Article submitted by Gary Wadding, MVI Short-Term Missions Coordinator
Mission trips are a chance to visit wonderful people in other cultures. It’s exciting to come into a different world and experience so many interesting variations of life. But, we Americans tend to carry many of our personality traits with us because they are so deeply ingrained. One of these is our preoccupation with schedules and time. We can lose the joy of a moment just because it didn’t occur at the time we thought it should have come. Like the time when the local man didn’t arrive at the designated location at the prearranged time; so we paced back and forth thinking about the lost opportunities this has caused. Because of our inherent impatience, we failed to notice the priceless opportunity that arose when precious little children gathered around us, amazed to see an American in their small community, and eager to receive a smile or a touch.
Above is a photo of a pastor in a poor rural section of Guatemala. He has been working to plant a church in this area for the past two years. He has faithfully prayed and witnessed to the people, but at this point there were only 12 people in the congregation of his small church. Nevertheless, he beamed with joy as he pointed out the simple wooden benches with no backs. His people had a place to sit, rather than stand. The thatched roof was well made, and kept rain off the worshipers (unless the wind blew it in from the sides). He showed us lumber given by a man who had little, but offered to donate a tree to the church. The wood was cut into planks and came strapped onto the sides of a donkey, carrying two pieces at a time from about 10 miles away. Many trips were required to get all that you see here. It wouldn’t complete the building, but it was progress. He had given two years of his life to get to this point of construction; but rather than being impatient, he was excited to see God at work in his community.
Every trip I make humbles me as I meet heroes of the faith, patient heroes. The gift of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, faith, patience… God bless men and women like this who look to Him for everything they have. It’s the reason I work with Missionary Ventures, and the reason MVI partners with such wonderful pastors around the world. Through your donations and assistance we provide them a measure of help, and in turn, they enrich our lives by their inspiring work/walk of faith.
Please consider coming on a short-term trip with MVI to be blessed, and to be a blessing. Amber is ready to help you find the right trip for you or your group. Or consider a gift to help indigenous heroes like this one, who is just a single representative of thousands helped by MVI.