By Claire, Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home
Editor’s Note: Claire is a 17-year-old of Love Cottage at the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home. Here is her account of a mission trip to Guatemala.
MONROE – The day we left for our adventure in Guatemala was an exciting, thrilling, loving, crazy-filled day. There were nine of us who traveled together to the airport in our jam-packed van.
When we arrived at the airport, words can not describe the wonder and amazement I felt. Of course, I was scared to death because this was my first time to fly and my first time to leave the country.
God really did take care of me. With the help of Children’s Home staffers Beth Green, Kathy Lacaze, and Shawna Baugh, along with some new friends I made along the trip, I got through the airplane ride, tears and all.
The minute we landed, I began to realize that I was actually in a new world. This was not the Louisiana small town I knew. I was more excited than ever to see the wonders God had in store for me.
As soon as everyone landed, we got down to business. We loaded up and met our drivers. I met the entire team that night. I was able to share my testimony with everyone and I knew that the Lord had me in the right place at the right time. I was preparing to go and help other orphans.
During the course of the week, we would clean, change smelly diapers, wash, feed, and love those sweet babies who touched our hearts.
Every night we would have something called WOW time. This was our time to journal, grow in God, and debrief from the day.
While I was there, I met people who would become my friends and mentors for life. We had something we called “The Church Bus.” This was when the team was divided up into three buses. Every time we were on a bus, we really had church! We sang, prayed, meditated, and worshiped. It was great!
We had great guides for the week. We had five translators who helped us speak Spanish and bargain in the market place. I loved our translators!
We were a team of 62. The team varied in age from 15 to 72. I was the second youngest of them all.
While we were there, I fell in love with a little girl named Maria. She was the very first kid to come up to me. I will love her for the rest of my life. I saw me in her.
I committed my life to serve Jesus through missions on our last night there. I know that I want to serve the Lord in this way. God showed me His desire through ministering to our hotel manager about the love of Christ through a salvation bracelet that I made. Just to see his face light up when hearing God’s wonderful name was more than anything I needed.
My first international mission adventure was really a life-changing experience. I hope to go back very soon!