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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 Carolina.

 

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 desirable.

 

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 million refugees.

 

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 available.

 

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 day.

 

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.”

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

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