Thursday, August 6, 2009

Building a foundation

Taylor Ventura traveled to Guatemala with members from her church for a mission awareness trip July 24-31. During the trip, Taylor met Beverly, her sponsored child, and helped build a home for a Guatemalan family.

By Taylor Ventura

Going to Guatemala was a great opportunity to “build my foundation” on God. The trip to Guatemala was my first out of the country and certainly won’t be my last. Ever since the trip was presented at my church with the little blue sign-up sheets waving in the air, I have wanted to go. My mom always said, “You have to be older to go.” So every year, I would look forward to this and finally in July 2009, it came.

The Sunday of the trip, I met the most beautiful and sweet young lady named Beverly. She ran up to me saying, “Hola, mi Taylor Ventura!” In shock that she was finally here, I gave her a big hug and the day just got better from there. She brought her mom and her brother, and we ate lunch together. I knew some Spanish, but not enough to completely have a conversation. Despite the language barrier, we connected well because of the joy that we brought each other. The family traveled 10 hours just to see me! But, they didn’t care. They were just so grateful that we were meeting, that a small distance was worth it.

As the day went on, Beverly never left my side. We laughed together, played together and danced together. Although I was aware of her life back at home and how devastating that might be, I forgot about all of it that day. I realized that Beverly and her family were so happy because they had built their foundation on God rather than material things. This was extremely touching, and when the day came to an end, I did not want to part ways. We were so inseparable for those few hours, and I knew that even though we live in different places, our hearts will remain together.

The week after, we built a house with Church of the Risen Christ group and some of the CFCA staff. It started out looking like a small area and lots of dirt, but with teamwork and a lot of prayer, it was beginning to look like a house. Everyone had their jobs: cement mixing, digging and refilling water. No matter what the job was, it helped. Our goal was not to complete the house, but to grow new relationships between us, the staff and the family who would own the house. So everyday that we went to work, no one would complain or whine because they knew it would be a great day, even if it was hard work. As the work days passed, progress continued to excel, and at the end, the family shared something with our church. The mother said, “I have nothing to give you and my husband has nothing to give you, but we have something even stronger. We pray to God that each one of you receives a spiritual blessing for the work you have done here because it is truly God’s work. Thank you.” This beautiful statement made me realize that we weren’t building a house: we were building a home.

The Guatemala mission trip helped me to see life through a different light and really focus on building a foundation on God because as Beverly and the family showed me, happiness is found there.


Marsha said...

I am so amzed how we can go over to Guatemala and think we are going to make a differance and trsut me it is them who make the differance to us.I have had the opportunity to go 3 times and I am going again in January 2010, I have a sponsored child who also lives in Guatemala about 4 hours away from the mission and I have gooten to see her 2 times. She is now in going into 7th grade. Maria is beautifula nd she wants to go on to school and becoem a teacher. I am very happy she is in my life. I am so thankful to CFCA for what they do for so many and how lives are connected across the globe. Yes even though they are poorer - in many ways - they are richer tahn us. Gracious!!! Marsha

Merton said...

I have been going to Guatemala every year since 2006. I will be going again for the MAT December 26, 2009 - Jan 2, 2010. I am sponsoring a young man there, who will be 20 years old in Dec. It is always such a wonderful time to see the people and the staff in San Lucas and surrounding communities. I am looking forward to walking in solidarity with Bob Hentzen as he begins his walk from Guatemala to Chile. After my first MAT, I came home feeling that I had learned so much from these people about how to love. We have things. They have love of God.