Santo Tomás - Day 1 [Blog]

By: Tina McBride

This is my first Mission trip; my first time to Guatemala; and my first time traveling outside the U.S.  I had a lot of fears about traveling to Guatemala.  I was afraid of not knowing how to speak the language. Was it safe to travel with a child? Would I get sick? And many other fears.

When my family decided to commit to this trip, I still had all the same fears.  Even after listening to people tell me how fun it was and how safe it would be.  I had also heard Shawn speak at our church about traveling to Guatemala.  But we had an opportunity to go with friends and people we knew, and I felt if we didn’t go now, we never would.

When we arrived at the airport to depart, most of my fears lessened.  When we arrived to Guatemala, and I saw Shawn holding his sign, directing us to our meeting spot and loading us onto the "Chicken" bus, my fears disappeared.

Our first day was a day of learning.  We learned a little about the culture.  We learned about the organization and all the things they are doing to help families here in Guatemala.  It’s amazing how many families they are helping.  How they’re not just giving them the things they need, but holding them accountable and teaching them how to make their lives better.

We learned how to build stoves.  Building stoves is hard work (some make it look easy). But, after completing the stove and seeing how happy and grateful the families are, it makes all the hard work worth it.

I’m no longer “fearful,” I’m “grateful.”  I’m grateful for: (1) the opportunity to travel here with my husband and daughter; (2) for my daughter not only to have this experience, but to do so with her friends from school; (3) to be able to help the families here and make a difference; (4) to be able to see this beautiful country and meet so many beautiful and loving people; and (5) so many other things.

I hope that our family will be able to return to Guatemala again to help more families.  But if we don’t, I will treasure all the memories we have made by helping the families here.  Being here with friends and making new friends.

If you are thinking about doing this Mission trip, but are fearful, don’t be.  This is an amazing experience and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be here.

-Tina McBride