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Where it all began

Me and Noe, one the kids that attends bible lessons in Xaya

Let me tell you how it all began.

I had just completed my freshman year at Concordia Texas and had moved home for the summer. God had been putting these different thoughts in my head about going on an international mission trip. I had been looking for different opportunities, preferably one that was low cost as I was supporting myself through college. At Concordia I had met a wonderful woman named Pat who is the Director of Can-Do Missions and signed up for a Fall trip to Guatemala. I had been on a mission trip before but I didn’t know that this one would change my life. That October (2014) I spent a week in Guatemala with Groundwork Guatemala. Each day we would travel to different areas and spend time with the kids playing, singing songs, and learning about Jesus’ love. I still remember our first day in El Rincon. We were waiting for the nurses to set up the clinic so I started playing soccer with some of the kids. We were playing right in the middle of the road, dodging cars, bikes, and cow manure. When it started to rain the kids didn’t even think about stopping and we played on! I remember having a feeling of peace and happiness that first day. I asked God that if the desire I was feeling was from Him that He would bring me back again. He sent me back 6 more times.

Visiting the school in Buena Vista

VBS with a group of almost 200 kids

After my first visit I returned to school with confidence. A confidence in the fact that God was calling me into ministry and I prayed every day that He would send me to Guatemala. I learned to be intentional in my daily life to make His will my will and to keep my eyes open for opportunities to use what He had given me to share His love.

When it came time to find an internship placement there was no doubt in my mind where I wanted to go. In December 2016 I returned to Guatemala with my program director and a couple of other students to participate in the second Guatemalan Youth Gathering (Conectados). After many conversations an opportunity came up to work with Castillo Fuerte Lutheran Church and the Santa Cruz Mission in Amatitlan, Guatemala!

Fast forward six months and here I am. As I am preparing both financially and spiritually I cannot contain my happiness for what is ahead of me but at times I am also scared out of my mind. I used to say that I had no fears when it came to leaving because I knew that it was something God wanted me to do. Now that leaving home has become a reality I find it harder to accept the fact that I am leaving my family and everything I have ever known. But I know that God will place people in my life that will make my transition feel like I never left home.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

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