A group of 15 from different parts of Michigan and one that has been relocated to Georgia came in November. They had two main outreaches that they were covering; our annual town VBS in Camotan and a construction project at our church in the village of Tular. The core part of the team has been coming for many years, every other year, to help support our town VBS activity. The children in Guatemala are on their “school break” and will begin classes again in January; this is our season to do VBS. We made some changes this year; dividing into 4 groups instead of 3, lowering the age participation etc. We met our full quota of children, 300 participants, for our third day. The children really look forward to this each year. They have a time jointly together with a professional clown for 40 minutes. Then they divided into 4 groups; class time with the clown, yard games, crafts, and the Jesus game (version of bingo/lotto). Some of the team were working construction and some stayed to participate with the VBS; with the assistance of some Guatemalan youth and my sister Jeanne. The last day included a two-hour period where the kids could choose from a carnival like atmosphere what activities they wanted to do, from points that they had earned from their assistance and participation. There was face painting, food sales, dunk tank, balloon animals, and 3 big blow-up inflatables that the kids love. Love was shown and seed was planted into the hearts of the children; seed that can last for eternity!
The construction project in Tular was to enlarge the pastor’s personal living quarters; which consisted of only one room before. A small block room was added on. They also painted the church and pastor’s living space, both inside and out. It really came out nice. They even made some make shift steps to go down to the latrine😊!
This team also did a wonderful outreach to our pastors. They took them to lunch in Chiquimula and let each one choose a study Bible or other study resource from a Bible Bookstore. Providing these study tools to our pastors is a huge blessing! Each pastor was sent home with a special blessing for their wives; a basket filled with personal hygiene projects, luxuries that they can seldom afford! Our pastors give such sacrifices to serve, with such little compensation; it blesses me abundantly when others want to bless them.
The team went to the government hospital and were touched by what they saw. They had made up nice hygiene and baby packs and all were distributed. They also did an Adopt-a-Child activity, and some did a hike to a waterfall. They finished their time in Guatemala by spending 2 nights in Antigua and doing a day tour of the area. We had a very precious time of sharing the last night as each shared how the trip had impacted them. Short term teams can change and impact lives; both the participants and the people they cross paths with. Let us know if you are interested in connecting with one; it will change your life!
Sometimes it takes multiple years to see your purpose in life or it can happen in a 10 day short-term mission trip. Servant Ministries has opened my eyes to experience love and relationships with people whom I don't speak their language. Returning to Guatemala annually (specifically Camotan with various teams) has grown my love and compassion for God’s people throughout the world. Nancy Sheldon understands the necessity of building relationships with people. My favorite experience is traveling high into the mountains to visit schools and the children that Servant Ministries supports with school supplies. Playing with them, blowing bubbles, giving stickers, making balloon animals and simply giving a smile has let me to see my purpose . . . to love ALL of God’s children and be joy-filled with the moment, not the stuff. God does have a plan for everyone - but we need to hear His soft whisper amongst life to walk toward our purpose. I highly recommend praying about joining a team and investing 10 days to give to others and grow yourself through Servant Ministries in Guatemala. -Karen Palka
Have you been on a short term trip to Guatemala in the last year or so?????? Write us and tell us how it impacted your life and how you enjoyed it! We would like to start a new area that shares these “testimonies” with others in the hopes of motivating them to come on a team. You first timers can identify with the fact that you just “don’t know what you are getting into” and there are always a lot of questions. You can also share how it really turned out and what kind of an experience it was for you. I know that these short term trips can absolutely change people’s lives! Will you help us to encourage others to take the step to have this experience????? Send your testimony to email@example.com and let others be blessed through your experience!
Are you interested in bringing a team down in 2016 or 2017? The below chart shows the team(s) already scheduled and dates that are still available. If you are interested in bringing a team to fill one of the available time periods contact us.
|DATES||TEAM FROM||PERSON/GROUP||ACTIVITIES PLANNED|
|Jan 4-13, 2018||Canton, MI||Friendship United Methodist Church||Misc activities|
|Jan 17-27, 2018||Crossville, TN||Doug and Sandi Reid||Medical|
|Feb 1-10, 2018||Servant Ministries||Kim Slowinski||SSP school pack distribution and Misc Projects|
|Feb 15-24, 2018||AVAILABLE|
|Jun 21-30, 2018||Servant Ministries||Kim Slowinski||Misc activities|
|Jul 12-21, 2018||AVAILABLE|
|Jul 26 - Aug 4, 2018||AVAILABLE|
|Aug 9-18, 2018||AVAILABLE|
|Oct 17-27, 2018||Mount Clemens, MI||Bob and Maureen Baker||Construction|
|Nov1-10, 2018||CERT (Crossville, TN)||Medical/Dental|
|Nov 15-24, 2018||Graford, TX||James Turner||VBS and misc. activities|
|Jan 3-12, 2019||Chattanooga, TN||Jon & Kristina Manley||Medical|
|Jan 17-26, 2019||Crossville, TN||Medical|
|Jan 31 - Feb 9, 2019||AVAILABLE||SSP annual school pack distribution|
|Nov 15-24, 2017||Michigan||Shane Hunter||VBS and misc. activities|
I have been communicating with a few more groups that haven't set their dates yet, but want to encourage you to get your time slot set aside. These short term trips can impact their participants in a dramatic way. Take advantage of exposing your people to an opportunity to "experience missions"!
Here are some of the pictures from this team's mission trip.
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