11 Apr Setting a Record
Posted on April 11, 2012
By Alejandra Diaz-
As a sign of the growing interest in mission trips to Dorie’s Promise, in early March we hosted the largest team to ever visit. Grace Christian School of Bennington, Vermont sent 24 people to Dorie’s Promise—8 adults and 16 high school juniors and seniors.
The group renovated a house for a poor family in the ghetto, as well as distributing donations in the ghetto, the city dump and a state-run orphanage.
“We were really excited to receive such a large group,” says Missions Assistant Pablo Villagran. “We wanted to make them feel at home. It was a challenge because we did not have enough space, but we thank God for providing a solution.”
The family they helped included two children. Their father hadn’t worked for a month because he had been caring for his seriously-ill wife.
Pablo calls it a “blessing” to have such a large number of hands to work on various projects, noting that many team members pitched in without even being asked for help.
“Another advantage of having a large team was to see how God changed so many lives on just one trip,” Pablo says.
The younger children were excited to see so many visitors. Often, there aren’t enough missionaries for one-on-one time with the kids, but on a trip to the zoo one team member accompanied each child.
Still, there were obstacles. Renovating a small dwelling made it difficult for helpers to move from one side of the house to the other, Pablo says. Arranging transportation and getting everyone to the site on time presented logistical problems, too.
“Debriefing was also a challenge,” he recalls. “Sometimes it was quite long due to the number of people who had questions and comments.”
The volunteers gave high marks to their visit. Leader Jennifer Morse had served as a coordinator for two previous missions to other places. She ranked this one as the most organized, enjoyable, life-changing trips she has ever taken.
“I would advise other teams planning to come to bring plenty of items to donate to needy people,” Morse said. “I would also let them know that they need to be prepared to be changed forever— because this trip will change those who are willing to be open to God.”
Volunteer Emily Steadman says the greatest thing she experienced was love. Although she says the children come from bad situations and their lives aren’t picture perfect, Emily still saw numerous happy, beautiful faces.
“It didn’t matter that I was different, my friends and the children took me in like one of their own,” she says. “That’s something you don’t feel in the United States—complete acceptance and love. The people of Guatemala are filled with love, joy and contentment for what they have.”
If such comments are tugging at your heartstrings right now, contact us for more information on arranging a trip to Dorie’s Promise.