In 8 days, 18 of us will be on the first leg of our trip to Guatemala where we will be working in a school with 350 children in the little village of Oratorio.
We’ll be doing some painting at the school, encouraging the staff and playing with kids as well as whatever else comes up. God has provided more than $30,000 to make this trip possible through friends, family, neighbors and businesses. Someone asked if it would not be better to just send the cash. It’s a fair question.
The answer is definitely yes! A gift of $30,000 to the people of Oratorio would be incredible. But …
First, it is HIGHLY doubtful we would have raised $30,000 just to send to Guatemala without the relational link. We are all more likely to support a friend bringing a gift than we are to give with no connection.
Second, apart from the plane tickets, everything else is going to Guatemala and supporting either the sponsoring ministry or the local economy. That is about $17,000 not including what our team spends on gifts, trinkets and extras. That is a significant supply to a local economy where the average annual income is about $4500. It will help fund the school, pay for our work project, support the staff at the lodging house and even provide additional money for food boxes or additional projects. So, yes, Delta is benefiting but the people we work with are benefiting more. We are not fans of “mission tourism” at all. Our focus is on encouraging the local workers and lifting their load.
Third, team members are carrying their own expenses. Vaccines, passports, travel gear, etc. And all have given directly to the team fundraising goal.
Lastly, the greatest value from these trips is the relational ties that comes home with team members. For example, after Scott’s trip to Mexico several years ago, a woman the team worked with desperately needed a surgery on her back but, of course, had no resources to pay for it. God provided a lot through the relational ties made with visiting mission teams who came to love Labrada and her children. People who go on these trips usually come home with a heart for others and, after experiencing poverty firsthand, are more generous with their resources.
You, as a person who supported us or is thinking of us and praying for us, are a part of this work. You share in it with us. We hope you will bookmark this blog and even subscribe so you will know whenever we post a picture or update.
Eight days! Some of us are getting nervous. Thirteen of the 18 of us have never done anything like this. We appreciate your prayer for calmed nerves. 🙂