Written by Pastor Jim
There are many ways to describe Guatemala. The travel guides say it this way.
“Guatemala, a Central American country south of Mexico, is home to volcanoes, rainforests and ancient Mayan sites. The capital, Guatemala City, features the stately National Palace of Culture and the National Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. Antigua, west of the capital, contains preserved Spanish colonial buildings. Lake Atitlán, formed in a massive volcanic crater, is surrounded by coffee fields and villages.
That is all accurate and actually there is so much more in its rich heritage and culture. But there are other ways to describe it as well. It is still an emerging nation that is still dealing with old ways of doing things, trying to help a relatively poor population get ahead, struggling with illiteracy in some areas and knowing how to help many people who live by subsistence farming.
That is much more the Guatemala we serve in when we go there on our medical missions trips. We hold clinics in places where many people are poor, who live in houses that are far below the standard we are used to here in the United States and make a living by working hard in the fields or little shops for enough money to buy food for the day. They are very gracious people and are very grateful for the help they receive. They are extremely patient as they wait their turn to see the doctor or respiratory therapist or pharmacist. And when they are done, after expressing many, many thanks they go back to their small houses to continue on with their lives.
However, for some them, there is a huge difference.
While they were waiting for their turn at the clinic someone from Word of Life took time to share the good news of salvation found in Christ Jesus. The truth of the Gospel is presented to them, that they can have eternal life with God and a relationship with Him right now because of Jesus’ sacrifice for them on the cross. That salvation is a free gift; it cannot be earned and is available to all who receive Jesus as Savior and Lord. The gift of food we give is good and they appreciate it. The free medical care is greatly appreciated and valued. But the free gift of salvation has eternal implications and this year 147 people accepted Christ as their Savior.
Please pray for these dear people as they grow in their new found faith that they will learn to trust the Lord with every part of their life, that they will learn to live in dependence on Him and that they will be able to share that new life with their friends and family.
Below you can see more about the Medical Missions Trip from this year in the video.