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I’ve been packing for hours. Do I have enough shirts, too many pants, am I packing my toiletries in the right suitcase? That’s been me the last two nights. Tomorrow morning, or rather later tonight (3 AM!!) I’m headed to the airport with 24 others en route to Guatemala. Looking back on my first trip there one year ago, I’m so thankful for the experience. My year, and life, were different because of last year’s trip and the people in it. I wrote about my first trip here around the time I started a blog…I’m not great at keeping up, I apologize.

Lots of beautiful things happened on the trip. I fell in love with a group of college students, but more I learned how to fall in love with God. Some lessons you learn immediately because they are right in front of you. Others infuse slowly…so that you don’t realize the lesson unless you slow down and examine your life. I realized several months ago that I felt different and with reflection saw how I had been living my life in a box of my own perceptions (or perhaps others’) of how I should be. I noticed how I felt more free to be myself now. The trip was the defining point.  Maybe it’s fuller dependence on God or just noticing the little ways He is working. Maybe it’s my dear friend from last year’s group who lives so freely out of God’s grace, I can’t help but claim it myself. I can claim joy, I can love others more fully, I can be honest because I know more of who I am in Christ.

This year, knowing how much joy I felt being in Guatemala, I am ecstatic about returning. Last year, I quietly joined the group of loud, cool college students, not knowing many before we landed in Guatemala (introverted much?). But by the time I got home, I couldn’t stand to not see them. I’ve told several people this time around, I fell in love with last year’s team in Guatemala, but I’ve already fallen in love with our team this year. Tears have been shed (already) over how honest they are in sharing themselves. They are quite beautiful. If you could hear how God works in their lives, oh I wish you could. If the plane never makes it off the ground, I’ve already been blessed by them.

If we make it to Guatemala City, I pray all the light that they we hold shines. Our plans are to go into villages with mobile medical and dental clinics, conduct Bible classes in the schools (Fruits of the Spirit is our theme), and do physical work at the clinic in Chichicastenango. Our last day we will enjoy in Antigua. My wishes for this trip, if you would pray for us that:

  • each member of the team will connect with a Guatemalan
  • we will be humble, not seen as Americans, but as Christ-followers
  • the Guatemalans will be changed by Jesus
  • we will be changed by Jesus
  • there will not be language barriers
  • God will provide for our every need
  • healing could take place, physically, emotionally, spiritually
  • we will make much of Jesus

Stories to come!

Grace and love to you,

Bethany

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