We’ve been back in the United States for 4 days now, and it’s still difficult to put the past three weeks into words. Although we’ve been to Guatemala before, this was the longest amount of time we’ve spent there since Chris’s first trip in 2010. We went this year with the goal of creating a video for the Impacto Ministries staff to use for ministry and fundraising purposes, and we agreed that one week was simply not enough time for us to obtain all of the footage we needed. Three weeks, however, would be a good amount of time to shoot, edit, and deliver the finished product. Unfortunately for us, three weeks felt more like three days, and we were packing up to leave long before we were ready to say goodbye.
Within the weeks to come, we will be posting more photos and sharing more stories, but for now, we want to tell you about a group of the most loving, giving, and faithful followers of Christ that we know… the Impacto staff members. From the moment they met us at the airport to the time we said goodbye with tears in our eyes, they never stopped treating us like family. In fact, I’m pretty sure each and every one of them said to us on more than one occasion that we are now a part of their family. We were greeted with hugs and kisses every single morning, all of our meals were practically fit for royalty, and we were blessed to be a part of their staff meetings. Neither one of us had any idea we were going to have the privilege of spending so much time with the staff, seeing how the ministry operates “behind the scenes”, but it was being a part of this team that so radically challenged and encouraged us!
Most of the staff members are on-the-go from sunrise to well past sundown 7 days per week, whether they are out doing ministry activities with teams, driving 4 hours (one way!) to pick up new teams in Guatemala City every weekend, or triple checking details to make sure everything is prepared for the next days missions. During the busy season (February-September), Chris and I honestly have no idea when they are able to spend any quality time with their families, as they all are constantly working to ensure that the Lords work gets accomplished. We have never witnessed a group of people so consistently place others before themselves!
Within the short time we were there, I only hope we were of some help to them! Whether it be putting together a slideshow or just being an extra presence on a worksite, I hope the staff members were able to breathe just a bit easier when we were there. Knowing that we will be able to bless this team with a few videos and hundreds of photos brings so much joy to our hearts, and we only wish we could ease every burden they bear.
This year, it wasn’t the precious Guatemalan children that brought tears to our eyes as we said goodbye, it was our new family members. They all told us we could come back anytime we wanted, and we’re wondering if maybe we’ll be going back sooner rather than later. At this point, all we know is that for the past four days, we have missed them all terribly and can’t wait to see them again! What’s next for the WhonPhotos? We’ll let you know when we know!
(and family :) (Tyler, Dusty, Fred, Sarah, Dinora, Pastor Luis, Andrea, Tony, Daniel, David, Freddy, and Bryce)