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This is probably as close as I’ll get to a travel post for my trip to Guatemala. And I’m actually going to copy and use the paragraphs I wrote for the church’s blog about the trip:

This past week a group of 36 teens and leaders traveled to Guatemala. After a day and a half of travel, the team arrived at the Hope of Life compound in Zacapa, Guatemala. Then the real work began. Some of the work was very hard and monotonous—hauling buckets of dirt and cement, painting walls, sanding chain link—and some felt like the easiest thing in the world. It only takes a moment to fall in love with a child’s smile, or make a lonely person laugh. And there was plenty of laughter, especially at our attempts to speak like locals.

But more important and more encouraging than the work we as a team accomplished was seeing God at work through us and through the team at WorldHelp and Hope of Life. It wasn’t just our teens chasing the orphans around the playground, it was Jesus telling them that they are precious in His sight. It wasn’t just our team making a humanitarian effort to better the lifestyle of an entire village, but it was God showing the families of El Jurgallon that He is the ultimate provider, working on their behalf half a world away.

God used us, the people of Atlantic Shores Baptist Church, to bring life and to glorify His name in the village of El Jurgallon. You were used, whether you boarded that plane or  stayed at home giving of your time, money, and prayer.

If you would like to see a few more of my photos and some from my team mates that will give you a better idea of the work we did, click here to check out that entry.

I will say that physically it was a  hard trip for me: the hauling of heavy buckets, lots of walking, and an afternoon bout with dehydration. But  it was a great trip. As crazy as it seems to people who know me pretty well, I’m rather shy—meeting new people stresses me out. Especially when there’s a language barrier. Instead, I felt that a big part of my job was to document the trip in photos. So, while I didn’t connect with anyone in particular over there (I did feel rather connected to the interpreter who repeatedly walked me to the only toilet in the village the afternoon of the upset stomach), it was an amazing trip, heart-wrenching and inspiring.

The work being done by Hope of Life International is incredible, and I would highly recommend a trip to visit and help them out.

So on to some photos:

Misty Morning

To see more photos taken in Guatemala, click here.