The Guatemala team is home safe and sound. Since we weren’t able to post regularly while there, we’ll follow up with a few posts from team members as we continue to reflect on this experience.

A Teen’s Perspective:
The first thing I noticed when the kids first came to the VBS was not what I thought it would be. I expected them to be quiet and overwhelmed with the number of gringos (how they referred to us in Guatemala) that were at their school. In fact, they were quite the opposite. Several of the students we had seen on the home visits were hugging and kissing us, this seemed to show the other children we were safe and soon the others followed. This trend continued daily, and now being home, the lack of hugs is finally dawning on me. I had become accustomed to getting many hugs and kisses everyday. I also noticed that even adults were not afraid of showing their affection. I got several hugs from parents and families that we saw throughout the community.

The best part for me was the kids. I want to be some type of pediatric doctor, so anything with kids is exciting. I bonded with countless children, and I miss them so much already. The idea of seeing them grow up and being able to help them to become good Christians and amazing people is so inspirational. We were blessed to be able to sponsor a lovely little girl named Melany, she is very sweet and I cannot wait to continue to share God’s love for her through letters and (hopefully) future visits.

I feel I was blessed through this experience, it was incredibly humbling and encouraging to see what people in other countries have to go through on a daily basis . Also, just seeing how these people rely on God was incredible. I feel Americans tend to see God as a vending machine, but for Guatemalans, He is all they have. They rely on him wholeheartedly for everything, and that was incredibly encouraging to see. (On a side note, I found it interesting that in prayer Guatemalans say Senor Dios and Senor Jesus, which translates to Mr.God and Mr.Jesus). Being 14, I feel I have a better perspective on the world than most other teenagers just by going on this trip. I actually enjoyed Guatemala so much that I am hoping and praying (if my parents let me) to go on the student trip to Guatemala in the spring.

If you are reading this because you are thinking of going on a mission trip I highly encourage you to go, not necessarily to Guatemala, but wherever God is calling you. This experience was amazing and I will carry it with me for the rest of my life. I also made life long bonds with the other team members, and greatly improved my Spanish.

Overall this trip was great and it was awesome to travel with my family so we can share the memories and the experience as a whole. We are much closer than we were before and that is because we realized just how blessed we are. I am also fuller in my spiritual life, seeing how much Guatemalans rely on God was truly a blessing and I cannot wait to return.