From June.8th to 16th we had the joy of having 12 team members from Texas and Michigan visit us. We saw many familiar faces and some new ones too! Whether it’s catching up with old friends or making new ones, it is always an amazing time for all involved… the Pokomchi families, the team, and the ASOSAP staff. This is the 5th year for the team to come to the village of Cerro Verde and great connections have been made between the Pokomchi people and the team. The body of Christ living and serving together cross culturally is a beautiful sight to be seen. If you haven’t been on a team with us before, this will be a good way to see what happens when a team is in country. If you’ve been before, this should bring back many wonderful memories. So let’s have a look!
After a long, but fun, bus ride the team arrived in the village. In Cerro Verde, rain or shine, the village puts together a welcome for the team. The band plays music and introductions from village leaders and the team are made. Hugs and greetings are shared after a year apart, a special welcome indeed.
After settling into the church for the night, which had been transformed into base camp for the week, the next day there was a half day of activities with the village children. As well, there was a special evangelistic activity aimed towards the Cerro Verde children. 38 children from the Building My Horizon program came and played games with the kids, sang/taught Bible songs with actions, performed a play to share the Gospel, and handed out bracelets that they then used to explain Gospel truths. The team got right in and participated in this too! It was a successful first! About 150 children from Cerro Verde attended! We know many were praying for this activity and we thank you for this!!
The rest of the day was spent building either latrines or a stove. The next day tank construction would start too. In the following days, these work days continued. Getting there sometimes involves a long hike along a small dirt path with steep parts. There are beautiful views along the way, but the greatest reward is meeting the family at the end of the trail. A team member explains this well:
This is my first time coming here, on this mission trip, and it has touched my heart. To see how the people are so loving and so welcoming. But the most amazing thing to me is, we are in poverty, and this village comes together with love. And they love the Lord, that’s the most important thing about this. I really enjoyed the countryside and the people. I was able to do latrines, tanks, and stoves. And in every one we did, every person, that we did this for, was so grateful that they wanted just to give us love.
For ASOSAP and the team, it is an honor to work alongside the families, building these projects that bring hope. Hopes for better physical health for their family. Hopes for what the future holds next. It is the realization of the family’s commitment to contribute financially to the project, faithfully attend ASOSAP education sessions, and of the physical labor of hauling the materials to their home and site preparation. Most importantly it is a huge answer to prayer and a confirmation that God is real, loving, and active in their lives.
The projects are a huge part of team trip, but the relationship building amongst the team, Pokomchi families, and ASOSAP staff has long lasting positive effects as well. Whether it’s during the project builds, the cultural activity, or down time at base camp, these friendships are a perfect image of God’s family sharing together. There is always time to connect and this team took full advantage of that time!
I’ve gone places, but I’ve never been on a mission trip. The hospitality that the people give here is so unique, it’s almost indescribable. -Team Member-
The end of the week came quicker than expected and the time came to say goodbye. The village organized a beautiful send off. They sang worship songs, shared speeches of gratitude, and gave handmade gifts to the team. Along with the physical reminder of the Pokomchi, many memories were made.
I’ve never been on a mission trip, this is my first trip down to Guatemala and anywhere for that matter. I must say this is probably the most rewarding time that I’ve ever experienced in my life. I’ve learned so much from the people here and how they live. Their warmth and hospitality and love is just amazing and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. So I’ll take this back with me to and always remember the people here and how important they are to me. And I’ll be back next year. -Team Member-
We hope you enjoyed this look at team life! If you want to bring a team down and experience this in person, please let us know! We would love to live life with you in Guatemala!