Community Can Change The World

Processing is a process.  I continue to process thoughts and feelings that have resulted from my recent trip to Guatemala.  My trip to Xenacoj, Guatemala has sparked many things to process that I don’t want to forget.  Documenting this processing process is a healthy exercise to help me hang on to the things I experienced and the things I learned by taking this journey.

Yesterday, I shared about the hope for the “younger” generation that I discovered as part of my adventure in Guatemala.

Today, I want to tell you about a truth that I re-learned during this trip.

There is power in community to make a difference in this world.

It was the Stretched Community that banded together to pay for a house.  (Thank you!)  Sure, one person could have stepped up to pay the entire $8,000 price tag required to pay for the materials needed to build a house in Guatemala.  But it was multiple people who stepped up and sacrifice.  It is an incredible feeling to share this gift with a community.

It was a group of 25 teenagers and six adults who worked together to construct this house in 2 1/2 days.  Perhaps, one or two people could have built this house in a much longer span of time.  But together, we were able to change the lives of a family in just 2 1/2 days.  There was such a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment in completing this task together.

It was this same group of adults and teenagers that combined together to install nearly 40 new stoves in the homes throughout the town of Xenacoj.  This may not sound like a big deal, but these stoves which cost $125 are easily the most expensive material item in the homes of these Guatemalans.  These stoves which exhaust smoke through the roof of each home will make a huge difference in the health of those who live and cook in these homes.  Most of the townspeople cook their food over an open fire inside their “kitchens”.  The smoke plays havoc on the respiratory systems of the home owners.  These stoves can literally extend lives by years.  Our group worked in community to change these lives.

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget the truth that working in community can change lives.  We get caught up in the me first/me focused way of life.  We seek individual glory.  We get thought thinking that we’re better off working alone.

My trip to Guatemala that this is not true.  Working in community is way better than working in isolation.  And working in community can make a huge difference in the world!

How have you seen a difference made by working in community?