By Pablo Villagran-
(First of two parts)
Although two months have passed since a mission team from southwestern Pennsylvania visited Dorie’s Promise, the full impact of their visit is only now beginning to sink in.
“It is not only about the changes we see,” says Director Alejandra Diaz. “The most important thing for me is that they came at the right time, when we needed to hear God’s voice so clear and strong.”
To start from the beginning, the team included seven youth and five adults (including two team leaders) from Believer’s Fellowship Family Church in Revloc.
Pastor Brian Tunstall had visited Guatemala in April of 2011 as a chaperone with a Christian school from his area. That week, he recognized the trip marked the first step in organizing an international missions program for his church, which averages a weekly attendance of 70.
The mission team started planning and fundraising last November. They also participated in such activities as mountain climbing as a team building exercise so that they could be more effective in Guatemala.
During their trip to Guatemala in August, the group held an arts and music camp for our children, who Brian says “stole our hearts.”
Since the team included a lot of “creative” personalities, they enjoyed the activities as much as the kids.
That camp included finger painting, scratch art, making marshmallow poppers with the younger children, and decorating backpacks with the older youth. They also sang, thanks to the church’s worship leader bringing a guitar.
“The kids loved singing Spanish songs and playing percussion along with him,” Brian says. “And, one member of our team was blessed to help Claudia (our teacher) work with some of the older children on their English. She celebrated when the light bulb came on for one student who had been struggling.”
The group also spent a day in the ghetto. There they distributed bags of food, played soccer with neighborhood children, and prayed for people struggling with sickness or financial difficulties.
Brian’s description of those prayers sounds like the book of Acts come to life, with several people miraculously healed or set free of addictions.
We especially appreciated them praying for our children and Special Mothers. On two consecutive days they held Bible studies with the Special Mothers, followed by times of ministry and prayer.
Brian calls the opportunity to pray with our children one of the highlights of that week, noting that at Believer’s Fellowship Family Church they are used to seeing broken and abused people.
During the session, they divided the children into four groups and assigned team members to pray with each one individually. Recalling how the children wept during these prayers still brings tears to the pastor’s eyes.
“Children, so innocent, weeping the pain and abuse out of their souls touched my heart,” Brian says. “As they wept, such a release came over these precious children. Things in their past had attempted to thwart their destiny."
“The adults, who were weeping too, surrounded these children with hugs and words uplifting their identity and destiny. Such a wonderful peace fell upon the children. God was truly in our midst.”
Next week, I will talk more about the impact of this visit. If this first description of what took place has stirred your spirit, click on this link to learn more about a mission trip to Dorie’s Promise.