Ten new houses and an inconvenient earthquake


By Vicki Scott

Hola, amigos! We are back from Guatemala and wow, what a journey!

Life is very different in Guatemala than in the U.S., in so many ways, but what a beautiful country it is. We stayed at Grace Ministries with our group from First Baptist Church Reeltown and Elam Baptist Church. Our goal, for the most part, was to build 10 houses and distribute food to people working at the dump.

What I did not realize was how steep were the mountains we had to climb were to get to the house sites. After an hour and a half drive, walked up and down steep hills carrying the tools and equipment needed to accomplish the tasks at hand.

On either the first or second day, I fell on one of the mountain trails but was not hurt. From then on, however, someone held my hand or made me hold on to shovel handles while climbing. How humiliating!

Building 10 houses looked impossible, but with God, all things are possible. Not only were the tasks completed but we were able to add other ministries in between. The recipients of the newly built homes were very appreciative, and we were honored and blessed by the experience. We also had an opportunity to share the gospel, and in doing so, two people were led to the Lord.

One day we went to Antigua to shop and have lunch. Our pastor took us to a steak house that knew how to grill an awesome steak. 

While we were eating, the whole place shook. It felt like the whole earth moved. The waiters and staff laughed while assuring us that it was nothing to worry about. It was nothing, alright – nothing but an earthquake! We were freaking out, and I feel the staff needed to be a little more concerned about our welfare, but they said that they have earthquakes all the time. During the incident, some of our team left us to get to safety.  We all had a good nervous laugh as we called these people out.

When we got back to the mission house, our pastor showed us an active volcano and said it would occasionally puff smoke. Just as he said that, the volcano puffed smoke! We were told that this particular volcano erupted about four or five years ago without notice, and several people died. He pointed out several other volcanoes that were about 13 miles away and in plain sight from where we stayed.

The heartbreaker was the dump, which was where all the garbage of Guatemala went. People of all ages work there separating the garbage for very little money. Grace Ministries built houses for those people, too. Some were new mothers with their babies wrapped around their backs. We distributed enough food for them to eat for a month., but it was not enough. Smoke and de-composition of the trash emitted gases of methane and carbon dioxide, along with other gases. I read online where the life expectancy for a dump worker was age 35. This experience was eye-opening and heartbreaking. I wish there was more we could have done.

But we are home now and feeling guilty for how blessed we are. Our pastor plans to make this mission a yearly trip, and I hope to get to go again. There were many things we learned and accomplished, but the best thing was seeing God at work the whole time. I praise Him for this opportunity and pray for this ministry and all involved. I witnessed what God can do with one obedient family and one obedient person. Wow!

P.S: Tratando de mantener mi vida en manos de Dios (Trying to keep my life in God’s hands).

Vicki Scott may be contacted at lily200383@yahoo.com.

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