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Mission Trip to Guatemala and El Salvador
Have you ever felt a heaviness in your heart for people who are struggling in other countries? I recently had the honor of participating in a week-long mission trip to Guatemala and El Salvador.
Our volunteer medical missions team of 9 was from Community Church in Pennsylvania. Fortunately, we had the opportunity to stay at a stunning property in Guatemala. It is owned by Eddy and Michelle Gomez, who are the founders of Provee Ministry.
What's a mission trip?
A mission trip is an organized community service project that is led by Christians and Churches. Typically, short-term mission trips last one week. Volunteers try to raise money to cover the trip cost and they volunteer their time and talents. It is a great opportunity to help others experience God in a tangible way through acts of service.
Provee: Provision, Truth, and Hope
Provee in Spanish means to provide. That is precisely what this nonprofit organization which focuses on providing provision, truth, and hope does for their local community and beyond.
Provee provides a number of different opportunities to help their local Guatemalans and extended communities in Central America.
- The Family Care and Assistance Project exemplifies the love of Jesus through emotional, physical, and spiritual support. They do this through home visits to provide delicious food, discipleship, and prayers.
- They lead team members to assist in the local school Sponsorship and Advanced Learning Project. Provee has established itself as local partners with the schools to provide young people with school supplies and higher education.
- Community Development Projects include construction projects for new houses and supplying financial resources for Guatemalan people who are in desperate need.
- The Church Project focuses on providing educational and financial support for small local churches to show the love of Christ and help advance the kingdom of God.
Mobile Medical Mission Clinic
The clinics were created in two rural churches in the Guatemalan community and one in El Salvador. In moments an open space could be converted into a “medical facility” with some twine and sheets which were strung up to create “patient rooms”. Then it was time to help the local people who would wait for hours to receive free care.
The majority of the volunteers had a professional medical background. I was assigned to work in the “pharmacy” which was basically donated medicine organized into 5 plastic totes.
How does the medical mission trip project work?
First, the community would be made aware of the clinic in advance by our team leader. Then upon our medical mission teams’ early morning arrival by caravan, the outside of the building would be filled with people waiting to be seen. Sadly, there were times when people waited ALL day for their turn to receive medical treatment from our mission trip team.
All of the services and medicine were free to everyone who came. The community consistently expressed their sincere gratitude. They regularly stated that they could never financially repay us for coming to help them, so they offered prayers for God to bless the volunteers.
The greatest need for the majority of Guatemalans was for medical care. We assisted approximately 687 people over the course of the 3 day clinics projects.
Provee School Breakfast Project
Our medical mission team was able to visit two schools in Guatemala to provide breakfast with the Provee school breakfast project. This program provides breakfast and children’s vitamins to 4 local public schools on a daily basis. Fortunately, they have been able to see a drastic change in the children’s nutrition and overall health through this program.
The children are happy to see the volunteers and they quickly line up to get their breakfast. Next, depending on the school, they either find a place on the ground to sit or sit at desks. The schools don’t have a cafeteria or formal area for eating. Meanwhile, volunteers pray for them, the school, and their families.
You can donate to the School Breakfast Project if you’d like to help with this project.
Prince of Peace Home for Girls
Projects at the home for girls included organizing donated medical equipment and painting a building entryway while the children were in school. After school was out there was time to play with the girls.
It was here that I met Esthefany, a 6-year-old girl who was new to Prince of Peace. Sadly, she was left, along with her 3 siblings, in the town square by their mother.
We taught this spirited little girl how to play hopscotch, and I showed her the magic of SnapChat, which she LOVED! Certainly, this was the highlight of our time at Prince of Peace.
Baking at Bread Bros
Each day we were served delightful bread with our delicious Guatemalan coffee. Actually, the “bread” tasted a like a combination of bread and a cookie. We all liked it so much that we bought some to take home.
This nonprofit company, called Bread Bros, was created to generate funds for Provee as well as supply bread to the children at school. For fun they let our team of volunteers make some bread at their new facility.
The Lasting Impact of a Mission Trip to Guatemala
Our medical mission team got up EARLY, drove ALL over, and worked LONG hours. Fortunately, there were opportunities for getting to know each other while making a small difference in the lives of people who could never repay us.
Surprisingly, at the end of the project there was one free day where allotted for fun while exploring Guatemala City. Read all about the beautiful places we saw on our day trip in this Best of Guatemala Guide.
Above all, the best part of the Guatemala and El Salvador mission trip was attending the church service in El Salvador. The children made signs in English to say welcome and thank you, then they prayed for us.
Honestly, I’m not sure if the medicine really made that big of a difference in their lives. However, what I am sure of is when they see people come to help them, it represents hope and love to them, and that’s something that money can’t buy.
Most importantly, the ultimate goal was for those people to tangibly see God’s love and know that there are people who live far, far away but they still care about their struggles.