by Vince Hawks
During the last week of April I had the opportunity to accompany a team to Guatemala on a mission trip and it was a wonderful week of ministry, outreach and love. Unfortunately, Janee was unable to accompany me because of the physical challenges she is currently facing, however God is healing her and God willing she will be able to come on the next trip.
The trip began with a challenge as we learned as soon as we arrived that the main church that was hosting us had an electrical fire earlier that day which gutted the building. The people there are very determined and they immediately went to work cleaning up so we had church in the building that night (still a smell of smoke but it could not stop us from having a great service). The people continued to work on the church and by the end of the week they had replaced the roof (with the help of funding from our team) and were well on the way to repairing the rest of the damage.
We went out to a couple different communities and held services and when the sound system is fired up and the music starts literally hundreds of the people from the community come. At the end of the services families and children are given bags of food which contain several pounds of beans, rice and sugar, enough to feed a family for a week. On Friday, we gave out clothing to both needy adults and children and several teams went to the dump (where children scavenge for food, etc.) and ministered to them. On Saturday morning we fed these children (about 300-400), both breakfast and lunch, at a park about a block from the dump and then the gospel story was shared with them.
On Friday and Saturday nights we held crusades at this same park (estimates were that around 1,000 people gathered on each night) and hundreds of people responded each night to the message that Jesus is the answer to their needs. Following each service food was given out to families and the team members prayed for them as they passed through the line to receive the food. I laid hands on every Mom and child that I was within reach of when they passed through the lines, praying Jesus to bless and touch them. It was estimated that we fed approximately 1,000 families, over 20,000 lbs of food during the week.
Probably the hi-light of the trip for me, was on Wednesday when we went to a tourist town of Antigua. We visited a children’s hospital there, that cares for disabled kids of varying degrees of both mental and physical problems. As we entered and started helping the children (they encourage you to talk to them, touch them and hold them if they are small), as I walked by one very small girl she made eye contact with me and kept watching me as I approached her. So I got down beside her (she is totally disabled cannot move or talk and physically she is mostly in the fetal position). I began to talk to her and I then put my hand on her shoulder and she got a big smile on her face. As I continued to pray I moved my hand to her forehead and chest and she let out an audible sound kinda like a groan of happiness. I held her, sang Jesus loves me to her (she really smiled big when I sang that to her) and fed her for another 90 minutes or so until we had to leave. I asked her name and they were not sure what it was…but I am convinced I will see this little girl with no name when we both get to heaven.
Oh…by the way, a few of us that chose to do so climbed an active volcano the next morning (Thursday)…I made it to the top…it was fun (and challenging).
Here are some pictures of the trip:
Saturday Night Crusade
Service After the Fire
Children Playing in Nasty Water
Community Outreach Service
Youth Drama on the Streets
Holding Little Girl
25 ft From Hot Lava
Feeding the Children