In late February, a men’s team from County Line left for Village of Hope Guatemala. Most of us didn’t know each other, but within a weeks time we would know each other well and have helped a ministry through construction projects.
The first night we got there we went through a sort of orientation where we got to hear from the Blocks (the family that started Village of Hope), and begin to understand their heart for orphans and why they started this organization. It was evident to me (Pastor Chris) that they were very careful in how they run this organization. I have been on several mission trips in the past where there is not much thought put into how they allow teams to interact with the children within the organization, but Village of Hope is very intentional. Village of Hope does missions correctly. They set up makeshift families for the children to be a part of because they realized early on so much of who we become is established from our family. Not only this but when we interacted with the children it was clear that because of the “families” they are in they are healthier and more loved than what I’ve seen at other agencies similar to this.
The first full day in Guatemala we split into different work groups based on what specific skills the guys had. We had plumbers, welders, woodworkers, electricians, etc. There was a group building a wall to make a walkthrough in a room from one side of Village of Hope to the other. There was a group working on welding frames so that later in the week they could mount solar panels for the village. There was a group working on building shelving for different rooms around the compound, and then individuals were working on some plumbing needs as well as electrical needs.
On Wednesday we visited a small community associated with Village of Hope, this is where our team got to see some of the actual work that they do. This community is made up of people who have needs as and many have kids that go to school at Village of Hope. We brought a bag of food to each family and prayed for them. It was special for our team to see people in what we would classify as extreme poverty yet at the same time thanking God for how He blessed them and their family.
By the end of the week, we had built a hallway, set up motion lights throughout, set up solar panels, done drywalling and painting, completed plumbing throughout, built shelving for several locations, made a double seesaw, mounted basketball goals, built bunk beds and put up a gate for the school. I’m so thankful for the work our team put in, and it was incredible to see how God worked through each of them.
There is a women’s team going to Village of Hope in October so be on the lookout for more information on that in the future.