Guatemala Update – 47 Days To Go!

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In 47 days, our family will be flying to Guatemala for a week of serving orphans and widows in the village of Xenacoj.  Here’s an update on our upcoming trip:

  • We’ve raised enough money to build two houses and to do some extra things for the widows and orphans in the village.  There is a possibility that we will be able to get the widows started with a jewelry business.  This would be pretty cool, because Hannah used her jewelry making skills to raise funds for the past two trips.  It would also be exciting to help give the widows another skill to help them provide for themselves and their families.
  • We booked our plane tickets.  We will be flying out of Newark, NJ into Guatemala City.  This is the most expensive part of the trip, so it’s a blessing to have this step behind us.
  • We purchased travel insurance.  After having to cancel our trip to Kenya four years ago due to health issues, we learned about the importance of having travel insurance.  Travel insurance covers replacement of travel costs in the event of a trip cancellation for any reason.  It also provides some protection for loss of luggage, and it covers some medical expenses in the event of a health emergency during the trip.
  • Next, we will be finalizing payment for costs while we are on the ground in Guatemala.  This includes food, lodging, transportation, and translators.  It also covers the cost of the houses we will be building.  These houses cost $1,500 each which provides a significant upgrade in living conditions for the recipients.  One of my goals is to build 100 houses in Guatemala.  This will make it number three.  If we raise additional funds, we may use it towards more houses.
  • Isaac is getting close to earning his Eagle Rank in the Boy Scouts of America.  He needs to earn three merit badges and complete his Eagle project.  He has decided to incorporate Guatemala into his project.  He is finalizing the details now.  It’s exciting to see our children hungry to serve and help others.

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Going on a short-term missions trip is a big undertaking.  Some would argue that it’s not worth it.  Why would someone pay so much money to go overseas for one week when they could use the same money to serve more people close to home for a longer period of time?  I’ve heard the question before in regards to my past trips to Guatemala.  After making a return visit to Guatemala last year, I was able to see the impact of our first trip.  I’ve also seen how a short-term missions can change a community, and I’ve seen how it can change the short-term missionary.

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This week Relevant Magazine published an article about short-term missions trips.  I would encourage you to check out the article (Things No One Tells You About Going on Short-Term Mission Trips) and jump in on the conversation.

What do you think you’ll be doing in 47 days?  What questions do you have about short-term missions?