Throughout the Bible, we are called to serve others with a spirit-filled heart, both locally and globally. All of us on the Missions Team want start with a big Thank You to everyone who made our 2018 projects possible. This past year, our outreach consisted of helping our two- legged and four-legged friends within our […]
Guatemala Project 2015
As many know, I was blessed to get the opportunity to travel to Guatemala on a mission trip with Guatemala Mission Project – guatemalaproject.org . I am very thankful for all of the support and prayers that you all have provided me with on this journey! It was one of the most beautiful experiences that I have ever been through. The culture, the people, and the richness that was found, in ways other than money, made this mission trip quite different.
We traveled to a few different areas in Guatemala and were able to see how they lived and how their culture showed through. Most lived extremely humbly. While we were installing the stoves it would be in a small adobe brick room with dirt floors and natural light that was coming from the door. We would see all of the corn hanging from the ceiling or stacked up from just being harvested. The culture was humble, but beautiful, and they were making the best out of whatever the situation they were placed in. We also visited and supplied clinics that were overflowing with need and schools with wonderful children loving the opportunity to learn and loving, even more, the new school supplies.
Saying that Guatemalans are hard workers is a huge understatement. On the streets of wherever you were in Guatemala you will see men, and even young boys, hauling loads of wood or boxes that could easily snap their backs. They walk up mountains to support their families and their work is very demanding. Women and children were eager to learn and to even help when it came to installing the stoves. They craved a new thing that came with more independence, like the stoves. The stoves heat up quite fast, use less wood, and the people are no longer being affected by the danger of the smoke.
Richness in life isn’t measured by money, being in Guatemala that is very apparent. These people have gone through more than most of us have dealt with but they do it with such grace and humility. They have smiles on their faces and take care of each other. They were grateful for a stove that took less than an hour to install, but in that time it was one less thing for them to worry about in their families. The richness in the Guatemalan people is an eye opening experience for everyone. I would highly encourage anyone that is able to go on the next trip, or support this wonderful ministry. Please also visit our Facebook page for photos from our trip and further information- www.facebook.com/guatemalamissionprojectIAI
Happy New Year! This is my inaugural blog for our Murrieta Missions Team. My goal is to keep our congregation and all interested viewers up to date on what is going on in the Mission Field; here in the Murrieta Community as well as our greater Methodist connection and the missionaries we support. My hope is that you will find ways you can serve others.
I would like to share a story I never get tired of hearing, from Tom Pilkington, one of our members and a man with a huge heart for serving. Tom will be heading up our Great Day of Service again this year and you can find him driving volunteers out to Joshua Tree every quarter to feed the people there, teaching Bible Study each Friday at the Food Pantry and generally just about anywhere God’s work needs to be done. I asked Tom to recount the story of how he first became interested in mission work, here are his words.
“You also asked for a quote…I’ve told the story a lot….and it usually goes something like this:
I was a pew sitter when it came to missions until one day about 7 years ago I tentatively put my hand up to help with Hurricane Katrina relief…not to go to Mississippi mind you, but to drive part of the team to the airport and pick them up again. The day came for them to leave…I remember taking the pickup truck so I could carry their luggage along with five people squeezed into the truck. The five people carried on a great conversation about family, church, weather, and normal stuff…we waved goodbye at the airport and I drove home.
The surprise came when I went back to pick them up. While the people had the same names, and generally looked the same…they were different. The conversation in the car was about the people they had met, their stories, the compassion…yes, love that they felt for the people there. They talked a lot about God and how they felt God was with them, how they felt His presence, how God had protected the people. They were the same bodies, but it seemed as though different souls filled the bodies. The trip and their experiences had changed their lives. I told Jeanie…”I want some of that”. From that day to this, I have been convinced that Mission changes lives…we go to help the people at the mission destination but the strange and wonderful thing is that the people who go get helped even more. Since then I’ve been on several mission trips to Haiti, Hurricane Sandy relief, and many trips to Joshua Tree…and I now know firsthand how wonderful the feeling is. God has changed my life through mission…changed it profoundly for the good and I hope it lasts forever.”
Your friend in Christ,
God works in all of us. What is your story?