Received the following update through email today from Scott, but it was supposed to arrive last night to be posted with these pictures so here is the updated post. Hopefully we’ll figure something out and this will get a little smoother….
It’s really 9:30 our time though and we’re pooped. We met at the airport 17.5 hours ago.
Our ride to Oratorio got pretty quiet when we left Guatemala City. It is a shock to see living conditions, people along the roadside and the reality of poverty. Hopefully I will find a strong enough signal to post some photos tomorrow.
AMG has quite a week lined up for us. Tomorrow it starts with joining a church family nearby for worship.
Thankful for a safe trip
I first fell in love with the people of Guatemala, especially the children, on my first trip down there in 2003.
As I look forward to going back, thoughts and emotions fill my heart as I know I will be seeing friends and fellow believers again. I am excited to go back!! I would not miss this trip for anything. Also being the leader for this group of almost all newbies, makes me concerned as to how all these first timers will process all what they see and do while down in Guatemala. I remember the debriefing meeting we had in Guatemala after my first trip down there. I was heartbroken for all the children who we were leaving behind and what was going to happen to them, but then I remembered the words of our Lord who said, “ He will never leave them nor forsake them.” The idea that a lot of these children were attending AMG schools where they were not only getting fed physically, but also spiritually made the trip home a little better. I thank the Lord for the opportunity to once again be His servant down in Guatemala.
By Dana Kelly
When it was first announced that FBC-Westbrook was going to send a team to Guatemala I thought of every reason why(I felt) I couldn’t go, but my husband, Bill asked me if I would go with him and I reluctantly agreed.
God is so much bigger than the box we often put Him in. All the things that we fret over we need to remember that God is in control. I know now that it was God’s plan all along that I would be going on this trip…it just took me a little while to realize it.
We are going to Guatemala to encourage our missionaries, to do some service work, to love on some children and also to grow in our walk with Christ, which has already begun. I am looking forward to working alongside my team members growing together as we love God and love others in Guatemala and also when we return back home!
By Stacey Lamson
I have heard God’s call before and have ignored it.This time I answered without hesitation.
He knows why I am going and I am in His hands waiting for Him to show me the reason. My prayer is that I will serve Him, the missionaries, the people of Guatemala, and my team members well.
By Bill Lamson
Why am I going?
Honestly, I haven’t really thought much about what this trip has to do with me. Initially, I wanted people in our church family to go so they could grow like I’ve grown on the past trips I’ve led. When the team passed the 12 member limit, I was actually quite ready to bow out so that others could go. But then, AMG increased the limit.
I wanted to go but, continuing with the transparency here, I was scared about it too. Nothing about the trip itself scares me. Since 1979, I have been on missions and humanitarian trips to Europe and Mexico. I’ve helped rebuild homes in flood-ravaged New Orleans after the devastation of hurricane Katrina. I’ve taken teams to work in the inner city and teams to work with the poor of Appalachia. I’ve worked with Habitat efforts locally, served in soup kitchens, brought blankets to the homeless and served the poor here in Maine. I’ve traveled by foot, bicycle, car, bus, boat, train and plane. So, what scares me?
I’m scared of me.
In 2012 my oldest son saved my life by giving me half of his liver in a living donor transplant surgery at Lahey Hospital in Massachusetts. I spent most of 2011 and all of 2012 praying for God’s healing while leaning heavily on the expertise of our American medical services. When I go on this trip my God will go with me, but the sense of security I take from knowing that some of the top transplant docs in the world are close by will be gone.
What do you think was my first purchase after my plane ticket to Guatemala? What would you buy? I bought emergency medical insurance. Should something happen, I will be quickly flown back to the states by charter jet. I’ve never done that before.
I’m thrilled that my doctors have given me the okay to go, with caution. I am taking every precaution I can and even have a filled prescription of antibiotics going with me to begin at the first sign of a belly ache. I’m truly excited to go but, yes, I am also a bit scared that something will go wrong with my health.
If you are a praying person, I’d appreciate prayer that my sense of security would move to where it should be (God) instead of where it is right now (medical expertise.)
Why do I have a picture of a little girl up above? In a sense, she is why I want to go to Guatemala so badly. In 2009, just outside of Puebla, Mexico, this little girl looked for me every morning when she arrived at the school where we were building a classroom and a bathroom. She would climb up onto my lap, wrap her arms around my neck and pull my face to her face. She was deaf and could only see things clearly at about 2 inches away. She wanted to see my eyes. When she locked on, she would smile a beaming smile and let out a squeal and squeeze tighter. I couldn’t communicate with her but that didn’t matter. I don’t know why she picked me. She just loved being held, tickled and seeing me make faces and try to play with her. The local missionaries told me that she hadn’t done that with anyone else.
I don’t know if she remembers me but I think of her and pray for her regularly. She knew I was part of the Jesus crowd at this mission that was teaching her to communicate. I believe she knew that my hugs and love for her were from God. What she can’t possibly know is that her little hands on my cheeks, pulling me close, locking eyes and bursting out with joy, was Jesus himself showing me his love for me.
The school where we will work in Oratorio serves 350 children. Because of my little friend in Mexico, I’m going searching for a certain child. I will be looking for the one usually left out or off by himself. I want to let him know that, no matter what else is happening in his little life, our God loves him like crazy and there are people who love him too. Maybe he will need a program sponsor to continue with AMG. My prayer is that God brings us together.
By Scott Linscott
My reasons for going on the Guatemala missions trip are many. I want to help the less fortunate of course, but also to be humbled and return home with a better appreciation for the privileged life I have in the USA. I also hope that my interactions with local Guatemalan people will reflect Christian values. Last but not least I hope to build a stronger bond with my fellow team members.
It’s three days until departure and I somewhat reserved compared to others but I’m sure I will have more emotions when we start the trip.
At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to go on another mission trip, I’ve been on a few and they have made a positive impact on me, but this time I just didn’t have the enthusiasm like in the past. So I decided to pray and go through the process to see if the Lord would have me go.
Going through the process of getting ready for the trip has increased my enthusiasm for what we’re about to do. Right now my biggest worry is the fact that spiritually I’m not where I would hope to be. Knowing that I don’t have to do this on my own strength makes me realize that the Lord will work in me as He wants, to get me where I should be spiritually. I know this trip has to be all about Him so I’m looking forward to seeing what the Lord is about to do to glorify himself by working through the team, through me and through the people of Guatemala.
By Robin Linscott