The Projects ( Part 2 of People, Projects, Purpose)
By Team Leader Annette Fulton
- House building
- Wheelchair distribution
- Cement slab pouring
- Food and clothing distribution
- The Word
For those following along on our journey, our projects appear to be the focus of our fundraising, and many see this as the primary reason for a mission trip, at least initially.
This team was made up of 16 members, which means more projects, which means more fundraising. Folks, this scared me. You see, each member was already responsible for their own airfare and in-country expenses. Project funds are over and above that starter amount. But without funding these projects there would be significantly less justification of the team making the trip.
These projects allow relationships to be built, relationships not only in Guatemala, but also between team members as they work together to raise these funds. We soon realized these efforts weren’t about money. Peace continued to flow as our fundraising efforts succeeded and donations arrived. Many different methods led to funding these projects. The only method that mattered was that God had already figured it out. We felt that peace early on in the fundraising process.
We get to share what the Lord has blessed us with. We get to build the house in the rain, pick out the clothes with the family in the remote mountains, or hand mix the cement on a steep slope. We got to go and it was a joy!
We (the “Go-er’s”) along with many others who donated (the “Send-er’s”) became a team. As we worked, you were right there along with us.
So it was with joy that we worked. Two full days were dedicated to wheelchair distributions. Our team had a quick lesson on how to do this and immediately jumped in! Amazing! The other days, our teams divided and conquered: some would hand mix sand, rock and cement to form a foundation for a new home; some would haul supplies to a home site, cut tin, run drills, and build stoves, bunk beds and a new home. The remainder of our team would travel to remote areas to share food, clothing, time and the Lord with those who rarely receive the company of outsiders.
It sounds pretty structured, but it wasn’t for the very best of reasons. You see, Chris was very direct with us when we arrived. This is not about a house, or a wheelchair or some desperately needed food. This is about sharing the Lord by way of our gifts. When building a home, mixing cement, fitting a wheelchair, if you see someone looking on then stop and interact with them. Share with them – a hug or a hot-wheel, candy, marshmallows, some lotion, whatever. We were to be building relationships! As someone shared, “We are doing hard work and heart work!” It was the best possible combination!
We left the Guatemalan people with some needed clothing, shelter and equipment.
Guatemala left us with a permanent ‘tattoo’ on our hearts. The good kind of ‘tattoo’, the one that never fades, the one that makes you smile, and the one that makes you think of the ‘Artist’ who put it there:
The Creator of All, The One, The I Am.