by Anika Sande
Four days of love, service and friendship in our Lord’s name have brought endless laughs, smiles and hugs for all of us involved in the Hogar Miguel Magone mission. I began this trip with an open mind and open heart and have been filled with memories and experiences that I can truly say I will never forget. While these experiences during the mission have reminded me how much I am blessed with, I have learned so much more. I have learned that the power of kindness and love that has the ability to transcend any barrier in it’s place whether it be language, race or socio-economic situation. Yes, this mission has been about work—painting windows, sanding bed frames, cleaning dormitories and a variety of other tasks, but more importantly this week has been about building relationships with the people here and about being the hands, feet, eyes and mouths of God in an effort to serve his children.
I am so very fortunate and proud to say that my family and I have decided to sponsor 3 children who we have fallen in love this week. This is so special to me because I know that these children will grow from our sponsorship but I also know that I will grow as well. These three children have astounded me with their ability to love despite their “non-ideal” situation—some have no family or have experienced unimaginable abuse. God has truly spoken to me through them showing me the power of forgiveness and love and I am truly thankful for these children because although they are younger than me they have taught me so much.
Further this week has also taught me about appreciating the little wonders of our lives. I have been truly inspired by the enthusiasm that the children have for things that are seemingly so simple to me. Most notably are my experiences “en la cancha”(on the sports field) — I have been fortunate enough to play futbol with who, by my record, are some of the best players in Guatemala. I have seen their enthusiasm and love for the game and it has truly inspired me to love each and every activity and experience I have.
In conclusion this week has been truly life changing and I believe that God has touched my life by allowing me this experience to come and embrace the people of Guatemala. I am excited for what the future holds for myself as I hope to continue to participate in missions and actively communicate with my sponsor children. I am so thankful to have been surrounded by such love, kindness and compassion this past week and have grown from it. I am so inspired by the Guatemalan spirit and am ecstatic to continue service and love in God’s name.