We Found Mission in Guatemala
|The Maryknoll Immersion Group in Guatemala|
A MISSION TRIP TO GUATEMALA
by Chuck Kennedy, July 7, 2013
My "vacation" wasn't the typical trip away. It was spiritual and life-changing. I, along with 11 other people, spent nine days in Guatemala with Maryknoll Missionaries. Maryknoll is a Catholic Organization that does work all over the world. I called this my journey of faith, because I had no idea what to expect, what we were going to do, see, or even who I was going with. I just knew that I was being called by God to make this trip, and I prayed that I would be open to the adventure.
After arriving late Tuesday, and spending Wednesday in Guatemala City, we traveled to the small pilgrim town of Esquipulas. We settled into our humble quarters and then began to go out to different organizations to meet people and be with them. Everyday was a new adventure, and opened up a new world to me.
The next day we went to Santa Ana, which is a barrio where the poorest of the poor live. Most of the children had no shoes; their homes were made of aluminum siding held together by limbs from trees, no streets, no running water or sanitation. But all of the kids had an over-abundance of love and affection. We brought them nothing but ourselves, and spent time playing, talking and just being. They taught us.
My experiences in Guatemala helped me realize what mission is about, and who God is calling me to be. I came to realize that mission isn't about doing, but it is about being. To be in mission with the church is to be Christ-like to those around you, especially the poor, the sick, the weak, the meek. I didn't need to bring anything or build anything; I just needed to be me - a warm touch, a gentle hand to caress, a smile, a hug to hold them close, a few kind words. I realize that my journey of mission is just starting right now.
Although I will someday return to Guatemala, we can all be mission to those around us, in our families, our neighborhoods, and our churches.