I am excited to share with you that I have been given the opportunity to fulfill one of my dreams by traveling with a group of women from the college to Guatemala, to work at Fundaninos Orphanage, just outside of Guatemala City. Each year during Spring Break, Hope College organizes several mission trips both in the US and abroad, this year I took a leap of faith and decided to sign up. As many of you know In 2005 I traveled to Pasig City, Philippines with a group from my church. I wrote in my journal about the trip:
I remember the stillness the most, the immense peace in the midst of the endless noise, the plane ride- long and lonely, the people always smiling, their large dark eyes seeming to see right through you. For two incredible weeks I was a World Traveler, Teacher, Dancer, Singer, Worshiper, Prayer Warrior, Daughter, Cousin, Friend, Skeptic, Photographer, Public Speaker, Exhorter, Listener, Peace Keeper, Celebrity, Scholar, Missionary.
There is nothing quite like jumping on a plane, flying around the world, working knee deep in sewage and turpentine, breathing in dense, diesel fumes, holding tiny malnourished infants, eating fish eyes and yes, even balut (eggs with chick embryos inside), singing to the Lord in a language not your own, and being surrounded by people who thank you endlessly. It is so hard to describe in words how amazing those two weeks were for my soul. Webster’s doesn’t have the right words to encapsulate the emotion, the complete paradox of it all, the vast beauty amidst the squalor, skyscrapers surrounded by squatter shacks, six story malls surrounded by children selling flowers for food, palm trees and tropical paradise engulfed with grime .That was the Philippines, those were the people who have touched my life forever, changed who I am and who I will become. I am different now; one cannot possibly stay the same after an experience of that magnitude. In fact I sincerely believe that my mission trip to the Philippines was a rescue mission for my soul.
I am looking forward to experiencing this life changing trip to Guatemala. The Fundaninos website states that this nonprofit institution’s main concern is to maintain the assistance programs for care and protection of Guatemalan children in need of help. Many of these children are fleeing abusive and neglectful homes and are placed temporarily at Fundaninos until their birth families are able to stabilize and provide the children with safe and stable homes. Others will spend the rest of their childhood at the orphanage. As a Psychology major with interest in child and family services this trip will be a great learning experience for me as well as a blessing to the institution. We will be traveling to Guatemala March 19-27, 2010.I am asking that you would all join me in prayer during this time of preparation for the trip and while we do the Lord’s work in Guatemala. As with the Philippines trip, I am looking forward to being a witness to the power of prayer during these next few months and in the aftermath of the trip. I am asking that you would pray for us as a group to become a strong team in order to do the most good while in Guatemala, as well as for our preparations with our weekly meetings and fundraising. I was blessed to receive a stipend for the trip in the amount of $600, but still need to raise $900 dollars for the trip for a grand total of $1500. Also, if you feel led, any financial support would be appreciated