We’re back in Georgia after a wonderful trip to Solola, Guatemala. At the outset however, we were a little concerned. We were a small group getting smaller as a couple of our folks needed to drop out of the trip. We were also looking at COVID health issues and restrictions, not to mention the impending hurricane Iota. The weather forecast for the week was bleak. But as with any mission trip, we were ready to be flexible whatever came up.
The purpose of our trip was to encourage the pastor and his family along with the rest of the congregation, hand out food and witness to the unchurched in the area. One of the first things we did once we got to the church was to make food bags. We put together 50 bags containing bags of rice, black beans, sugar, oil, flour, and other items. Throughout the week we made approximately 100 bags, each weighing about 25 lbs.
We then split into teams carrying the bags to different families in the community. We walked over 15 VERY steep miles during the trip with the bags in our arms or backpacks. It was worth every step. Pastor Walter shared with us that there were about 35 evangelical churches in the area but they were one of the very few who were actually going out and visiting people in their homes and helping to take care of their needs. We were able to share the love of Christ, encourage them and pray with them. Each afternoon we came together as a group and shared what God had allowed us to experience. There are too many wonderful stories to share here, but one example is of a woman and her children. She said that a few nights earlier she had dreamt that the pastor’s wife, Ingrid, had come to her house with help. She had tears in her eyes as she thanked those of us in the room (Ingrid included) for the food that we brought, as well as the encouragement and prayer. It was a sweet visit and only one of many.
On Sunday we had a wonderful time of worship at the church. It was the second week that they had worshipped together in person. We sang together in two languages but with one voice. It was powerfully moving. Macon preached an encouraging gospel message. And we met a woman and her daughter who had just joined the church and had taken the bus an hour and a half to get there.
Several people accepted Christ during our visit. Some were reconnected with a caring church after being away for years. And some who had been faithful received encouragement from their brothers and sisters from the United States. We had a great time working with Pastor Walter and his family and with the E3 trip coordinators and translators. We were the only church group to come down to the area since COVID began, so people were so thankful.
With all that could have gone wrong on this trip, it turned out better than we could have imagined. The weather was beautiful, our accommodations and food were not your typical “mission trip experience,” everyone remained well and we even had a pleasant flight back home – arriving early, zipping through customs and getting our bags before we were even expected to land!
It was an incredible experience and it was evident throughout the trip that God was with us preparing, protecting and providing. It was an opportunity to represent the Kingdom by living and loving like Jesus. Thank you Belmont community for your prayers and for investing in missions in the community and around the world.