Venture into the Mountains of Guatemala!
The complete phrase from our website is:
“Venture into the Mountains of Guatemala to Become a Bridge between Worlds.”
It describes well the adventure and purpose of coming on a mission trip with Hope of the Pokomchi. Since 2004, we have been welcoming teams to come and live alongside the Pokomchi people. With every single team, we, the team, and the Pokomchi people are forever changed, for the better! Now it’s our pleasure to share with you about our first team of 2019.
In March they came from Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada, where Bill, Linda, and Rebekah used to live. Also, it is where our Building My Horizon volunteer Lynette, who led the team, lives when she is in Canada! It was a 9-person team and for 8 of them, it was their first time on a mission trip with us.
We all worked together to build 6 latrines for families and 1 water tank for the school in the village of Mexabaj. The rainwater collection tank will make a huge difference for the 180 school children. They no longer have to haul water and will have improved hygiene and health from having easy access to clean water. There was also lots of time to bond with Pokomchi families and staff, such as sharing smiles and laughs while eating lunch together during a break from working and while cuddling a family’s precious baby. These little moments brought so much joy. Click on the photos below to enlarge these collages!
During the afternoon of cultural activities, the school children presented a traditional Guatemalan dance. It was their way of thanking us. Villagers also demonstrated some of the activities that make up their normal life- planting corn, making rope from the fiber of the maguey plant, making tortillas, and carrying wood. Then it was time for the team to try. As you can imagine, we all laughed together as the team tried these tasks. We just can’t do it the same!
We all had a lot of fun during the kid’s activity! The team involved the children in singing and doing actions with the songs: “This Little Light of Mine” and “Jesus Loves Me”. They had a puppet show which involved all the team members trying to measure how much God loves us. In the end it was decided that God’s love for us is so immense and never ending that it’s immeasurable! One of the team members is an indigenous artist in Canada and teaches traditional stories and art to kids. Everyone was captivated by his lively telling of a story that reminded us that God gives us all special gifts and talents, which we can use for His glory, despite the doubts of others that we are not good enough or will not make a difference. The main character in the story was a hummingbird putting out a forest fire, drop by drop. With each part of the story he added a line to the drawing, in the end creating a beautiful hummingbird. The children followed along and did their own drawing. It was very unique and memorable! There was also a clothing rely race that brought roars of laughter, and one-on- one time with nail painting, hairstyles, and temporary tattoos.
Time was also dedicated to see the other parts of the Hope of the Pokomchi ministry, as shown by the photos below.
The team clearly bonded with the Pokomchi people, but they grew closer to each other, especially the two families who brought their children. Team members shared their hearts during devotional time, lead us in worship, and we all felt God’s presence. It was a time of growth, time to be outside of one’s comfort zone, and God worked through this. We were all enriched.
It was a dream come true for this team. They fundraised for almost a year and took every single opportunity that arose in their small community, trusting in God’s provision. If you are feeling called to come to Guatemala, but don’t have the resources, don’t let that stop you. They are a prime example that if it is God’s will, He will provide!
Here is what two team members had to say:
“We were treated so well by all the ASOSAP staff during our trip. The trip stretched us with removing us from common comforts and that is always healthy. I enjoyed helping those precious people along with the help of the staff. They do so much behind the scenes to prepare the projects and organize everything. Learning about the Guatemalan culture was a huge blessing to our family.”
“Why did I decide to go with the Salt Spring Mission Team to Mexabaj? God called me, not because I am young, strong, have all the answers, or all the resources. God is my provision and He gives me His love to share with others. My task was relationships. We visited a man living with a chronic condition and we worked alongside families, building latrines and a water tank for the school. 1 Cor 13:3 “… and the greatest of these is love”. It is the love of God that makes the difference in all of our lives. God asks us to do things that might be small in our eyes and He makes them a mighty blessing for others.”
Would you like to step outside of your comfort zone? Would you like to make a difference? Would you like to experience love like you never have before? Come and join us in the mountains of Guatemala!