Children’s HopeChest provides the opportunity for schools to partner with communities around the globe. Through HopeChest, students can build friendships with other children and learn about children’s daily lives in other countries. Students gain a sense of their impact on the world and their ability to change lives through their choices.
In March, students from The University School in Colorado Springs went on a mission trip to their partner CarePoint in Guatemala. Upon settling back into life in Colorado Springs, they wrote reflections on their time during their missions trip.
Here are some of the things they reflected on when they returned:
Unity in the body of Christ
“Today, praying and worshiping together with people who speak a different language was incredible! We can’t understand each other, yet our motives are the same. We are praying to the same God and worshiping the same Father. Through all of the barriers and difficulties of being in a different culture, we are able to connect in a way that other people aren’t able to. We are all one in Christ and nothing can separate us.”
“We used the term ‘culture shock,’ and for sure that’s what I was in–shock. Once I empathized with the people, specifically at Tabitha, my heart just broke for them. It wasn’t that I was sad or just felt pity for them but I tried to put myself in their shoes. Overall, I would say that after all the shock and processing of it all, I came to the realization that we were all serving the same God the same Jesus and the only difference I felt was our language barrier. But even then, God knew our hearts and our prayers.”
The power of prayer and being present
“There was one major part of the trip that really impacted me the most. One of the days we were in Guatemala we went to our CarePoint, Tabitha. There we enjoyed being present and hanging out with some local kids, but after the kids went home we had a prayer meeting with some of the staff at this CarePoint. During this prayer meeting, we were asked to get in a circle and pray around the local adults and staff. While we were praying, the spirit of the Lord was very evident, and I could feel the Lord moving and working during that time. This prayer time was just so impactful because of how much the Lord was evident during this time, and it helped me to see that the Lord can move through us and how powerful prayer actually is.”
“From this Guatemala trip, the biggest thing I have taken back is that when on a missions trip, it is usually to help and bring the Gospel to others. This time, it wasn’t the case. We were there just to be, to build and have a relationship with Tabitha CarePoint and the kids. We just came and played and loved these kids–spent time with them. We got to know and share with the people working at Tabitha, and to know their stories and struggles, but also seeing and hearing the amazing work God has done for this school and what he will continue to do. The biggest thing I am taking back by this trip is that it isn’t a one and done deal with Tabitha, but this is a relationship we will continue to grow.”
“The Guatemala City dump is not the place you would expect to find joy in the midst of pain and suffering; yet most of the kids at Tabitha are bursting with that emotion. The lives that these kids lead are not fit for kids. They shouldn’t have to be suffering because of their mom’s addiction or their dad’s abandonment, they should have been able to experience a good, healthy childhood. But they are somehow more joyful than most of us privileged, middle-class, iPhone-using kids. What’s the catch? Having material things isn’t a sin, but at the same time, it doesn’t necessarily help with happiness. Things don’t equal joy. God is the only one who truly provides joy and the children at Tabitha can see that better than most of us. They don’t have a ton of material things, but they have a ton of spiritual joy. As I observed this, I was shocked and had to take a step back and see if I was truly joyful in the midst of my ‘good’ life. I didn’t expect this going in to Guatemala, but I’m glad God had me experience the unexpected.”
“In Tabitha, I felt loved by the people and children, even though there is such a large language barrier. It made me realize how much love and happiness shows through body language and a simple smile and ‘hello,’ or a hug that overflows with thankfulness and happiness. All the children are so happy to see you and seem so happy, and it’s so easy to see them for only that, and not think of what is behind the smile on their faces. Then to later talk about their stories and past tragedy and trauma that they have been through makes me realize how strong they are to still can have genuine smiles on their faces.”
Reflection and perspective on their lives
“Through this experience, I heard God telling me to be intentional with the time He has given me. What I’m I going to do with my remaining year of high school? Am I going to live for myself or for God? Do I want to make an impact to the people I’m with? How am I going to live my life for God? God has blessed me with life, the least I can do is live it intentionally for His glory alone.”
The University School is Children’s HopeChest’s first school partnership. The impact in both the students’ lives and the lives of the Tabitha CarePoint children has been tangible and remarkable. If you are interested in how you can get your school involved in global missions, check out our School Partnerships page!