2011 MISSION TRIP TESTIMONIES
What struck me the most during my trip was something God spoke to me in the shower (of all places). The water in Guatemala is so polluted that not even the natives can drink it without getting sick. As I was thinking over the week, God spoke words “Living Water” to me. That HE is the living water that cleans us. It won’t make us sick, the water that washes over us and keeps in perfect peace with Him. What a way to reach the people! By explaining the concept of how His living water won’t ever cause sickness – it heals. His living water won’t ever run dry – He quenches us with it. His living water is free – eternally flowing over us with grace. The way The James Fund and our ministry partner present their love and support to these people blew me away. If the nation continues to allow the outpour of God’s power and presence to cleanse and quench them, what God will do! The way the widows and children have allowed us into their lives has opened the doors to furthering God’s Kingdom! I pray we not only continue to share the message of the Living Water, but that the Guatemalan people continue to seek God’s face and receive His blessings.
We had the chance to spend time with and build homes for Quiche’ Indian women in Chichicastengo, Guatemala. The relationships between the Quiche’ people and outsiders has been strained for hundreds of years. When we would first arrive at a build site and meet the widow’s family, we experienced the cautionsness of the culture. They were not sure what to think of a group of Americans coming all the way to their village. However, it was amazing to see that after a few hours, the disposition of the widows would completely transform. Upon realization that we had come only to give and show love, we were allowed to completely engage with their children and we received smiles, hugs and thanks in return. When a people group is usually so closed off, it is marvelous to experience what God’s love can do to change preconceived stereotypes and form relationships between individuals from different parts of the world.
Holly Hernandez, Family Christian Inventory Control Specialist, Kirkland, WA
My “Picture of the Week” was going to the Rio [a squatter's community] and going from house to house. The reception we got was great and trying to invite the people was so much fun because we were saying it in Spanish. We connected with the people in a manner that was simply God! I have been to the area before but I did not feel that I was personally connecting like I should or could have, but this time was so different. The hopelessness and despair that I had seen before was gone and the love of God was shining and flowing all over the place. We were so embraced the loved that you could not miss Jesus.
Corliss Lamette, Family Christian Store Manager, Highland, CA
Coming to Mexico to work with orphans was a huge change for me. I usually go to Mexico to build houses. When I arrived, I was blown away at how amazing this place is. I had no idea that places like this existed and to know that The James Fund works hand-in-hand with our ministry partner, it makes me want to go home and sell [product in the store] like crazy! After working [on the day's project], I asked God to show me what He wanted me to see. Shortly after that, a little boy caught my eye. I sat by him and we colored pictures. He knew a little English and I knew a little Spanish, but together we were able to hold a conversation. He is 12 and loves horses. His name is Bryan and he has two sisters. I’m not sure how God was using me, but I think he was using Bryan to bless me. This place does so many wonderful things. This was my first James Fund trip but defiantly not my last!
Our mission trip to Haiti was truly an eye-opening and inspiring one. Our group of 11 seemed so diverse yet we all functioned like the body of Christ. We worked together in harmony, helping each other, anticipating the other’s needs, i.e. handing a hammer to another team member on a ladder or giving a needed tissue to a team member holding a small child. Everyone knew what was needed and did it. We could see God working mightily throughout the trip, especially when it came to being with the toddlers and babies. Perhaps my most memorable moment came after several days of work when we were able to interact with the babies. As I held 6 or 7 month old Watson in my arms and thinking of the previous four days of work, I realized that Watson and the others in this extremely poor earthquake devastated country, are not forgotten. God is working in their lives, using us, the care-givers, the missionaries to bring these little ones to a full knowledge of Him.Kelly Hartman, Family Christian Inventory Control Specialist – Torrance, CA
The concept of “incarnational truth” keeps coming to mind when I think about the precious, outstanding time we’ve had at the Goshen Valley Boys Ranch. From Genesis when spoken words created the Heavens and Earth, communication has been a huge theme in scripture. In John 1, the “logos” of the Father - the thoughts, desires, intentions and communications of the Father - was made flesh and dwelt among us. We are His living letters. That is what I have seen and experienced at Goshen. The physical manifestation of God’s heart and desires for these boys: love, family, acceptance, healing, belonging, forgiveness, grace, and hope for the future – all of these things dwell in the Father’s heart are being shown totally here. These young men are exquisite in their honesty, openness and their destinies. What the Father is doing at the Ranch will impact generations and restore the dreams of God for families and children for decades to come. God is there, doing what He does. Thank you James Fund, for allowing us to be here with Him and these precious boys.Mike Franklin, Family Christian Store Manager – Fargo, ND