Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly that all we think and ask … to Him be the glory! What began as very narrow in scope, covered in fear and worry, God has grown into something only the Almighty could have designed. Through much prayer and meditation on the Scriptures, God has led us to serve and minister to His wonderful people in Oasis, Guatemala!
Everywhere we look, we can see the fingerprints of God; this is especially true in the case of these mission trips to Guatemala. We see God’s fingerprints covering His design for our ministry! The first place we clearly see His hand at work is in the way He directed us to serve in the village of Oasis. After first building a couple of houses in the larger city of La Fragua, we visited a small village on the outskirts of town. While driving through the larger cities to reach Oasis, there was certainly poverty everywhere, but there were still construction crews at work, various modes of public transportation, and even government assistance for the people. However, in Oasis that all changed. Instead of cinderblock housing, running water, and ownership of land, the people lived on an abandoned stretch of railroad track where houses where made of sticks, sheets of plastic, and maybe a piece or two of corrugated metal. The only reason that the old railroad tracks are still there is because the people use them to push large water buckets full of water from the well to their homes to be used for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. They don’t have all the comforts that we do, and in fact, they lack much that we would view as a necessity for living. Because of this great level of need in this little community, there are many opportunities to reach out in the love of Christ to these people!
The second place where we see the fingerprints of God is all over the relationships that have developed over the course of our travels to Guatemala. We have been richly blessed to get to know so many of the men, women, and children is Oasis and to see the joy that is inside them, in spite of all that they lack materially. While we go down to help them, we are the ones that come away changed. The people of Oasis desire to give generously to us even when they have so little for themselves, and it is humbling. For example, they have cooked meals for us to thank us for all that we were doing in their community—what a precious gift! Although we may have to deal with a language and a cultural barrier, God is bigger than those challenges, and He is truly at work as He forms us all into His one body here on earth, together with those in the nation of Guatemala.
As we spend time in Oasis, our goal is to help improve the quality of life for all of the people there. Instead of building a home for one individual family, as we did originally in La Fragua, our work projects are focused on the entire community. We have helped to repair one of the wells by laying concrete around it and building a metal roof over it. We also helped to repair a bread oven, in hopes that the community could make bread to eat and also to sell, so that the people would be able to purchase other necessities. We’ve also purchased backpacks and school supplies for the local schoolchildren. It was so much fun to see the excitement on the boys’ and girls’ faces as they received their very own backpacks!
On this upcoming trip, our goal is to continue helping the community by deepening a second well and running water to the school for bathrooms and drinking water. We are also planning to pour concrete slabs in the homes of several families. Instead of having to lie on a dirt floor every night, or having to cook meals over the dirt, these families will now have a solid floor that will get them out of the dirt and the mud! It is our goal to continue pouring these concrete slabs until every house in Oasis has one.
Although we do stay busy serving the people of Oasis through construction and work projects, these mission trips are about so much more! In fact, the very most important thing that we do all week is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ! One of the main ways that we go about doing this is by leading Vacation Bible School. There, the children and adults that attend learn about the great love of Jesus, make crafts, and enjoy snacks. It is amazing to watch each child and adult grow closer to their Lord and Savior over the course of VBS! What a blessing to be a part of this work that God has prepared in advance for us to do!
We would love for you to get involved in this mission project! First and foremost, please include us in your prayers. Second, we always appreciate any financial support that you are able to give. And who knows? You just might be traveling with us to Guatemala in the future!