Bringing the Word, Clean Water, Basic Health and VBS to Guatemala
Seven LWML sisters just returned from serving on a MOST Ministries Clean Water Team to Guatemala: Cindy Reinhold, Karil Simmerman, Krista Nigbor, Laurie Kumbier and Bonnie Sielaff (Good Shepherd, Appleton) Lynne Johnson (St John, Almond) and Penny Selle (St. Paul, Fremont). They are pictured on site, in Zacapa with their translators, Elmer and Carol.
ZACAPA The MOST Team served people in a rural area at the edge of the city dump. Residents lacked clean, running water and basic health care, with no access to markets or stores.
As they received information about the water filters and how to take care of them, they were
asked what they were thankful for – and these people who had so little in material possessions came up with the blessings of home, children, neighbors and a school. One woman gave thanks for a tomato she was about to harvest from a seed she had planted. The team reminded them about the water of life that God gives through Jesus. Fifty-three clean water filters and basic health information will certainly make a difference in their lives.
Part of the team did VBS with children, teaching Bible lessons, playing games, coloring pictures and singing songs.Children were taught about hygiene, brushing teeth, and good nutrition. These little kids had fun following the actions of the Hokey Pokey, even though they didn’t understand a word! And they learned the meaning of the witness bracelets.
GUATEMALA CITY The mission took a new direction in Guatemala City and the team learned all about “flexibility” as they were asked to train two seasoned Lutheran school teachers in the essentials of installing, caring for, and backwashing the filters. This was necessary because the people who would be getting the filters were vendors in a busy public market. It was wonderful to watch the teachers share information in their native Spanish with an animated group of women. Questions and answers flew back and forth. It was truly an empowering moment. Later the Basic Health Curriculum was shared with these two teachers and all teaching materials were left with them. Recipients of the filters will meet at the church in the future for Bible study and health instruction.
Children from the market came to the church for hygiene and Bible lessons. They were full of energy! It was delightful to watch the interpreter for the day, Renato, interact with the kids. He knew the children because of Sunday School, and it was easy to tell that they adored him.
How wonderfully God blessed the 10 days of ministry in Guatemala. It was unforgettable for the participants, and the team returned to the States with many memories. God is good!
For information on future short-term mission trips, ask one of the Guatemala mission team members to share her experiences, or go to www.mostministries.org.