Signs of God in Guatemala
On Milo’s mission trip to the beautiful country of Guatemala, I saw signs of God everywhere! Our group had the opportunity to have fun and experience the culture, but more importantly, we had the privilege of serving at ICAP, in Poptún.
Our daily routine was interesting. Breakfast of fried plantains, fresh fruit and potatoes was served after a group returned from milking cows or herding them into “pastures” that were faculty yards. At the job site, as the hot sun beat down, kids from the school came to watch with silent curiosity at American kids using pick axes for funnels, shoveling dirt for sidewalks, wheel barrowing gravel and sand for cement mixing, and bashing down walls with sledge hammers. Each evening, we showered off the sweat and dirt of the day’s work and prepared for the meetings at the small village church.
Milo students led song service at the beginning of each evangelistic meeting. Tawnya Holland, a senior from Roseburg, Ore., preached the sermons which were translated by Jocelyn Abarca, from California. Some also held meetings for the local children. It was a challenge because every night more and more children came. Eight of the fourteen students from Milo were in Spanish class at Milo, or were already fluent in Spanish, making it a lot easier to communicate.
One afternoon a group went into the village to visit with people who had been attending the meetings. As we walked into their humble houses and saw their joy while talking about personal experiences of God, I was humbled. Seeing poorly clothed children run around laughing, their faces dirty, their beds made of straw, was so overwhelming that I couldn’t help but see God’s hand. On our final Sabbath, we witnessed ten people commit their lives to Christ through baptism in the river.
Every day, I saw God. Through the people who helped with our flat tire on the way to the first meeting, through the village people’s willingness to help in any situation, through the eyes of the children who were excited to learn about God at the meetings, through the marketplace vendors who were ecstatic that we were helping in their country, through the pastor and his love for his congregations, through the orphans at the ICC orphanage who sang their hearts out, through the people on the street who would smile at us even if we didn’t buy anything, and even through each one of us on the trip as we put one foot in front of the other and continued to smile through every situation. This mission trip, I learned an incredible lesson of humbleness and eagerness for God’s soon return so I may once again see the beaming faces I encountered in the little country of Guatemala.