materials. The most arduous job involved digging a 3 1/2 ft x 2 1/2 ft trench approximately 60 ft. long. One of our highlights came on the last day, when we further bonded with the locals as we trekked up the hill and rented a field to play a rugged game of "futbol". The smiles never ceased!

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together,...but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching. ~ Hebrews 10:24-5

During our evening reflections, at times we felt overwhelmed, as there was so much more to do and it was just barely touching the tip of the iceberg. At one point, I contemplated that it cost over $75,000 to send us there, not counting the piles of equipment and supplies. I wondered if it wouldn't be more responsible to raise and send that money and trust local stewards to carry out the tasks. But my answer came quickly. We need to be the bridges, we need the human contact that gives way to hope, love, growth and understanding. Without this meeting, our cultures would not cross, an intentional design in the beautiful fabric that Christ is crafting in all of us.

Whether the dentists and their assistants working long, difficult hours; the patient workers helping any way possible in the medical clinic; women giving and showing women hope in despair; sweating it out on the construction site; or receiving this much needed help, we were all in the trenches. We are in the trenches by our situations and we are called to be in the trenches helping others in those situations. Fortunately, neither is ever alone, thanks be to a loving, caring Lord that is right there with us!

... in the trenches!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             - Kristen N., Missionary