Monday, November 28, 2016

The Guatemala Mission Trip

Let my heart be broken with the things that break God's heart.
-Bob Pierce, World Vision founder

This is the quilt that my husband bought in Guatemala for me.

I am giving just a sampling of the pictures from the mission trip that my husband and daughter went on. Most of the best ones were taken by the Princess. Everyone warned her not to take out her camera in certain areas, like the airport because it would likely be stolen, and definitely not take pictures of certain places, like the dump, but she did get a few anyway. She not only has the eye of a professional photographer, although not a camera adequate to her talent, but also the heart for it, to tell stories in pictures.

Getting to Guatemala was an ordeal in of itself. The plane tickets were particularly high priced and going up, so the best deal was to rent a van in Atlanta, drive to Tampa, Florida, fly from Tampa to Atlanta—yes, from where they began—and then fly from Atlanta to Guatemala. On the way back they just did not get on the last connecting flight from Atlanta to Tampa. Of course, there was a layover in Tampa so youth and adults were sleeping wherever they could.

On the way from airport to the missionary's house where they stayed most of the time, with one night at a youth camp.

It is a more diverse region than I thought it would be. For instance, there is a large Jewish community there. The first picture below is of the synagogue which could be seen from the youth camp.

The missionary's home was rather nice. Most of the homes in this neighborhood are owned by missionaries who rent to other missionaries, so the family moves often but within this neighborhood.

Arriving at the campgrounds....

At the camp, our kids were with other kids from the area, many training to be leaders in missions or churches. The camp had amazing views, as it is a beautiful country, but the lake is so polluted that no one swims in it. My husband was told that a few million was paid to have it cleaned up, but the man split with the money and did nothing. Very sad.

During the worship times, this building was packed. Guatemalans worship with lots of jumping and dancing. My daughter was participating so she did not take pictures. My husband and I have not yet synced up so I have some of his pictures of the kids.

This was on the campgrounds also. I think it is my favorite because I like pictures of abandoned structures. I always feel that they are filled with mystery and forgotten stories, like I wonder how many have been baptized here?

Another favorite although it is probably not abandoned....

Most of the streets are made of stones.

The group was five teens and four adults. Our church pastor, two youth pastors, and my husband made up the adults. All the adults, but my husband, ended up with tummy troubles on the trip. My husband adds a few drops of food grade hydrogen peroxide to even his bottled water because the extra oxygen fights off germs of all kinds whether from contact, food, or the water. However, they all agreed that the chain fast foods tasted better there than here, particularly McDonald's.

Then they all went to the dump. Seriously, people living there, who have nothing and scavenge, began to build shelters on top of the dump. It is highly unhealthy. Some areas have cemented floors now, but still.... This is the area where the group was warned not to take pictures because of the gangs there. They will steal the camera for its value, or worse because they do not like having their pictures taken. They went there to pray over the people living there. Afterward all their shoes had to be washed or sprayed with disinfectants. Imagine children living in such a place!

One man told my husband that his wife has had three children, but he does not know if they are all his because when a gang decides it time for a boy to become a man, he is expected to rape a woman. My husband also told me of a boy who would not smile but tried to look "tough" in all the photos, because he wanted to be in a gang, probably not knowing all that he would be expected to do, but eventually the boy began joining in on the worship services and he smiled. I hope that he is hearing his Lord speak to his heart.

In contrast to the dump, here are coins that were tossed into a fountain. Perhaps because the people not only have wishes, but they have hope.

My Lord, thank you for keeping the group safe and for my daughter seeing how hard life is for other people.

1 comment:

  1. I so enjoyed looking through these pictures, a glimpse into lives so different to my own. Hoping you can eventually share more when everyone is feeling better.


Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.