KIRK - It Gets in Your Heart
My first trip was when I was very stressed at work and hadn't had a vacation in a long time. The last day to sign up for the trip was announced at church on a day when I had decided to attend after a long absence. Something just grabbed me so I signed up.
I attended the training and began to understand the importance of clean water and how a water purification system can make a transformational change in the lives of the community. I continue to go on trips ever since then.
Believe me. It's not a vacation; we work hard. It's very rewarding and it gets in your heart. For me, the relationships with the people in the villages motivate me the most.
ISAAC - It's My Happy Place
I took my first ever mission trip outside of the US to Guatemala when I was 13 years old. I have countless joyful stories: painting the children’s hands for the banner reading “Clean Water for God's Children”, experiencing the joy of the people tasting the clean water for the first time, and a ton of “ crowd control” in form of spontaneous soccer games with no real objective other than to have fun.
Going down there makes me realize how truly privileged I am and gives me a newfound gratefulness for the life I have. I’ve been there four times and each and every time is renewing and refreshing. It is truly my happy place. I hope someday to do mission full time.
I encourage you to get involved in any way possible because it is life-changing. Even though we may not look the same, speak the same language, or live the same lives, the Guatemalan people share the same deep passion for our God that we do, and it is God's will for us to help in any way we can. If you would like to find out how to get involved in our mission, click here.
YVETTE - I was very moved
Serving on a mission trip was something I've always wanted to do. Playing with the kids is so much fun. For instance, I'll ask what their names are in Spanish. Then we laugh and clap when they say their names in English for the first time.
I love fashioning costumes with the donated fabric that we bring for the skits. One of the skits is Jesus and the Woman at the Well. They knew the story and had a good time performing it for their parents and the community on the water system dedication day.
One moment that I'll always remember was after that skit. Many children came to Pastor Loye, who played Jesus so believably, that they wanted him to lay his hands on them. He was very humbled and I was very moved.
FRED - Giving Back to God
When I heard guest preacher Amy Mendez mention that she was part of a mission to Guatemala to provide clean water in a country that didn't have the infrastructure to do it themselves because of severe poverty, something "touched" me. You've heard of the hand of God? That was my moment.
My wife Marsha and I asked her how we could get involved. We found ourselves immersed in giving something back to God for having blessed us with so much. Our gratification came when we saw the wonderful smiles of a community that had very little pure water to drink or cook with.
Something we take for granted is the gift of health to the community where we install the water systems. That was our first installation but not our last.
CORY - We're on the Same Mission
I joined GMP after seeing a slide show of their last trip. It grabbed my attention when I realized how many people got sick from bad water, how the adults could not go to work because they were sick, and how the kids couldn't get educated because they were sick. So I made the choice of joining the GMP and started going to monthly meetings.
A year later I'm leading a group to install a water filter system in Chisec, Guatemala! I never thought I would be in this position a year after just watching a slide show. That experience meeting new people in Chisec was magical. Even though I did not speak their language, we were still able to understand each other because we were on the same mission - getting clean water to the community.
After system was up and running, I felt so relieved. I was so happy I couldn't hold back the tears. This mission has taught me more about compassion and love. And I think learning this at a younger age will give me more knowledge for the rest of my life.
BARRY - It's Very Rewarding
When I was trained to install water systems in 2013, I was very happy to learn that the systems were very simple to use and easy to maintain. I was both very eager and apprehensive to do my first installation. A lot was riding on my shoulders and for our church too. Thankfully the installation went well and reaffirmed that the mission bug was still in me.
Since then, I have served on several mission trips to Guatemala and all were very rewarding. Especially when I see the smiles on the faces of the folks in the communities where we have done God’s work.
For me, this brings things full circle. I am helping to make lives healthier one bottle of water at a time and also helping families to gain new knowledge about healthier living. I am looking forward to many more years of continued mission work with God’s blessing.
BARBARA - Good comes from it
When I heard about the Guatemala Mission Partnership from my pastor, I was the first person from my church to say, "Sign me up!" I'm an active member of the Partnership. I give my two cents worth at the monthly meetings and fundraising team meetings to further our mission for the children and families in Guatemala.
It's better for me to donate my time and money rather than go on trips. I like the good that comes from the Partnership. We help people. Here in the United States we have so much; it doesn't hurt to to share. Providing clean water helps children and families to live healthier lives.
CATHY - Children Are Healthier
I love teaching the children about why they need clean water and about the four ways to use it. They have so much fun learning by coloring pictures, singing songs, and doing hands-on activities. And I do too! I also have trained the adults in the community to carry on the teaching after we leave.
Whenever I return, the children remember me and greet me with enthusiastic hugs and sing the clean water songs they learned.
Best of all, the trainers and mothers tell me how grateful they are for the water purification system. They smile and say that their children are healthier and don't miss as much school thanks to the clean water.