08 Aug You are not forgotten
By John Keefe-
From the time Bekah Jabin mentioned going to Guatemala I thought it would be something that I would really enjoy. I had always thought about taking a mission trip but never took the initiative. I was nervous when we first arrived because I didn’t know what to expect.
As soon as I saw Joel holding the Forever Changed sign I immediately got excited. Joel was very easy to get along with and he welcomed us with open arms. As our group arrived I realized that it was going to be a great week.
The first night was relaxing and we went to bed early so that we were prepared for the week. Going to the ghetto was an amazing experience. The way that the families within the ghetto help each other out is truly inspiring. They do not have a lot, but what they do have they cherish it. The kids in the ghetto showed us around and challenged us to a game of soccer. Even though they were much younger than we were, they beat us handedly.
Lester and Gerson were my Forever Friends and they were very open to me from the time I saw them. They immediately hugged me when I called their names out. I couldn’t understand everything that they were saying to me but it did not affect the time we spent together.
Getting to spend time with all of the kids after the park was one of the biggest highlights of the trip. It was the first time that we all were together and I started to get to know the kids on a more personal level.
The national orphanage was an eye opening experience for me. To think that there are more than eight hundred kids living there and they are unsure of their future was very sad to see. Playing soccer and painting with the special needs children was very fun. They were very good at soccer and their faces lit up when we told them we wanted to play.
On Tuesday we spent the morning painting the walls outside and doing yard work. It was neat to see how just spending a couple of hours made the backyard look very nice.
The most eye opening experience was going to the dump. The people who live around the dump spend every day digging through the garbage in order to make a living. The family that we had lunch with was very kind. They were very happy to have us there and it was very nice to be able to spend time with them. It is incredibly how happy they are even though they have so little.
Going into the trip I thought that one week would be plenty. Now that the week has come to an end I wish I could stay for many more weeks. It has been an experience that has changed my life. I will never forget the experiences that I had in Guatemala and the children that I shared the week with.