Monday, June 23, 2008

Back to Guatemala

Chris and I made the decision just last week! We are going on a 5 day missions trip to Guatemala in mid-July!
Since last fall I had been praying about a missions trip for this summer and I really was hoping to go to Guatemala. I spent LOTS of time online trying to find opportunities. I ended up finding a church in our demonination and in our area that was taking a team in June. I contacted them and was pretty sure this was IT! The day before I needed to make a commitment to the trip, Chris and I both decided that I wouldn't go at this time (the Orphan Summit had just come up and we decided that I would go to that instead). I was bummed about not going to Guat. but was at peace with the decision. Of course, God still has His hand in all of it. I ended up getting to meet Shelli, who was organizing the team and another friend of hers Kathy, that is adopting from Ethopia (amazing story - check out their blog!) They both attend different churches in the area and are interested in having adoption/orphan ministries at their church, so we know the Lord intended for us all to meet!
Now about THIS trip! Last fall I watched this video and it really made an impact on me! We made a donation to Healing Waters International They are a Colorado-based nonprofit that provides clean water to the urban poor of Guatemala, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic by installing water purification systems in local churches. The churches then sell the safe, purified water -- at a greatly reduced price -- to the people in their neighborhoods. Instead of living with intestinal sickness caused by contaminated water, people who couldn't otherwise afford clean water are now able to get it. Along the way, they get connected with their local church. The churches, in turn, are given a great way to reach out to and care for their communities. It's a brilliant concept that meets physical, financial, and spiritual needs...all at once.
A month or so ago we received an email from them about a trip to Guatemala! Chris and I both read it and said "let's go". We took awhile to pray about it and last Monday took the plunge and bought plane tickets! Thanks to our wonderful family and church friends our children will be well cared for while we are there!
The couple in the video went to a grand opening of a purification system - our trip will be a bit different. We will have the opportunity to visit 2 of the churches with the systems. We will learn about them, talk to the pastors about how it has impacted their church and community and also have a meal with a family that has used the water and learn about their lives. We will also spend time serving at an elementary school in the area. The last day is planned for the group to do some sight-seeing, but Chris and I are working on spending that day at an orphanage!
We are so excited and I can't wait to truly experience Guatemala and connect with my daughter's birthcounty!

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