In June, my daughter Eliza and I will be traveling to Guatemala for our third short-term mission trip with Faith In Action, a ministry we support at The River Church. People often tell us how amazing they think we are to go on these trips and even say, “I don’t think I could handle that.” The truth is, we are not amazing, but God is. And we can’t handle it, but God can. Let me explain.
My daughter will turn 16 while she is in Guatemala. When I was 17, I went on my first mission trip to Tijuana Mexico. I went with my church youth group on a school bus. (Yes, a big yellow school bus!) This trip opened my eyes to what Jesus was talking about when he said, “‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'” (Matthew 25:40) Up until that point in my life, the “least of these” were poor people who lived in my small, suburban town. While in Tijuana, I saw with my own eyes families living in the dump. (Picture Rumpke dump but worse.) They sorted through the trash to find whatever they could that would meet their needs for food, shelter, clothing, and anything they might be able to sell. I played with orphans, children abandoned by their parents because they could not provide for their needs. God opened the eyes of my heart to see Him. I felt like each one of these people was God’s reflection looking back at me. But in all of this, I experienced a joy that my happy little life had never given me. I also experienced a love for serving God. This joy and love for serving was a gift that God gave me. A gift I could never have received if I had not gone on that trip, and one that has stayed in my heart ever since.
When I am in Guatemala, I get to experience this joy through serving Jesus by serving what the world would call, “the least of these.” But the truth is, they are not the least of them. Are these the people Jesus was talking about when He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven?” (Matthew 5:3) God has promised amazing things to those who love Him. He calls us to do amazing things that only He can do through us.
I love going to Guatemala because I get to see God working in amazing ways, and I get to see God opening the eyes of my daughter’s heart to see the world the way He sees it. She is able to experience joy in serving Him. Faith in Action missionaries has taught us that God gave us only one life and we need to take advantage of every opportunity that is given to us. We get to walk/hike/work beside them while we are there, and experience the joy of serving Jesus. It is truly amazing but something you can only experience by going there and letting God open the eyes of your heart.
We are so appreciative of the support our River family has given us on this adventure. Our prayer is that more people will join us on our next trip. Please keep Eliza in your prayers from June 1st through July 1st and The River team (Joan Stevning, Eric Roberson, and I) from June 22nd through July 1st.
By Margaret Bush
If you would like to make a donation to one of the members of the Guatemala team you can do so online by tapping on the “GIVE ONLINE” button below. Just pick which team member you would like to support from the drop down menu.