February 2017 offered an experience that changed my life and view of life to the core. I attend County Line Church of God who has been a partner and huge supporter of Village of Hope in Guatemala for many years. This has opened the door for myself and others to step outside our comfort zones and serve. I never dreamed for starters that I would do a missions trip, and secondly that it would impact me the way it did. The way God used me, but more so the way it impacted me and others on this trip was nothing short of his amazing plan. I feel selfish even saying this but I feel I gained so much more out of this trip then I gave. Like I said earlier, I truly believe this was no mistake just God’s ultimate design!
The purpose of Village of Hope is to provide family, faith and a future to special needs children and vulnerable mothers in a family style setting. Most of the children at Village of Hope come from broken abusive homes. The vulnerable mothers are all teen mothers, some as young as 12 years old. Sadly a high percentage of these teen mothers are in this situation by no doing of theirs. They are victims of rape or incest by those that are supposed to be protecting them.
This men’s trip had a number of work projects to help improve the buildings and way of life for the residents at Village of Hope. Our days consisted of breakfast, working on projects, lunch, more work time and play time with the kids each afternoon, dinner and devotional each night. The play time with these kids was so amazing. As previously mentioned most of these kids have come to Village of Hope from broken and abusive homes. However the joy they exhibited, the smiles on their faces and just pure innocents they had brought even the toughest of us to tears. I was so humbled from this time spent with these children and teens. If we all could see the World through the eyes of a child, we would see the magic in everything and everyone.
Several times during our week we had the honor to visit some local families in their villages and even some in their homes. To you and I this means a house with multiple rooms, insulated for warmth from the cold, cooled to escape the heat, carpet on the floors, plumbing for showers, and indoor bathrooms, the list can go on and on. You know, ALL the things that make us comfortable and happy right? Think to yourself how it makes you feel when one of these comforts stop working, we get frustrated right?
It was during these visits that my prospective on everything in life came to a screeching halt. The homes of the families we visited consisted mainly of 4 walls and a roof. No multiple rooms, no plumbing, no electricity and most didn’t even have floors. As we approached one of the residence we observed the lady of the house sweeping. No not the tile or carpet or hard wood flooring, she was sweeping her dirt floor, yes I said dirt floor. My heart dropped thinking this can’t be.
So how you ask does this all have anything to do with my prospective coming to a screeching halt? Remember the lady of the house sweeping her dirt floor? This lady was so grateful to have a floor to sweep, a broom to sweep it with, not that it was dirt or that it had to be done. You see this lady like so many others we had contact with were simply GRATEFUL for what they had. They lived simple but so full of life, love and gratefulness of what they had not what they didn’t have. Most importantly of all, there “LOVE OF GOD” and what you has provided for them.
I now have the opportunity to make this trip again. I didn’t have to think twice this time about saying yes to God when he put this in front of me and said I need you. The opportunity to return and be the hands and feet for God again to the same place that changed me forever, the place that gave me more than I can ever give back is so humbling. Even as I write this letter fighting back the tears of this life changing opportunity the excitement is building inside at the thought of being used to make a difference.
As you can imagine there is a sizable expenses involved with a trip like this. The estimated cost for this trip is $1,700. This cost includes room/board at Village of Hope and airfare. Any additional expense to prepare for the trip (shots, paperwork, essentials, etc.) are separate from the amount listed above and is covered by each individual making the trip.
So how can you help? There are a couple of ways that you can help. The first way is as a prayer warrior for safe travels, and that God will once again use me to make a difference in these children’s life. The second way is financially, this trip is a sizable commitment financially for myself. After much prayer if God lays it on your heart to come along beside on this journey financially, Please know that your contribution will be multiplied in so many ways to honor the kingdom of God.
Matthew 25:40 The King will reply; Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and your support in whatever form this may be. Either as a Prayer Warrior or walking alongside financially on this journey
“We serve an Amazing God