Building Relationships

Date posted: Tuesday 04 April 2017

Our Mount Olivet mission group traveled to Guatemala February 3 - 13, 2017 visiting Iglesia Luterana Augustina de Guatemala (ILAG) and the villages of Nuevo Porvenir and Playito Cerro Alto. I found this trip to be educational, inspirational and life changing!
 
It's hard to articulate this trip however, I have a new understanding of what it truly means to build relationships.  We were building relationships within our mission group and with our brothers and sisters in the remote villages of Guatemala. We cooked together, played games, created crafts, visited family homes sharing our thoughts and feelings. We learned about "need" not want.
 
Attending church was awesome! I didn't expect their love for music. The instruments and speakers were powered by a generator. The speakers were huge, the music was loud & everyone sang. I loved the decorations especially the bright flowers in plastic Pepsi and 7-Up bottles. We had the opportunity to share 6 First Communions in one village then 1 Baptism, 2 First Communions & 2 Weddings in the second village. Pastor Drew and Roberto Ready proudly became Godparents to two children in Playito.
 
I learned so much about how the church helps to improve the lives and health of people, in a sustainable way. I learned about the challenges villagers face, the goals of promoting education and empowerment to young women. I have a new respect for what a donation does by seeing it in action in these villages. Some examples include:
 
  • The purchase of corn seed to help provide food after bad crops.
  • New stoves for each family so women and children don't breathe in black smoke from open flames, which is a major health issue.
  • Water filtration systems to provide clean drinking water.
  • Support for the Women's Center where young women in villages can get an education to expand their future as mothers, wives and community leaders.
 
A stove before and after in a home in Neuvo Porvenir
 
Our mission team members are all amazing people. I was so impressed with their history of service and passion for this mission. I'm looking forward to next year.
 
Stacy Grega
Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, Minneapolis
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