As our first step into hosting mission trips again, we welcomed four small postponed 2020 mission teams to Dorie’s Promise this summer. Engaging in missions during a pandemic is both helpful for those in need and problematic to implement. Although we faced numerous challenges, our summer teams brought much-needed energy and hope to our home and local community.
A Different Kind of Mission Trip
Everything was a little bit different this summer.
Team sizes were smaller. Safety protocols were in place. Karen, our Trip Leader, was teaching in our homeschool program instead of leading teams. Bertha, our Community Outreach Director, led the whole mission team experience.
According to Bertha, “[leading mission teams] was gratifying and at the same time challenging due to having to coordinate the logistics of the projects in the community and the activities with the children at Dorie’s Promise.” She did a fantastic job finding ways to safely help the village of San Nicolas and create fun experiences for our children.
At this point, many of our safety protocols are part of normal life. We are used to wearing masks, using hand sanitizer frequently, and washing up after returning from community work. Splitting time between small groups of children and limiting our interaction in the local communities was difficult and will never feel normal.
Serving in San Nicolas
Our teams wanted to help local communities while in Guatemala. We wanted to find the safest ways possible for them to serve. Bertha worked with leaders in San Nicolas to find helpful solutions.
Unlike normal trips where our teams partner with residents to complete projects, this year our teams completed projects on their own as a gift to the community. Think of it as Extreme Makeover San Nicolas. The teams worked and then had the pleasure of revealing their results. Four classrooms and the medical clinic received much-needed repairs.
Even though our interactions looked different, the families of San Nicolas knew how much they were loved. This summer’s teams traveled to the village, gave their time and talents for the good of the community, and brightened the lives of those they served.
What’s Next for Missions
We’re thankful for the success of our four summer test teams and the continued good health of those involved. After hosting these groups, we have greater insight into the challenges and opportunities connected to missions during a pandemic.
Some challenges were more difficult than we anticipated, but the excitement in our home was greater than we imagined. We are thankful for grace-filled participants and our hardworking team.
As we look towards the fall and beyond, we plan to continue evaluating how to safely continue the reopening process. We will continue to monitor local restrictions, case rates in our area, and vaccine availability. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.