Beyond the Walls

Beyond the Walls

By Pablo Villagran-

I shared last week about the teen missionaries from Michigan who installed eight pilas in mid-June. Other teams have done similar work, including a group from Chicago that installed three of these water stations near the dump in March.

The industrious group included members of the Lutheran Church of the Atonement, St. Matthews Lutheran Church, Willow Creek Community Church, and St. Anne’s.

This was the first trip to Guatemala for all 16 team members, with everyone pitching in to help on all projects.

In addition to the pilas, the team helped clean up the backyard at Dorie’s Promise and painted the wall and a drain.

“When we were with the children we had a ton of fun,” says one member of the group. “We took the kids to the zoo and to the park. We gave them gifts and whenever we had free time we were with them in their houses, playing games and doing crafts with them.”

Paula H. found the ghetto to be a beautiful place, saying the people living there have so little, yet they have much. She felt a great sense of community and togetherness among the people.

“We were welcomed and treated with such kindness,” Paula says. “The families in the ghetto are so respectful to each other and truly care about one another.

“I saw mothers watching over children and children responding to the needs of a friend or neighbor. There was so much laughter and joy as the children and adults did their best to communicate and interact with us.”

Another team member, Thomas H., realized something visiting the ghetto that he was not used to at home: although the living conditions aren’t the best, the people were happy because they had love.

“I really enjoyed playing soccer with all the kids in the ghetto,” he says. “Playing with the kids at Dorie’s Promise brought new joy for me too. The kids could make me smile even if I was having a bad day. They were so funny and all of them were so happy.”

Paula says they definitely plan to come again, because they already miss the children and the experiences they had while in Guatemala.

“The children at Dorie’s Promise were such a joy!” she says. “It was fun to spend time with all of them. We want to see all of their faces again. We frequently visit the web site, which always brings smiles to their faces.”

Mission teams like this help us to spread our reach beyond the walls of our orphanage and bless the community. We appreciate each of the hundreds of volunteers who come into our midst each year to help make this possible.