Sometimes you're handed great opportunities in life. Recently I was handed a special one:
I was part of a group missions trip to Guatemala to help aid a local church's effort to make some small but significant changes in the lives of a few local villages. Our group stayed in the city of San Lucas which is a big city with all the modern conveniences of home. Each day, however, we drove to small villages, most of which had no running water, no indoor plumbing and, really, no hope for change. We worked on a school being built in one village that will be able to hold 400 students during morning and afternoon classes when complete. There are thousands of children within walking distance that can potentially attend the new school. We painted, laid tile and poured cement. And, although there is still work to do, the villagers hope to have the school up and running by January. With the help of a sponsorship program, even more children will be able to attend than originally planned.
Another portion of the trip was spent at a small village up in the mountains. We were able to build three stoves in three homes so that the residents will no longer have to cook on an open stove and fill their homes and lungs with smoke. One afternoon we invited all of the local children to attend a time of games, face painting, and stories and we handed out over 200 hygiene kits that included a washcloth, toothbrush, toothpaste and soap. In fact, we handed out all the kits we brought and didn't have enough for all the children that came!
In addition to the fact that we helped change the lives of the villagers in small ways, it was also an amazing life-changing experience for me! It helped me be so much more thankful for the little things in life.