Charity Lutheran Church plans a trip to the GOD’S CHILD project every other year, and last summer Erin and Rachael De Maria decided they wanted to be a part of the adventure.
The sisters needed to each raise $2,100, and after sending out letters asking for prayers and financial support they raised enough for three people to go. It was only after they got to Guatemala they found out the extra money was used to buy bunk beds and water filters to put in the houses they helped build.
“We built a house for a family of three boys, one girl, two parents and two grandparents,” said Erin. “We got really close to them, it was hard for us to leave. We don’t know much Spanish, but we really connected to them. When we were doing the ceremony to give the house over to them, everyone was crying and they gave us gifts, they were so grateful. At the end I told the translator to tell them we would come back to see them.”
Luckily there was such an interest that Charity is planning another trip this year and the De Marias are headed to Guatemala again.
The sisters visited many of the GOD’S CHILD facilities in Guatemala, went to a homeless shelter and served a meal, and participated in a clothing distribution. “We saw how much they are in need,” said Rachael. “We actually left some of our clothes down there.”
They also got to have a little fun on a zip line and did a little bartering in a market in Panajachel. “It was a fun activity, but yet hard because we knew that is what the families live on,” said Erin.
There are a lot of reasons the girls want to go back, and they encourage others to consider a mission trip. “It was one of the best experiences, everyone is so happy and thankful for the little things we did for them,” said Rachael.
“It is not a small undertaking, think and pray about it, make sure the timing is right,” suggested Erin. “I think everyone should have an opportunity to go, it definitely changes your point of view of the world.”