Saturday, August 10, 2013

Snapshot Love—Guatemala

On Saturday's several of us join together and share our week through photos. My friend Shannon is guilty of getting me started with this weekly post! (Thank you, Shannon.) Capturing the moments of my week has quickly become a joy. I've discovered my weeks are filled with many small and ordinary moments but they are moments I hold close to my heart.

Then comes a week were it was anything but small and ordinary. Others told me this mission trip would change me. I'm still trying to put words to how much it changed me.

God set a fire down in my soul.

"No Place I'd rather be
No Place I'd rather be
No place I'd rather be
Here in your Love,
Here in your love.

Set a Fire Down in my Soul
That I can't contain that I can't control
I want more of you God
I want more of you God."

Set a Fire, by United Pursuit Band


Note: The comments in italics are taken directly from my journal.

Friday, July 26th

 We met at Living Hope Church at 4:30 a.m. ready to begin our adventure.

A total of 28 people traveled for this Mission trip (two came from California).

Off we go...

We arrive in Guatemala (after a layover in Houston).

Off they went with our bags.

Our bags left long before we did. 
We waited and waited at the airport for our vans to arrive. 
Guatemala moves at a much slower pace.

"Making our way through Guatemala City and San Lucas overwhelmed me. How can one not be brought to tears? I was brought to tears. When we finally arrived at the mission house all I wanted was to hear my husband's voice. Eleven days without electronic devices would be harder than I thought."

Our home away from home.

Saturday, July 27th 
(Our first full day in Guatemala)

First stop was a Rehab Center (New Life and Peace Ministries) in Parramos.

"I sat alone in the 2nd row of the van as we made our way to the Rehab Center and silently cried praying for God to give me the strength to step out of my comfort zone. How could I speak to and impact these men?"

We began our time with a church service.

"Mike delivered a testimony that spoke to everyone in the room.
Juan translated and the two became one."

I hugged just about every one of these men. Please pray for the continued journey of recovery.

A beautiful morning was spent together.

Our next stop was Rehobath Children's Home.

"As soon as we all unloaded from our vans the children were running to us for hugs.
They didn't wait for us to come to them; they came to us."

We provided a delicious spaghetti lunch.

"Our hearts are being changed. This place God, it has won my heart.
I will leave with a piece of my heart left behind."

Sunday, July 28th

I have no pictures from this day. 

We attended a three hour church service in the morning. Oh my!
It blew me away though.

"Here are people who have so little but their faith in God is so strong. Their faith is stronger than ours it seems. They rely on God to provide; we have plenty and don't turn to God to meet our basic needs. I'm almost jealous of their faith and dependence on Him."

The afternoon was spent preparing for the following day.

Monday, July 29th

A birthday party at La Puerta

This beautiful lady, Sonya, touched us all with her many stories. Her faith in God moved us to tears.

 The children of La Puerta

It's the stories behind these photos that bring you to tears.
But then you see how God's love gives them hope for a better future.

"How do you describe such a day? You wouldn't know from looking at them the pain they have already endured and still endure outside the gate of the school. Watching them bow their heads in prayer was simply beautiful!
These children with such a heart for God...I want the same heart for God."

A few of my favorites from our time at La Puerta

The children of La Puerta won our hearts COMPLETELY!

After the birthday party was over we spent the afternoon helping out Sonya around the daycare.
We cleaned bathrooms, walls, toys and much more. Work also began outside to repair a leaking roof.
I must say we are quite the team.

"God's presence was surely felt at La Puerta."

Tuesday, July 30th

A visit to Getsemani school
And my birthday!

My request had been to spend the entire day with the younger children but God had other plans for me.

"What I feared most ended up being what I enjoyed most."

I was surprisingly blessed by my time spent with the high school students.
The best part was when a class of students sang happy birthday to me in English.
I was ALL smiles!

I have no pictures from the time with the high school students so I stole this from one of my team members.

A beautiful evening in Antigua

Thank you God, for these ladies. It was a blessing to be with them.

Dinner at The Fork in the Hill.

I was one blessed birthday girl with a rather red nose. hehe

"It was a birthday that will never be forgotten."

Wednesday, July 31

Our day was spent preparing for a Women's Retreat on Saturday.
This was also our first opportunity to walk around the town of San Lucas.
(The mission home was in San Lucas.)
We enjoyed an afternoon of freedom!

"It was nice to see the town of San Lucas from a different perspective and not only from driving through it. The poverty didn't impact me as it had the first few days. I now saw the uniqueness of this town. No matter what their conditions the people here appeared to be happy."

Thursday, August 1

We departed for Panimache (a village on a mountain) early in the morning.

A scenic stop on our way up the mountain.
God bless our drivers who got us up and down this mountain safely!


"I was in no way prepared for what I would see and experience here."

 The children of Panimache

"I had to wipe the smell of their unclean bodies from my mind as I couldn't let it keep me from loving them."

Our time at Panimache was spent doing Vacation Bible School activities with the children.
We played with them, helped them make salvation bracelets, sang songs together and simply loved them.

 "Will I remember all the tears shed for these children?
Will I remember how God touched my heart over and over again?
Why God? Why do children need to live like this?
At the same time I know You are there with them and I know we were blessing them with Your love as we touched them. They are all precious in Your sight."

Friday, August 2

The day was spent with One Hope Ministries (John and Judy Prim).

Breaking the cycle of poverty by equipping girls with 
a good education and a well-founded hope in Christ.  

 We began with a prayer walk around potential new property for this ministry.

Then it was time to meet the girls.

In addition to spending time with the girls we did some work around the house.

Our evening ended with pizza and time of worship.
I truly loved those five girls.

"What beautiful, beautiful girls. When you spend time with them the look in their eyes reflects love not heartache. They show gratitude not regrets."

Saturday, August 3rd

Women's Retreat at Mission House

I lack pictures from this day but time was spent with these ladies in God's word, prayer and worship. They were separated in to four groups. Each group had the opportunity to make something special to take home with them, have their toenails painted, address health concerns and grab a bite to eat.

Several dedicated their life to Christ on this day and some renewed their commitment.
Is there anything more beautiful?

Sunday, August 4th

Our last full day in Guatemala was spent in Antigua.

First we went to church with John and Judy Prim and their lovely girls.
Then we had a wonderful breakfast together before SHOPPING!

Shopping in Antigua is rather exhausting. "Special price for you."
I regretfully have no pictures from the Antigua market area so these will have to do.

Monday, August 5th

Time to go home

I miss this fabulous group already.
We were surely the body of Christ during our eleven days in Guatemala.

There is much more I could share with you from this trip (I completely skipped over our devotional time spent together every evening...a separate post eventually.) but friends I'm truly struggling with believing any words I leave you with come close to describing the full impact this trip had on me. To say it changed me is an understatement. Instead of being filled with words I'm filled with tears. They keep on flowing.

I have tears for what has been left behind...a place I so desperately want to return to.
I have tears for what lies ahead...months without my husband as he prepares to deploy.
I have tears for more and more of God.
He has overwhelmed me with His grace.

 I have lots and lots of tears but...
"It is well with my soul."


  1. I'm blinking back tears, looking at your photos and knowing from my own experiences how profound an impact this week has had on your heart and your life. And WOW what an amazing birthday!!!!! I'm praying for you, friend, as you get back to the swing of home and as your prepare for your sweetie to deploy. It's a lot. Thank you for sharing those photos and moments. I know God isn't done with your Guatemala story...

    1. Thank you, Shannon. I appreciate your prayers and your understanding of the emotions I'm feeling right now. I'm grateful for our friendship. Much love to you. Beth

  2. Hi Beth!! What an amazing journey you took (physically and spiritually)!!! I was so touched and moved by your experiences and photos, those children are just so beautiful and precious!!! It's so awesome how the Lord is working there!! I can't imagine what you experienced emotionally...thank you so much for sharing your stories!! Praying for you as you and your husband prepare for his deployment, may the Lord be with you both!! Have a blessed weekend my friend!! {hugs!!}

    1. Thank you, Amanda. It was an amazing journey. I'm thankful I can share it with others through photos and hopefully soon with more stories. Thank you for your prayers too. As the day draws near they feel needed.
      Have a blessed Sunday and a wonderful week!
      Much love,

  3. Oh Beth, thank you for sharing these amazing pictures. I hope and pray that God will allow me to touch foreign soil soon. May the seeds that God has planted in your heart continue to grow! Blessings!

    1. Thank you, Barbie. I pray you will have the opportunity soon too. I'm already anxious to return.
      Much love and (((hugs))),

  4. WOW what beautiful pictures and what an amazing journey! I'm sure it'll take quite some time for it to all sink in! A true blessing for everyone involved :) ..Happy Belated Birthday too! :)

    1. Thank you, Jessica. I spent time with a few people last night who were with me on the trip and it really helped to share our experiences with each other. There are still so many emotions but I'm so grateful for the opportunity.
      Love you,

  5. Beth,
    Belated Happy Birthday...I think you got the best present you will ever get for your birthday - your experiences in Guatemala! As you say, they have so little, yet their faith is so great. I know your heart aches to be back there. Thank you for sharing your wonderful pictures!
    With love and ((hugs)),

    1. Thank you, Bev. It was an amazing birthday and a week I will never forget. Guatemala surely won my heart!
      Much love and (((hugs))),

  6. Great photos. It looks like you had an amazing and memorable trip. What a blessing! Thank you for sharing all your photos with us.

    1. Thank you for visiting, Debi! It was truly a gift from God to be able to go on this trip.

  7. I think you are amazing. Such a living faith. I loved all the pics. Tears at your heart to see all those precious kids.

  8. I'm so glad you joined Life Through the Lens, and let me experience this with you. I'm honored really. A trip like this is such a blessing, a powerful life changing blessing.

  9. What a beautiful time you had! such a blessing I loved reading all the excerpts from your journal. Thank you for sharing such treasures.

  10. Be still my heart! Why wasn't I with you? Why aren't you going back with us? You have my heart girl because your heart beats for Guatemala. I think about the country all the time. I think about my child Jakeline that I sponsored through the Potter's House and how I can't wait to see her. I think about how she calls me her family now. Oh how my heart has to go back!!! Thank you for sharing your journey.


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Much love to you.