By Priscilla Lee
This year, I had the opportunity to go on my first international mission trip to Guatemala. For me, it was a life-changing experience. This trip was through the Amped Ministry and a part of Skycroft Conference Center. It was tough to make a summary, because I experienced so much, and I could write many pages about the trip.
First, I really enjoyed what our team did on the mission trip. I remember on the first day of the mission trip that we delivered food boxes to families who were really in need. The houses were one room made of trash and other materials that would hold. I became really guilty for complaining that I have a small bedroom, because my small bedroom is a house for some families. During the week on normal mission days, our schedule was very different. In the mornings we would install stoves for families who really needed them. Many families have lung problems because of open fires, but the new stoves can really help them because they had ventilation system. But the stove was not the most important gift that we gave.
After we were done building the stove, our teams were able to share Jesus with the families. Many Guatemalans were saved because of this ministry. It was amazing building the stoves, but most importantly, we were able to share God’s Word and Jesus with others. Our team (split into two teams to do efficient work) was able to put in 17 stoves and the ministry was able to raise enough money for around 25 stoves.
Right after building stoves, our team would have lunch and then host a Vacation Bible School (VBS). We had the VBS at a San Miguel church for kids who were enrolled in the feeding program. It was a wonderful ministry. Our team would teach the kids a Bible lesson (the parable of the seeds), make a craft, play some fun sports, and sing many praise songs with the kids during the VBS.
After VBS was over, we were able to play with the kids and really bond with some of the special buddies. I think every member of the team was able to truly bond with some kids, and they made an impact into our lives. My mom and I decided to sponsor five kids that we really bonded with over the week. These kids may have not known how much they impacted me, but I felt true love, felt how blessed I was, and built a relationship. I genuinely loved what we did on this Guatemala mission trip.
The team that went to Guatemala included 18 people: 10 students and eight adults. The people came from five different churches and didn’t really know each other that well initially. Once we arrived in Guatemala, we instantly bonded. Everyone got along with each other, and we didn’t have any fights or quarrels. I definitely made some new friends and developed many great relationships. I think at the end of the trip we all treated each other as family. Teamwork really accomplishes many things, and I definitely realized that on this trip where we depended on each other. The team I just loved and it would be awesome if the team grew in size if we go next year. I would love to meet up with the team members again.
I grew. I am four foot eight inches tall; I don’t think I grew much in height on this trip. But I absolutely grew spiritually. Before the Guatemala mission trip, I was struggling spiritually and hoping that God could just help me to draw closer to Him. Everything was about Jesus on the mission. In the morning, the whole team would wake up early and have our quiet time to start our day off with God. During the mission, we talked about Jesus and evangelized others, having Jesus in our minds throughout the day. Whether we were in the bus driving to the site (making the gospel through everything) or talking to a family where we installed a stove in; the focus was about Jesus. At night, there would always be a devotion that someone would lead to end our day off with God. I could feel the Holy Spirit work throughout us during the day. Everything was about Jesus during that week. I grew spiritually and really got very close with Jesus. The trip fixed my spiritual struggles, and it can really open your eyes (it surely opened mine). I learned gratitude, true love, and amazing faith. I understood the true meaning of worship in this third world country where the people’s faith is all they have.
In conclusion, I had one of the most amazing experiences in my life. I loved Guatemala and want to return back as soon as possible. I would like to thank Mr. Doug [DuBois] and Ms. Grace [Schofield] for providing this opportunity for me.
Priscilla Lee is an eighth grader at Trinity Lutheran School in Joppa, Md.