In seven short weeks, my husband and I will travel with a work team from our church to the Petén Region in northern Guatemala to work on the second story expansion project currently underway at Hospital Shalom in San Benito.
San Benito sits in the cradle of the former Mayan civilization. Surrounded by jungle, mountains, lakes and volcanoes, the region explodes with the beauty of the landscape and the vibrant colors of a deeply rooted cultural heritage, coupled with the rich mixture of people groups, customs and languages.
If you've been on a missions trip, you know the excitement we are feeling right now. It’s hard to explain. We’re only half here and almost-already-there in spirit; ready to get to the work we feel we've been called to do, and yet reminding ourselves not to miss the opportunities of today.
So, what is our mission focus for this journey?
First, we go to support the work God is doing through missionaries, Tim and Doris Spurrier, founders of New Covenant World Missions and Hospital Shalom, and our in-country hosts -- missionaries David & Janice Ewing with Go To Nations.
Second, we go to lend our hearts and hands to serve the people of the Petén.
- Project #1 – Construction work at Hospital Shalom
Our Priority: Complete two on-site efficiency apartments to house volunteer doctors, nurses and other future work teams. We plan to install the rough-in electrical wiring, plumbing, insulation and drywall during week #1.
- Project #2 – Install water purification systems in one of the outlying villages during week #2.
Our team has been super charged about this project ever since hearing of the possibility. We just learned that this project is definitely on our work list.
- Project #3 – Build a small “tienda” -- a store or market booth -- for the villagers in a second community.
No blueprints; no schematics; no building plans – no problem!
The air was electric as our missionary hosts explained the project. To a group of self-employed construction types -- we're all over this challenge! Our material for the tienda project consists of hand-sawed, hand-planed mahogany felled by the villagers. We’ll pre-drill holes for assemblage, and pray we don’t burn out our drills or break bits.
Ministry and Outreach
While in the villages we also get to share God’s message of love and hope, and distribute gifts to the children – soccer balls, coloring books, crayons, candies, etc.
As the only female on the team, I get the privilege of working with Janice to help make some frozen treats for the children called "koo-koo's" -- And, no, I don't know how to spell it, but that's how it sounds.
I can’t wait! Just look at these faces. Treasures of God's heart.
The Guatemala Team has raised $14,146, with just over $2000 to go. If you would like to invest in what God is doing through this team at Hospital Shalom, please contact me using the form below.
Please pray -- for us, for the people of Guatemala, and for the work God is doing there.