“¡Bienvendidos a Guatemala!” The large sign welcomed my group and I into the capital city just outside of the immigration desks. There were twenty-two in our group of adults and teens. We were in Guatemala City in order to partner with a church and a youth camp in order to reach some of the youth around the area. This trip had been planned for approximately six months, and it was finally happening!
Our second day in Guatemala was busy as we woke up early to visit the church in La Verbena. It was so interesting to drive through the streets and to see the differences in culture and life style. The buildings got smaller and more run down the farther we got from the capital. When we finally arrived at the church, stray dogs could be seen everywhere, as well as small children and adults walking around. Our group seemed to double the size of the church, but we all sat in the plastic chairs and worshipped the same great God.
Our third day was spent up at camp. The kids began to show up in buses around 10:30 that morning. Soon the soccer balls were out and the games began. The field was split, half for the girls and half for the boys. All of the kids spoke Spanish and many from our group did not. I have only taken two and a half years myself, so instead we communicated through soccer. The first game we played was the Guatemalan girls against the “gringas” (white people). It was so fun to be able to run around and play with the kids. It helped make them more comfortable around the camp and us.
The next three days were spent at camp with the kids. We played games, we sang, we learned, we made crafts. God used this trip to stretch me far beyond what I thought was possible. I couldn’t speak the language very well and was having a hard time communicating to the girls in my cabin. However, the LORD taught me that I am only one person; I do not have the capability to do everything on my own or with my own strength. I learned the power of the Holy Spirit and how it can work despite my shortcomings. Those four days spent at camp with those kids was a learning experience; I may never know how I impacted their lives, but they have certainly had an impact on mine.
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