In 2016, my husband and I visited The Good Shepherd Ministries in Quetzaltenango (Xela), Guatemala with a group from the Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina. We learned how a culture of hopelessness led to record alcoholism, broken families and many abused and abandoned children.
We also saw how God called these ministries to partner in an orphanage and then with Baptists on Mission/NCBM construct a ministry center and health clinic. We returned home, eyes opened to God’s work in a way that we had never experienced before. We shared with our church and our pastor wanted our church to help. We all prayed and God called a team. Many others donated funds and materials. A trip was fully funded within months.
I could write volumes about all we experienced in our team’s trips to Guatemala in 2018, but in this small article, I hope something shared will touch the readers’ hearts and encourage them to begin to pray and seek where God may be calling them.
As our teams reflected on our missions efforts, we agreed on a number of things that were most impactful. First, the children. We saw first hand how their lives are being transformed by God’s love. We believe these children will grow in the faith and become godly leaders –– impacting their community with the Gospel. We were inspired by founders Roger and Vicki Grossman and their love for the Lord and for the children, their tireless dedication, and their gracious hospitality. We were humbled to be a part of this work.
Secondly, when we experienced a serious injury on our first team, we saw God’s hand in such a mighty way. We were reminded, He is never caught off guard. He made a way and restored His people. And He gave great strength and resolve to the remaining team who accomplished more than seemed possible. We experienced a sweet sense of unity and fellowship around meals, prayer times, devotions and work that our hectic lives in the U.S. rarely allows. And there was laughter –– blessed joy!
We all returned home with a new perspective of the mission field. I confess, I was once one of those practical people that wondered if the money spent on mission trips would be better given directly to those in need. However, these mission efforts have given me a glimpse of God’s “economy.” It's not about the money or time –– He is not bound by either. It’s about the heart. It’s about answering when God calls. It’s about the amazing opportunity to work alongside Him. It’s about love and relationship. These children, the people there, the ministry, and staff will forever be in our hearts and prayers. We long to return.
Has God given you a burden for someone, a group or a need? To paraphrase Henry Blackaby, “Watch to see where God is working and join Him in His work.”
For more information about what God is doing in Guatemala and how you and your church can play a part, contact Mark Abernathy at 919- 459-5607 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit our website, which has project descriptions, pictures, videos, and other details, at www.baptistsonmission.org
Editor's note: This Baptist on Mission article was reprinted with permission
Article written by Sandy Chamberlain, Volunteer at Bethel Baptist Church in Yadkinville