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Christian Wilderness Press - this is Missionary Trips 3 Guatemala
Go on missionary trips several times a year with Jim Durham...email Jim: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the first part of my report on my recent mission trip to Guatemala. This portion of the report will deal with the Ministry portion of the trip. The second part will talk about the non-ministry activities.
A team of 10 of us from the local Baptist Association went to Guatemala for one week – Oct. 11-18, to do home construction, to work in a children’s malnutrition center, and to do backyard kids clubs. We worked with local missionaries who coordinated the work. I think they might have been a little concerned when they got the preliminary information about us. Our ages were 75, 75, 70, 66, 64, 63, 55, 53, 46, and 24. But we accomplished a lot. It was a very successful trip. We flew from Orlando to Miami to Guatemala City. Our home base was Antigua , Guatemala , a relatively prosperous and beautiful city. We worked in much poorer areas near Antigua. Antigua is about a mile in elevation and is surrounded by volcanoes – at least one of which is active.
Initially, we were to have built a house for a family whose rental house had burned the week before. The mayor of the town of Pastores had requested the missionary’s help in rebuilding it. When we went to the site on Monday morning, we had about a half-mile hike up a very steep grade. It was tiring just to walk up it. All materials would have to be hand carried up to the site – concrete, rock, sand, water, lumber, siding, concrete blocks, etc. It seemed like a near impossible task for us. After we got to the top, we got word that the owner of the land had changed her mind and decided not to allow us to build on it. (I felt like sending her flowers.) The mayor had another family who needed a home; so, we built one for them.
The second home site was only about 250 feet from the street. We had to carry all of the materials from the highway, but that seemed easy compared to the other site. We cleared off the site the first day. The land was only about 25 feet x 25 feet (6m x 6m). The house was 16 x 16 (5m x 5m), which seems very small, but it was the nicest house in the neighborhood when it was finished. The second day we dug and poured the footer. The third day we put up all walls and the roof. The concrete floor was poured the fourth day. All concrete was had mixed with shovels and hoes, and wheel borrowed to the site. The lady who was the new owner was moved to tears as we presented it to her.
Four of us worked on the construction team, along with some guys the mayor provided to work with us. The other six members of our team worked in a children’s malnutrition center, plus help two afternoon kids clubs – VBS type activities.
The malnutrition center was built by a Lions Club in Guatemala many years ago and had 200 children at the center. Now, because of a lack of money, it only has about 35 children. Some Guatemalan families are not able to feed all of their children and literally quit feeding one or more of them. Some of them die; others are fortunate enough to be taken to a facility such as a hospital or this malnutrition center. The center keeps them on an average of about 10-11 months, and the families take them back, sometimes leaving another child in their place. They were almost out of food. We bought about $400 worth of food and baby formula. The children there are babies through 8 years old. The staff does all that it can for the children, but their time and resources are very limited. Lice and scabies were common among the children. Our team members did a variety of things, including changing babies, cleaning them, buying medicine for them, playing with them, loving them, helping with the laundry, etc.
On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, they went to other locations to conduct kids clubs. On Tuesday, they had about 55 kids attend. On Thursday, there were only 5 kids there when it was time to start, but eventually, 127 kids showed up, along with about 30 moms. They all got to have a lot of fun, and heard a clear presentation of the Gospel.
It was a successful trip, and we plan to have more in the future.
Cathedral in Antigua, Volcano in background. Street scene in surrounding town.
Steep grade up to the initial site. Looking back from the initial home site.
Local muddy roads - our van got stuck.. Local municipal laundry.
Walking to second home site 250 feet from road. Typical bamboo and corrugated metal walls.
Cooking stove. Some just cook on the ground. Vacant lot - about 25 ft x 25 feet.
The second day the foundation poured. Walls built and raised the third day.
Future owner, Rosaria, watching. Walls going up. 3rd day.
Roof joists in place. 3rd day. Our entire team with new owner and one of her children.
Kids at the malnutrition center. Joy helping the kids get dressed.
75-year old Horace with child. Team members with kids. (2 are missionary kids).
Wood cook stove in the center. Nursery area.
One of the babies. Street scene going to Thursday kids club.
5 kids at start of kids club. 75-year old Lois helping at kids club.
127 kids at the end of kids club. Street scene - horse and cows.
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