TESTIMONIES FROM SHORT-TERM TEAMS TO GUATEMALA

Anne Marie Winz
Pinecastle UM Church, Orlando Florida

Earlier this summer, 17 children and 18 adults came to Guatemala City from Pine Castle United Methodist Church in Orlando, Fl. They visited children at churches, schools and feeding centers. Even though none of them spoke Spanish, they warmed up to the Guatemalan children by playing games with them. They jumped rope, painted faces, made friendship bracelets and played soccer together.

After the playtime, children's pastor Sylvia Ragsdale preached a sermon that was translated into Spanish, inviting the Guatemalan children to commit their lives to following Christ. The American children also performed a puppet show, a worship flag routine and skits.

All week long, they preached and modeled the same message: No child is too young to be used by God in a significant way. During the invitation time, Guatemalan children came forward to trust Christ to forgive their sins and to ask God to show them what plans He has for their lives.

When those children came forward, the American children and adults gathered around the Guatemalan children to pray with them. We had numerous translators to help the two groups communicate with each other.

We experienced the power of God at work in the lives of the Guatemalans and Americans. By the end of the week, we estimated that 250 children had invited Christ into their hearts to forgive their sins.
Heather Tull
Calvary Pentecostal Assembly
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
This was my second trip to Guatemala and it was a much different experience from the first time. We visited a few new areas northeast of Guatemala City. That was quite an experience for me.
We were going to visit Los Descombos Feeding Center. This area was hit by draught a few years ago and people were dying from malnutrition. I envisioned the worst.
The road to Los Descombos was also the route to Honduras, I always heard of missionaries being attacked and some killed by banditos on this road. I am not sure it happened in that exact vicinity but along the way they were crosses on the roadside where people had been killed. My heart sank as I thought about what our brothers and sisters go through on the mission field daily. I realized we must pray without seizing for Randy Purcell and David Beam and their families and all the Christians that God has called to do missions. Also along the way we stopped in San Augustin where we noticed a child in his mother’s arms tiny and malnourished. I now started to prepare for what I might face in Los Descombos.
When we finally arrived in Los Descombos I was overcome by the power of God and how He worked through Sarita and her husband to help the people there. The fact that they gave up material wealth to go into the desert and minister to the adults and children in this village and help them through this difficult time teaching them how to plant and reap food. The work they are doing, not only spiritually by physically, is just amazing.
I realized how big our God really is and how fulfilling our lives would be if we put our complete trust in Him. We in North America can really learn a lot from the Christians in Guatemala.
Also on the second day of the trip some of our team experienced spiritual warfare. That’s something I always heard about but had never experienced. It gave us the opportunity to pray together thus preparing us for what could happen next.
God has given me lots of opportunities in life and for that I am thankful but one of the greatest opportunities was a chance to go out on the mission field. It was an awesome experience. I would definitely do it again because it has allowed me to grow spiritually.
Danita Hibbs
Calvary Pentecostal Assembly
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Back in the comforts of our own home! How wonderful to have a home, clothes, food, family, friends, and...oh that's right...JESUS. How quick in our own comforts we tend to put him last and not first. If people learn one thing through missions, it should be that God needs to be first. This year our team travelled to new places and we saw new wonders. Everywhere we went there was a connection between what we were doing and what God wanted us to do. Our team was very deliberate in being open to the workings that the Holy Spirit had opened for us to do. Where there was illness the hands of Jesus were there to heal and ,where there was a troubled spirit there was the peaceful Spirit of God and when there was a need for love there were the loving arms of God opened. A few years back CNN featured an area of Guatemala where the children were dying at a rate of twenty a day. It is plain to see that God put his hand down and blessed these children with one of the most amazing feeding centres that this team has yet seen. In this area the satanic activity is massive and the people have been slow to change, yet it is clear that God's will will be done in that particular area. The schools, the feeding centres and the families along "the tracks" will forever be burned into our minds and spirits. We count it a privilage to be able to serve our family and new friends in Christ in Guatemala. For anyone who should happen to read this let me leave you with this "IF YOU LOVE ME THAN FEED MY CHILDREN"! (Can you hear Him) Not only with food but with your time, your finances and most of all your prayers!