In many ways, this trip to Guatemala was like other mission trips I have taken in the past: a combination of physical labor and loving on children who are less privileged than I am. On previous mission trips (all in Mexico), a common element has always been the realization that I have been blessed with so many things that I often take for granted: a loving family, good friends, a car, a house, etc., etc. Seeing people live in conditions that I have never witnessed here in the States, has always made me feel thankful for the material blessings that I have, while at the same time making me feel slightly guilty for enjoying these physical blessings when others have so few of them. In Guatemala, however, these ideas were turned upside-down just a little bit.On our last day at “Casa”, I was hanging out and talking with two little girls, neither over age 11. I am unaware of their individual backgrounds, but I assume that despite their young age, they have both suffered more than I have and experienced things that I wouldn’t even dream of. It was difficult, though, for me to imagine the suffering they might have endured, because they seemed so happy. I can’t quite remember how our conversation got here, but all of a sudden these two girls were both telling me the whole Gospel story. Susie explained that we were all sinners, but that Jesus came to die for our sins, bearing a crown of thorns. The other girl nodded in agreement and added that we would be “muertos”, meaning dead, were it not for Jesus. They seemed so excited to share with me this message, probably much more excited than I would have been at their young age. It was at this moment that I began to realize that these children are not nearly as deprived as I think they are. Sure, they lack many things, including families and homes, and in no way do I want to discount their suffering, but many of these children have the only thing that truly matters: Christ. All they really need is the simple, yet powerful, message of the Gospel. Through this experience, I learned that not only do I take for granted my material blessings, but that I also have the tendency to take for granted the power and sufficiency of Christ.
Written By Allison Covington