Saturday, May 17, 2008

Guatemala Trip Confirmed

Friends,

Please be praying for me!

It has been confirmed within the last week, that I will indeed be traveleing to Guatemala in the next few months on a mission trip. I am sooooo excited! This trip was uncertain for a period of time because the missionaries we are going to assist had an unexpected death in the family. We were not sure if the the trip would even happen this summer. However...God had different plans than anyone in our family anticipated.

Originally, Reid and I thought we would be traveling as a family somewhere this summer to minister. Then, we thought it would be the two of us traveling together. However, we now both believe that only I am to go. Tickets have now been purchased in my name, so the plan of action is "official!"

Friends and family have graciously offered to help with the children. THANK YOU! Our trust is in God to provide all of the finances needed for the trip. (I didn't want to go b/c of the finances and was quickly told that God would provide! Since I always say this to everyone else, I thought I needed to actually BELEIVE IT! I trust that He will! He has always met our needs in the past! Praise the Lord!)

So, why go? Why now? Here are a few statistics that rattled me...

**Only 33% of children ages 7-14 attend public or private school.

**67% of chilren this age do not attend school at all.

**Only 27% of children ages 7-14 start secondary school

**Only 7% of urban children receive a college education.

**25-30% of Guatemalan adults are illiterate

**56% of Guatemalans live below the national poverty line.

**According to the World Bank, Guatemala has one of the most unequal income distributions in the hemisphere. The wealthiest 10% of the population receives almost one-half of all income; the top 20% receives two-thirds of all income. As a result, about 32% of the population lives on less than $2 a day and 13.5% on less than $1 a day. Guatemala's social development indicators, such as infant mortality and illiteracy, are among the worst in the hemisphere.

We have four main purposes for our team of ten people to accomplish on this trip.

1.) We will provide a retreat for teachers who teach the poorest of poor in Guatemala. We will conduct training workshops for the teachers and join them in a time of professional growth and spiritual renewal. None of the teachers attending have any education beyond high school. We are partnering with the missionaries serving the Latin America Christian Education Services in Escuela Integrada.

2.) Some of our team members who provide abstinence programs through Hope Resource Center in Knoxville will present an abstinence program to the youth in Guatemala. The young people will be shown the physical and spiritual advantages for waiting until marriage to have sex. The prostitution tourism in the country is on the rise. This program is will be targeted to some of the youth at risk.

3.) We will be involved in a construction project aimed at helping those who have so little to know the love of brothers and sisters in Christ who want to serve them.

4.) We will visit and be involved in a service project at an orphanage near Antigua called Fundaninos. This orphanage is owned and operated by a Guatemalan couple who are providing love and care for 40-50 children, some of whom have special needs.

I am greatly anticipating what God will do before, during, and after this trip. I know I will, once again, be challenged to live more sacrificially, more intentionally, and more humbly than before. I am grateful to once again have the opportunity to share the love of Christ with brothers and sisters in another country.

I traveled to Guatemala on a mission trip when I was in college...nearly 20 years ago. It's very exciting to be returning to their beautiful land. I am anxious to see if the children still play the game I taught them...Pollo. Pollo, Gato! (My Spanish was so bad, I didn't know how to say Duck, Duck, Goose. The children learned to play Chicken, Chicken, Cat!) From what I understand from a missionary friend who lived there for two years...this is still the game the children play! I am NOT KIDDING!

I share that silly story to say that we never know the impact God will allow us to have. A two week trip for me left the children of Guatemala playing a new game...Pollo, Pollo, Gato! Who would have thought a short term mission trip would have a lasting impact?

In our short trip, we are hoping to touch lives, encourage missionaries and teachers, love on children, share about the importance of abstinance, and more. I pray these things will leave the mark of Christ's love! I pray some lives in Guatemala will be different because of Jesus Christ. I pray our lives will be different as well. It is all for God's glory ALONE!

I'll be practicing my Spanish before we leave.

Mark 16:15 says,

And He said to them, " Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation."

Marcos 16:15

Y les dijo: Id por todo el mundo; predicad el evangelio รก toda criatura.

Finally, if you would like to play Duck, Duck, Goose with the correct translation...it is Pato, Pato, Ganso! I did learn that is Spanish this year!

I'm grateful for your prayers!

Adios!

2 comments:

Becki party of 5 said...

Robin, I am So excited for you to be able to go on this trip! What are the dates? Keep me posted, so we can pray each other through both of our trips!!

TedTracie said...

I am excited that you are going on this trip... I mean for your age and all... that's impressive that you can get around like that.

HAHA!

Tomorrow is your burfday!
WOOT WOOT!