21 Nov He Keeps Coming Back for More
By Pablo Villagran-
(First of three parts)
A mission trip to Guatemala can be a life-changing experience. Just ask George Park, a member of a church in Centreville, Virginia. He was so touched by his first visit to Dorie’s Promise in November of 2011 that he returned three times in the next nine months.
After three solo visits, in mid-August he brought along his pastor, Bobby Suh, and Jeff Hart, a friend from Koinos Young Saeng Presbyterian. They made a “vision trip” to see how their congregation can offer long-term service to the people of Guatemala
“These trips have allowed us to learn and bring an awareness to our congregation of the spiritual poverty in our lives and the brokenness around the world,” George says.
“Many of us get so caught up with pursuing the ‘American Dream’ that we forget God’s heart is for the world. We live our lives as if we don’t need a Savior. That’s a dangerous thing.”
The northern Virginia native has participated in numerous activities during his trips here. Among them have been playing—and praying—with our children, singing worship songs with them, and helping the staff wash dishes, fold laundry and feed infants.
In addition, George has gone into the community to help pour cement floors for a family living in the ghetto, as well as delivering sinks, clothing and food baskets to poor neighborhoods.
He also helped provide relief to a child in the ghetto who had cut his leg, bringing the boy to see our staff physician, Dr. Francisco Castro.
During the time he has served and loved the people of Guatemala, George says God used the children at Dorie’s Promise to heal and transform his heart.
“It was such a blessing to spend time at the orphanage,” he says of the team’s mid-August visit. “We know that God used us as His hands and feet to help the children forget for a moment that they were abandoned and abused. It was our joy to love them through Christ and tell the children that Jesus loves them.”
In addition to helping the children on his four visits, George has maintained contact through e-mail and Facebook and receives regular updates from our staff. This activity helps promote his vision that the children and people of Guatemala come to know Jesus as their Savior.
As followers of Christ, God commanded us to visit widows and orphans in their affliction (James 1:27), says George, adding that his stories and photos don’t fully convey what he experienced.
“That is why I highly recommend and encourage my friends and family to take a trip to Dorie’s Promise through Forever Changed International and see it for themselves,” George says. “The children and staff are amazing. You can sense God’s love the moment you step foot into the orphanage.”
Next week we will look at how a trip here by a family from suburban Chicago made a permanent impact on their lives. In the meantime, if George Park’s words have inspired you, click here to learn how more about a mission trip to Guatemala.