The economic situation is causing concern and uneasiness
about employment, housing and changing family economic standards, which
impacts every aspect of our lives, no matter where we live.
Last weekend, I was with four families from North
One father’s job was terminated last week. He had been a
longtime employee in middle management with a good record of cooperation
and leadership in the company.
Another family owns several furniture distribution
companies. Furniture manufacturing is now being outsourced to foreign
countries where labor is cheaper, but working conditions are less
The third family owns a building construction company.
Their business has been diminishing slowly during the past few years.
They have cut back on employees and are restructuring their business.
We saw a video of one family’s participation in a
mission trip to Guatemala. They went to a small village, in the state of
Zacapa three hours northeast of Guatemala City, with a group from North
Carolina and Virginia. It is a country where drugs, poverty and famine
are a real problem. After a recent civil war, the country had over a
A former villager, who is now a U.S. citizen, suffered
an unidentified illness that left him unable to walk. He made a covenant
with God that if He would allow him to walk again, he would return to
the village to help its people. He founded a ministry called Hope of
Life, which allows churches and mission teams from the U.S. to be a
partner in its work.
Hope of Life Ministries, aided by a local church, feed
500 orphans three meals a week. These children live at a landfill so
they can scavenge the refuse. One example of a meal is a bowl of
noodles, which they eat with their hands because no utensils are
The group worked at a village where the population is
mostly the elderly, women and children. Men and boys work away from home
for $4 a day. When the villagers listed their needs, water wells topped
the list. Their water was supplied once a day and the villagers would
bring buckets and bowls to receive their portion.
Next was a school for the children. The mission group
did not have the equipment to fulfill the water need, but erected a
school in four days of their week-long mission trip. A
celebration/dedication service was held at the new school on the last
Their first mission was to make friends with the people
of the village. The smiles in the video showed friendships were being
developed. One worker told of a heartwarming situation when small
children stepped forth to help transport building supplies from one
location to another, and at the same time, learned teamwork and to carry
on a conversation with the mission workers. Trucks and equipment were
not available. The most advanced equipment shown in the video was a
chainsaw. They taught sewing classes to the women. The fabric was
similar to mattress covering.
Toys, jump ropes, balls, dolls, and other items were
donated by the home churches. Reading glasses were also purchased back
at home to be donated to villagers whose eyesight was below normal.
A mission volunteer ended the video by saying, “We
learned to never give up on God. He has purpose in his kingdom. He is
always up to something. There is always hope.”