The rain began to pour ten minutes after the start of our two-hour drive up the jungle mountains. Agreeing to sit outside in the bed of the truck felt like a trick after watching all the Guatemalan’s pile inside the truck’s back seat. I gripped the slick rails and held on for my life as the driver took us around harrowing corners and up steep inclines. For most people, this would be miserable. But I was singing at the top of my lungs, praising God for His provision of rain.
There is something divine about being outside in a torrential down-pour. There is no escape, no place to hide. It seeps past your clothing and every inch of you is soaked in rain. How fitting it is to compare the Lord’s love to a storm. It is so overwhelming and all all-consuming. It is what brought me into this jungle storm. When I was 16, I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Guatemala and assist missionaries who had lived in the Zacapa region for over 25 years. God’s heart for His people was so tangible during my time there, and I knew I would be back. Here I was, only four years later, serving as a medical intern to a Guatemalan doctor working in some of the most remote areas of his nation.
Once we arrived at the village, we jumped into action, changing into our scrubs and setting up the make-shift doctors office. This was our third village that week so myself and the other interns were ready to dive into whatever the doctors had for us that day. Through the language barrier, we served the people and the doctors with what skills we had. The people knew our leader, Doctor Tito, well and trusted him deeply. As his interns, we represented him and his colleagues. We did not enter these villages as strangers, but as a family under the name of Doctor Tito. Because his relationship with the people was so strong, we were welcomed and received with trust and respect the way he was.
In the same way, Children’s HopeChest steps into communities under the leadership of the local people. We seek elders and forerunners in communities all around the world who are fighting for justice. They know their community in a way outsiders cannot. We partner with them and provide support, not because we know a better way, but because God has asked us to use what talents we have to uplift His body of believers.
We sit and soak up all the people have to offer, hearing their stories and encouraging them in Christ. Our goal is to bring a refreshing to the soul so that our partner communities thrive and flourish. Being a part of HopeChest has been deeply encouraging to my heart. Everyday feels like a torrential down-pour of knowledge, encouragement, and wisdom. I am not always ready for the new challenges, and there are days I feel like I am gripping a slick guide-rail, but I get to experience the Love of the Lord through my co-workers and partners.
Learn more about Children’s HopeChest’s mission.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nina’s role at HopeChest as Sponsorship and Travel Manager connects North American communities to their partnered communities overseas through planning and managing partner visits as well as supporting sponsorship needs. She graduated from Whitworth University with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. If Nina was stranded on a desert island with one album to play on repeat, it would be “Staying at Tamara’s” by George Ezra. An ideal day off for Nina would be spent fishing, hiking, and reading in Eleven Mile Canyon with her family.