Friday, August 3, 2012

Anna's Trip to Guatemala

As many of you know, Anna, my 15 year old went to Guatemala this summer. She hosted a craft camp here at the house to raise the money for this missions trip and thanks to ya'll that camp filled within hours of us sharing about it here. We'll do another post about how the craft camp came to be and all about that fun filled week. But below is a post by Anna about her week in Guatemala.

Anna has gone on 2 mission trips before (one to Guatemala and one to Costa Rica) but Rob always went with her. This was Anna's fist mission trip by herself. Here is the team she went with from Caroline's Promise. Caroline's Promise provides assistance to adoptive families in NC and SC (we actually received a grant from them for the adoption of Jonathan), educates the community about adoption and the needs of orphans, and cares for orphans in Guatemala and Guyana, South America. Anna is on the back row, all the way on the right in the black and gray striped shirt.

And now here are Anna's own words. She wrote this blog post just for ya'll:

Hello! For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Anna. I am 15 years old and just got back from my first missions trip by myself to Guatemala. The Lord taught me a lot on this trip. One thing He taught me was how to get out of my comfort zone. I was put in numerous situations where I needed to use my Spanish. I also had to step out of my comfort zone when I shared my testimony in front of a Spanish speaking chuch. And then I was put in charge of putting 7 little Guatemalan girls to bed when we ran an overnight camp for kids. Here is a picture of me and the 7 little girls I shared a room with: 

But God taught me more than just how to get out of my comfort zone. The big thing He taught me was that He gave me my values and gifts for a reason and I am to use them for His glory. I would like to share with you 2 different times where God showed me why He gave me my unique values and gifts. 

While we were down in Guatemala we helped a school/church by painting the walls, cubbies, railings, etc. The school and church is called Adonai and is located in the middle of a community called Hurricane Village. Here is a picture of me and a team member painting the railings:

In addition to painting the school/church, we hosted a 3 day overnight camp for the 3rd-5th graders from the school. These kids became a big piece of the trip and a big piece of what God had in store for me. On the second night of camp, we separated the girls and boys and we were going to talk to the girls about purity. Yet the Lord had other plans for the night. We had 2 members of our team share their testimony and during the second testimony which involved a father dying, the young girl sitting next to me grabbed my hand and by the end of the testimony she was crying.

This elementary age girl started trying to tell me something. I think she was telling me either why she was crying or what she needed; I couldn’t understand. I didn’t know what to do. I began praying for her in my head and soon I was praying for her out loud in English. Even though I was praying in English, I felt like she understood every word I was saying. Which taught me God’s Love is bigger than any language barrier.

Here is a picture of the village this little girl was from. We took the kids 45 minutes away for overnight camp:

Sometime during that night, I realized there is a lot of hurt and sorrow that has to do with fathers. It was hard for me to sit in a room where there were so many girls without fathers, and here I have an amazing dad. But that night I realized why family is so important to me. Most 15 year olds don’t have their family as one of their top priorities, but the people in my family (I am the oldest of 5 kids) are some of my best friends and I enjoy hanging out with them. God taught me that one reason He gave me the value of family is so I can give children a family love and show them that God is the best father they could ask for.
I want to share one more time God showed me that my gifts and values are important. It is very simple and short, but means a lot.

During the camp I taught dance class to the kids. We worked hard. We sweated a lot. But there were smiles on those kids' faces. Something as simple as a dance made those kids smile. The Lord gave me dance as one of my gifts for a reason. He let me use dance as a way to connect with the children. And something as simple as me, kids, and dancing is able to praise God. Here is a picture of me teaching the kids. Do you see their big smiles?

Before this trip I knew what my gifts and values were, but by the end of this trip God taught me that He gave me my values and gifts for a reason and I can use them to serve Him. Most of you, just like me, probably know very well what your values and gifts are. But you may not know how God is going to use them. I encourage you to ask for His guidance. I know He will guide you as He did me.

Picture of the beach at Guatemala. I was surprised to see the cross.


  1. What an exciting time! I'm so excited to hear how God used you in such an amazing way. What a life experience. I'm so glad God spoke to you and showed you why your gifts are so important and how you could use them in amazing ways! Thanks for following God's leading!

  2. Love your hear Anna. You're beautiful inside and out!

  3. Ok, this is absolutely wonderful. This post had me in tears. Anna, you are truly called by God to do great things. I can't wait to see what God continues to do through your life!!!

    Proud of you,

  4. Wow Anna, this is a great blog post. It is awesome to hear how God worked through you and to think about how He could do that with us too. Thanks for taking the time to put it up here and I'm sure the Lord is blessing you for it :)

  5. That's great. Love Anna's story about her gifts and values. Loved what she had to say about her dad and her family. Precious! -Wendy B.

  6. Anna, your presence in Guatemala was truly a gift from God for the children there. You brought them laughter, calmed their fears, taught them dancing and let them feel personal love. I admire you for what you did and, I'm sure, will always do throughout your life. You certainly have a good start and your family is the best support team anyone could have.

    Good luck and God bless,
    Pat L

  7. What a beautiful heart Anna! You are the Father's pleasure blossoming in the earth. Recently I was thinking about how we sing different variations of the declaration, "We have come to bring You glory!" We usually understand that in the context of coming to "church," a gathering, a prayer meeting, etc. The way the Father showed it to me recently is that we have come - to earth - to bring Him glory. We were born into the earth at the time He designated in order to bring Him glory as we live in the fullness of what He purposed!

  8. Anna, you are an angel on earth :)

  9. I remember Rob's trip to Guatemala when he was about this age. I'm so glad the trip had a wonderful impact on Anna. You are a blessed Momma to have such a wonderful girl!


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