The 2016 Journey begins!

Our 2016 Team

I am so excited that we have officially gathered our men for the 2016 Bethel Men’s trip to Guatemala. As usual, we are from several different places in the USA. We have two new people to add to our team, and five returning members:

  • Tommy – Iowa (first trip)
  • Rich – Iowa (first trip)
  • Rick – Iowa
  • Gale – Ohio
  • Tom – Wisconsin
  • Scott – Indiana
  • Brad – Kentucky

In many ways, this trip will be much like last year’s adventure. We will build a house, install stoves and distribute 50 wheelchairs. Our primary goal is not the projects…it’s the people. If we go and only meet the physical needs of the people we encounter, we will have failed. Our goal is to give the people a hope beyond the physical…the eternal. As I have said before, food will run out, houses are destroyed in natural disasters…but a hope and faith built on Jesus Christ will last forever. It’s the only hope that will allow you to endure under the most crushing of circumstances. This is why we go!!!

For the 6th year in a row, we will use Tecpan as our home base. We will work closely with Pastor Juan’s church. We have grown so close to Juan’s church family over the years. It is a family reunion every time we visit. It is great to see familiar faces, and see how the families have grown over the year. There is always laughter, but also tears. Life is hard in Guatemala. We never know what news we will discover. People have passed away, young girls have started having children way too young, grades are sometimes not good, and situations continue to be desperate for others. Just like in America, families struggle. So, we take the good and the bad. We love them, and would not have it any other way.

We already know two of the families we will install ONIL Stoves for. I don’t know a lot of details about them yet, but the need is huge! Smoke inhalation is a major cause of breathing and vision problems. For only $250, a family can receive a stove that changes their daily lives so dramatically. It burns 70% less wood, and it virtually eliminates the smoke inside the home.

We just found out about the family we will be building a house for. I do not know their names or life story. I will post that once I get it. But, we do have pictures. Pictures are so helpful, but they don’t tell the whole story. Their shack does look decent, but look very closely. They have a dirt floor. There are gaps between the boards, and also between the roof and walls. There is no front door, and most likely they endure water washing through their house when it rains. When we go, we will construct a new metal home with a concrete floor, a bunk bed, sink, table and chairs, windows, a stove and a door that locks.

We will also be distributing 50 wheelchairs. I do not have pictures of the recipients. I will pass them along as I receive them. It is always a huge blessing to see people receive the gift of mobility. A wheelchair sponsorship is $125. A small price for a huge blessing!

We are all excited about the trip. I know there are a lot of unknowns for the men who are traveling for the first time to work with us. I love traveling with men like this. To see Tecpan and the need through their eyes is always a blessing and encouragement to me.

As Pastor David Platt always talks about with missions, as the body of Christ in the world, we do a really good job of “receiving” God’s Word (study the Bible, listen to sermons and grow in our knowledge); but unfortunately we fail at “reproducing” this knowledge into the lives of others. We must make disciples, by sharing the love of Jesus with others. So, on this trip, we will be taking all that God has poured into our own lives and experiences, and making lifelong learners and followers of Jesus.

We need your help to do this. Please pray for our efforts. Please consider financially partnering with us. I don’t have the final numbers on what we must fund raise, but I can assure you that no gift could be too small or large. The need is endless in Guatemala. Help us meet the physical needs, in order to ultimately meet the spiritual.

Dios te Bendiga,

Brad

Posted in 2016 Guatemala.

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