by Julie Cramer
Given the opportunity, would you spend tens of thousands of dollars building a high school—with a swimming pool—in a semi-arid, sub-Saharan African village? Well-meaning Westerners did—and years ago, I taught in that school. Every day, I walked past groups of students talking and laughing, with their feet dangling over the edge of the empty pool. A thin layer of rainfall from the wet season had puddled at the bottom, growing thick with algae and mosquitos. And every day, I wondered what on earth those builders had been thinking.
Imagine your name is Astrid. It’s weighty for a small girl like you. You’re seven, and the name you’ve been given meaning “beautiful goddess” seems far away from working in a dump in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. That’s what your days are made up of; twelve to fourteen hours spent digging through other people’s trash in search of enough something to scavenge that might help your mother bring in a few dollars for the day.
In the jungles of northeast India, cheers can be heard in the distance as the van slowly winds its way along rutted mountain roads. As it rounds the corner, children begin dancing in front of the old school that’s been transformed into a safe harbor for healing and community. Their welcome is an expression of their gratitude and love for the people who have traveled more than 30 hours to visit for a few precious days. For the children of Gan Sabra HIV Home, family looks a lot like the world.
The tears fall as Maria steps inside the room and sees the stove for the first time. A prayer has been answered. Eleven cinder blocks and galvanized steel mean healthier days ahead. Soot clings to the walls and to her skin, and a grandchild’s constant cough reminds her of why she prayed. She has longed for better days for her community, and this day alone has seen six stoves installed in homes near the Ravine in Chimaltenango.
Tucked away from the cheers of the children at the Community Care Center in Chimaltenango, Guatemala, the Harpers sit together and laugh. They have become used to the afternoon rains that darken skies and fill the air with the fragrance of the fields. This is the fourth year for Connie and Joe to be part of the mission team hosted by KVNE, a Christian radio station in East Texas. With their daughter Hali by their side now, the threesome calls Guatemala their second home.
Join Orphan Outreach and other individuals in serving children in Honduras. The team will be serving children and staff at the San Jose Orphanage in La Paz and spending time focusing on spiritual and emotional growth with both the orphanage staff and each other. The team may help with daily tasks around the home as needed and provide Bible curriculum program as well as educational support. The team will also serve La Paz through the NiCo community program. Click here for more details.
Join Orphan Outreach in serving children in Guatemala. This team of individuals from around the U.S. will first serve at Little House of Refuge (Pequeno Refugio) in Quetzaltenango (Xela), teaching life skills and ESL, doing light construction, and spending quality time with the children who live there. This team will also serve alongside the families at the Ravine, a local dump. From grocery distribution to prayer and teaching, the team will have a unique opportunity to care for the vulnerable. Then the team will travel to Antigua and serve at Hope and Future teaching life skills, and spending quality time with the children living in those orphanages. The team will also visit the Down Syndrome School in Guatemala City to bring a smile, a song, and love to the children attending this school. Click here for more details.
Have you ever thought about traveling to India on a mission trip? Hear directly from the trip participants and India Director about why you should go. #orphanoutreach #india #missiontrip