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Reflections from Guatemala

In case you missed the presentations and demonstrations from Guatemala Sunday on February 9th, read on! In addition to sharing some great photo memories, we hope you enjoy reading the parishioner reflections below and viewing photographic recap. Click here for the video recap of our trip .

We’ve received several inquiries and interest in wanting to be part of next year’s mission trip. In response, planning has already begun for a return to Guatemala, but with a different focus to keep things fresh! Please stay tuned for more information on how you can support and participate in these activities.

For more information about the stoves we built follow this link Stove Team Guatemala. The stoves we built are a slightly newer version, but very similar to those shown in this video.

Also, here's a link to the water filtration system we installed from Filters of Hope. Installing the Water Filter

Reflections from Sam Frenkel - Activation is described as the process of turning on or starting something or energizing someone. That is just what Morgan Malone, our Mission Leader, did to prep us for going out into the city of Parramos to spread the love of Christ.

She started off our Tuesday morning with an Activation Activity. We started with worship with her colleague, Junior, who played the guitar and sang beautifully to welcome the Holy Spirit and she did a teaching for us in which she shared the following before we headed out to ministry.

I wrote these thoughts in my journal and I have been re-reading and reflecting on them since we arrived back in the states.

She shared:

  • Who we are = Whose we are, meaning we are made in His image. We are connected to God directly, and, in turn we are connected to Jesus directly.

  • Jesus lives within us, in our hearts, souls and minds, but there are plenty of times when he wants to see out of the windows – through our eyes – to see where we are heading, and who we are meeting, each and every day.

  • We have a wonderful gift to share. We are prepped, clothed, prepared and anointed to go out and be the bridge in sharing the wonderful gift of Christ with anyone we meet. It is our holy duty to share this grace and love with everyone. Even the simplest word of acknowledgement or telling someone they’re loved went such a long way in our village visits.

  • Your activation is not measured in quantity, but rather in quality – in other words, (as Keith mentioned in his sermon last week), there are no chance meetings, only divine appointments – a divine appointment to change the ONE.

The morning of teaching made me very anxious and apprehensive in approaching the people of Parramos, to ask them if they are in need of prayers, healing or just for us to stop and see them. It’s hard enough to think about doing this in English, but in Spanish with a translator added another level. Looking back, it was scary, exciting and overwhelming. Morgan conveyed this exact sentient so beautifully: she compared us to Olives – for when olives are pressed their unique flavors come out. The same goes for us. When we are pressed to do something new, something with purpose, or something out of our comfort zone, it is then that we are divinely pressed so that our richness can pour out and be shared with those around us. The morning of song, praise, teaching and preparation set us up for a wonderfully meaningful day.

To conclude, I will leave you with two parting thoughts given to us by Morgan as we took to the village:

Remember: it’s OK to step out of your comfort zone and spread the grace of the Lord. You have nothing to fear because you are held and comforted. And remember that you are here to share His message – the message that we should always carry with us. The message being: You are seen. You are known. You are loved.

Reflections from Deb Marsh - For me, this mission trip to Guatemala was a life-altering experience. We installed 16 stoves and 42 water filtration systems, thus changing almost 60 families’ lives forever. Every joint in my body hurt, I was tired and physically and emotionally drained. But it was the best hurt and fatigue I have ever experienced in my life.

The majority of the Guatemalan people live on approximately one dollar a day, but they are the most grateful, gracious, happy and full-of-life people you will ever meet. They love their extended families and most of them live together with several generations in one house or cluster of homes. And they take great pride in their homes – many of which consist of dirt floors, corrugated tin roofs, and cinder block walls. Every home we went to offered us a drink and something to eat.

I have found a new calling in life. My goal is to try and set up financial funding so that individuals in these villages can get to the appropriate doctors to be assessed and treated properly; to have their medical needs addressed so that their quality of life can be improved . . .

  • for Salil, an 8-month old baby boy who is deaf;

  • for Oscar, an 8-year-old who is almost blind;

  • for Brian and Luis David, two brothers who are both physically and mentally challenged and cared for by their mother;

  • for Victoria, a grandmother who gets dialysis only once a week rather than the three-times-a-week she needs because that is all the family can afford.

Most villagers’ medical care is taken care of by one nurse practitioner, Lesbia, who divides her time between three villages.

Lastly, I would like to thank the Church School kids for their individual notes and prayers; for the YOMs, especially Cory, who wrote my note of prayer and support, which I read several times that week, along with enjoying my package of LifeSavers; and you, the members of our congregation, who prayed and supported us. Thank you to all of you!

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