Guatemala ’17

I was so BLESSED to be able to go to Guatemala in February 2017! It was truly a bucket list trip for me! I have been wanting to go to Guatemala for a Baby Rescue trip with World Help – and Noel Yeatts, for quite a few years now… ever since I met Noel at a Leading and Loving It ReTreat.

Well, this last ReTreat I WON THE TRIP! I was so excited!!  I am so VERY THANKFUL for World Help and Leading and Loving It for this opportunity!

This trip was primarily to go see the Village that Leading and Loving It (LALI from not on =) ) is helping to transform – with World Help. It is such a GREAT ministry with an holistic approach to truly helping the people of Guatemala – by providing a well for water, a school, bathrooms and a church for the whole village.

Here is just a quick overview of my trip… we got to see so much in such a short amount of time!

I was so BLESSED to travel with Lisa Mitchison, Yvette Glenn, and Rubi Archila – all these beautiful ladies go to Crossroads with me =)

In Orlando we met some more of the team – Lisa Hughes, Denise, and Mardia – It was a great flight =)

It was a GREAT surprise to me when we landed  – the airport was really nice and had real toilets =) HAHA! No “squatty potties” as I imagined they would have!

Once all the team had arrived, we got on a bus, and another BLESSING, it was air-conditioned!  =)

It was a LONG ride to get to our destination! PLUS, we got a flat tire – and the guys changed it while we were ON the bus 😬 in the DARK!!

Our rooms were another BLESSING! They were air conditioned too!! WHEW!  All of us were ready to be in the heat and humidity! We were told to watch out for SCORPIONS 🦂 OH MY!!  I don’t think any of us slept GREAT that first night!! We kept all our bags zipped at all times! HAHA!

The next day we started by meeting the founder of Hope of Life, Carlos Vargas. God has done an amazing work in his life! Just ONE quote from him… “I was so poor that all I had was money.”  WOW! Jesus transformed his LIFE! Here he is with Noel…

We got to see all the things that World Help is doing as they partner with Hope of Life… An elderly home for the people displaced along with a home for special needs elderly. It was a BLESSING getting to interact with all the wonderful elderly residence!  Below is a photo of one of the residences with Donna – who leads trips with World Help.

We also got to play with the children that live and go to school there…

PLUS we were so blessed to get to meet many of the rescued children -to hold them and love on them!

This sweet little girl was recently placed here and was crying because she missed her Mom… When Yvette came into the room she kept wanting Yvette =). She stopped crying when Yvette picked her up… it was so SWEET!!

Then we headed to the “dump” – to feed the people there. I was just so heartbroken to call it a DUMP! It is where Hope of Life feeds all the people that are in need – it was a bit of a bus ride there…

ONE of the MANY blessings at the DUMP is that there are LESS people in need of being fed because the have found ways to earn money to feed their families!!  Another blessing… no one LIVES in the DUMP anymore!  Isn’t that GREAT!!??

This is Lupe… I fell in LOVE with her the moment I saw her! She lives in a nearby village and comes to help serve all the families that come in for food…  she is the SWEETEST!!!!!!

There are families that actually work in the dump… they salvage what they can and store them in the old “houses” that are in the dump…

I was so very BLESSED as we got to pray for one of the young men that works in the dump with his family.

Can I just say how VERY thankful that Yvette and Rubi came with us!? They BOTH speak fluent Spanish…  Yvette is from Nicaragua & Rubi is from Guatemala!! I speak NO Spanish!!  HAHA!!

After the dump we headed back to Hope of Life to love on the Mom’s and Dad’s of the rescued babies in the hospital  =) WOW! Denise and Mardia got to share their stories and the LOVE that Jesus has for them…

I got to print out photos for the families that wanted them and this SWEET gal helped me – she is completely deaf and the photos bonded us!

This was an AMAZING and FILLED day!

At the end of this day… I know I saw GOD all day long… in the people that serve the needy and broken… in the children that are so HAPPY to play and be loved on… and in our team as they LOVED on all the people that came in contact with… It was a truly BLESSED day!

 

The next day…  hearing more of Carlos’s story =)

We headed to the village that Leading and Loving It is helping to transform by providing a well, a school, and a church…  Jacaguay, Zacapa   

Beginning with providing a gift of food for them…

As we walked up to where all the village was waiting for us… they began to cheer! I wish I had video… it was quite emotional!

We were so BLESSED to get to dedicate the NEW well that LALI helped dig for them… they were SOOOOO excited to have CLEAN water!!

THIS is where they used to get their water =(

Then we got to pass out the food – which was such a BLESSING to see their beautiful SMILES!  And those that spoke Spanish got to hear their stories and truly minister to each of them =)

Rubi got to share her God story with the Mom’s and a few Dad’s – then we got to hear a little of their stories – and prayer requests… mostly for their families and health!! I was videoing all the requests and hearing their stories… WOW!  They truly LOVE their families sooooo MUCH!! Please PRAY for them too!!

Then we drove to the next village – that the children from Jacaquay get to go to school in… Here is the classroom =)

It was such an AMAZING trip… seeing GOD working in another part of the world makes the world a smaller place… I just LOVED seeing Jesus glorified in this sweet village! THANK YOU Leading and Loving It and World Help for this opportunity!!

 

PLUS I met a few NEW friends… Here is our whole team… Denise, Jessie, Cindy, Mardia, Lisa, Yvette, me, Rubi, Donna, Lisa and Noel =)

IF you want to see all my pix from our trip… they’re HERE!