I had the privilege and honor of leading a team of 12 from Calvary Bible Church to work with AMG, and specifically our friends the Wilson’s, during the week of April 27th – May 3rd.
We began by going to the AMG headquarters in Guatemala for lunch. After flying hours to a foreign country, we had the local specialty for lunch…pizza 🙂
Then after lunch we went and saw an area of the city where people live and work at the dump. Yes, live too. If you look closely in the pictures below, you can see some small tents set up…those are where families live. They live by pulling food and items from the trash to either sell or use to live themselves.
It was a very sobering sight to see, that is for sure. The team mostly just stood in silence as we looked at this scene.
The majority of our week was spent at Camp Canaan, which is an AMG camp. One of AMG’s big ministries is that they have schools for kids. The kids in their schools are kids that have been sponsored by someone else, which gives them the opportunity to go to school. And then part of their school experience is that they get to attend camp for a week.
The week we were at Camp Canaan, there were 101 kids attending. The kids there were ages 11-13, and many were street kids who were being sponsored by someone through AMG. The first night there 4 of us were able to share our testimonies with the kids in their chapel building, which was really cool.
2 of the days we were at the camp, we shared a Bible Story with them; we acted out the story of Joseph while it was narrated. After sharing the story and a short lesson of what we can learn from that, our team did a craft with the kids. The first day’s craft was tie-die bandannas, and the second day’s craft was making a picture frame for a camp photo we had taken of all of them the day before.
One of the days there I had an opportunity to have a long conversation with the camp director, and he shared a really cool story with me. He said that after the second craft was done, a kid came up to him crying. He asked this kid why they were crying, and they proceeded to tell him that the camp picture we gave all the kids as part of their craft was the most beautiful gift they’d ever received.
Think about that for a moment…a simple photo is the most beautiful gift they’d ever received. WOW!
Our big project while at the camp was to plant avocado trees for the camp. The purpose of these trees are to provide food for the camp, as well as give them a way to make some income if needed by selling some of the avocados they grow.
I initially expected this project to not be that difficult…but it turned out to be much hard than I had thought. The ground we were digging holes to plant these trees was very hard, as we were there at the end of dry seasons so it had not rained much for the past several months. We had to dig holes around 3 feet deep and a foot in diameter, so it was a lot of digging. We were also in the hills, so it was not flat ground. That made wheel-barreling the good dirt we were using to plant the trees with to the holes we had dug somewhat difficult at times.
I was extremely proud of our team and how hard they worked. Our first 2 days at camp we worked hard from breakfast till lunch, and then did the Bible Story and crafts in the afternoon. On the 3rd day we spent the whole day working on the tree project, and the last day we worked all morning until we had to pack up and leave camp. In that time we were able to plant 46 trees!
We spent the last bit of our time in Guatemala visiting Antigua and hiking the volcano Pacaya. After a physically and emotionally tiring several days at Camp Canaan, that was a great way to end our time in Guatemala.
There is SO MUCH MORE I could write about this trip, this is just a brief recap of the week. But to keep this from being a short book, I will refrain from writing it all. Just suffice to say this was one of my favorite mission trips, and God definitely spoke to me personally through this trip. It was an amazing trip, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this team.