Guatemala Community Service Brigade 2014
Wow! I cant believe that I have served on 5 medical mission brigades in Guatemala with Hope Worldwide. When I and the more than 50 US volunteers arrived on that 1st day I recognized many brothers and sisters from the Guatemalan church whom I had spent time with on the previous brigade. They welcomed me as a sister whom they loved.
In the brigade the brothers and sisters from the US and from Guatemala served the Guatemalan disciples, families and friends and the Hope Worldwide School and itʼs families. I was encouraged to see everyone engaged and giving of our God given talents. The medical volunteers and non medical volunteers mending bodies and touching souls. So many of the people we served hugged me, kissed me and blessed me for my services. I was humbled to see their gratitude for a bag of vitamins, used glucometers, over the counter medication or a simple prescription medication. All donations from the US, donated from our abundance.
On the ﬁrst day of the brigade a sister from Guatemala asked me “Why do you come back?” I was not able to answer that day but at Sunday worship as we praised and gave glory to our GOD the answer came to me: This is my family, Godʼs people, the fellowship of believers. I come back because I love my family in Guatemala. I come back to share the gifts and talents that God has given me.
Acts 2:44 – 47 “all the believers were together and had every thing in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their home and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” In the three days that we served in Guatemala we lived this out. My experiences, my opportunities, my talents and skills are all gifts from God so that I can better serve His people – my family – Guatemala
by Monica Martinez
This past February my daughter, Breanna, and I had the opportunity to return to Guatemala with the HOPE Medical Brigade for our third year. We traveled with a large team of medical professionals from all over the states and were able to serve hundreds of people. There are also a lot of us that are non-medical and that are able to serve in many other capacities as well. My daughter was able to assist with the various children’s programs and also support a nurse. I served in the Flouride station which teaches people how to brush their teeth and administer ﬂuoride treatments.
The brigades are amazing as we have the opportunity to help heal people and the opportunity to share Godʼs love with so many. It’s so incredible and humbling to be able to see the joy on peoplesʼ faces when they receive items that we easily take for granted such as toothbrushes and toothpaste. I was surprised to ﬁnd out that in such a poor country toothpaste is three times the cost in comparison to the US. There are so many people with illnesses and diseases that go untreated because of the degree of poverty in Guatemala so these brigades can mean the difference between life and death for so many. The brigades also provide 6 months supply of vitamins for everyone that comes in addition to medications, thanks to the donations of friends and family.
Each trip has been so special for Breanna and I. The people of Guatemala are so incredibly loving. I am always convicted by their gracious hearts and patience. We always return with our hearts ﬁlled with so much joy and love. My daughter has been so impacted by these trips that she has even decided to become a nurse so that she can continue to serve in this capacity. I deﬁnitely encourage families to join a brigade like this. It really is a life changing and unforgettable experience.
by Priscilla Policar