To be honest, I had no idea of what to expect for this missions trip. I had never served on a missions trip before and I had never been to a place like Guatemala before. All I had to run off were the things I had seen on TV or social media. But I never knew that visiting one place could have such a big impact on my life.
I had always known that there were places around the world where people lived far less fortunate lives, but I had never really given the notion much thought. But when we arrived in Guatemala and I saw that these were real people living on unpaved roads littered with garbage and an alarming amount of stray dogs, it was quite depressing.
But one thing that really stuck with me was just how powerful a small smile could be. When we first arrived there, many of the kids stared at us because we were so different. But when I smiled at them, they instantly smiled back with this big beam and stayed bashful for quite a while after. The people and especially the children of Guatemala were quick to smile back despite the conditions they lived in. It helped me realize that even the simple act of smiling can help spread joyfulness.
Since returning from Guatemala, my relationship with Jesus has been enlightened for me because I personally experienced the power of sharing His love.
I am more grateful now for the opportunity to live the life I lead and count the many blessings I have received. This amazing experience has opened my heart to the world beyond me and given me a heart that wants to serve others.
I definitely want to go back next year and I encourage everyone else to go as well. This experience really strengthens your faith and gives you a greater perspective of the world and Jesus’ love for His people in a way you have not felt before.