by Natasha Rehm
Hello, My name is Natasha and I come from Oregon, WI. I’m 27 years old.
The idea for this trip actually came from my mom - she has had some good ideas, but this was probably her best one. I had no idea what to expect in coming to Guatemala. I’ve never been outside of the country much less volunteered for any sort of mission trip. I knew I would be out of my comfort zone due to not speaking much Spanish and not coming from a religious background. The best thing about this trip is that, that doesn’t matter at all. We’re here for one mission and that is to help people. From day one we have set out to do that. We’ve installed stoves for families who literally have nothing, and to see how grateful they are is just a feeling that I cannot put into words. I spend my days in the morning installing two stoves, and then in the afternoon we do VBS and spend two hours playing with kids - and for them this is a time where they can actually BE kids. Having fun is not a luxury that these children have, and getting to play with them brings such an immense joy to not only them but to all of us volunteers. This country is beautiful, and the way it has been cultivated is beautiful. Everything serves a purpose.
Our evenings are spent eating dinner, doing worship, meetings with our crew and then bed. If you told me I would be falling asleep at 9 pm I would never have believed you. The days go by very fast and I cannot believe I will be going home soon. I have a six year old son who I miss immensely and would love for him to be here with me, and I know I will bring him to do the same thing when he is old enough to understand what it is that we are doing and so he can actually participate. I feel I have already cultivated wonderful friendships, and I hope I am lucky enough to be able to sponsor one of the children we work with. Everyday I am excited to wake up, head out to our sites and do the work we were asked to do, with a crew that is fun to work with, in a place that needs help.
I can honestly say that this experience has changed my life and how I view the world and how I will continue to live my life. This isn’t about me, and never has been and I think I am beginning to realize that. I am so grateful in being able to work for the families we have met, to play with the children we have met, and to be able to be a part of this mission and to become friends with who I have met. I will miss this land and the people here but I know without a doubt that I will be back.