I walked back to my minivan with a donated suitcase in hand and tears in my eyes.
A mom from my kids’ school volunteered to give me a suitcase we needed, but she also prayed over me. She wrapped her arms around here right there in the doorway on the front porch.
Danielle only knew the basics of my upcoming mission trip: My oldest two kids were going with Greg and me to Guatemala. Yet she prayed specifically over things that had been on my mind. She prayed with confidence that comes with knowing God intimately. She considered the missionaries we are going to serve with, the people we would meet, my youngest who would be at home with grandmas, the supplies we were taking, the stories I’m surely going to write and tell when we get home, and the anxiety that can come with the leaving the familiar.
I popped the trunk and loaded the suitcase that was exactly what we needed to carry our donations and then leave with the missionaries who could carry clothes to families in all the towns they serve.
“Why did she hug you so long, Mom?” one kid asked.
“Yeah, she hugged you a long time,” the other echoed.
I smiled, eager to share with them what I had just experienced. “She was praying for me and you guys and our whole mission trip. It was really kind, such an unexpected blessing.”
Honestly, Danielle’s prayer was exactly what I didn’t know I needed. Anxiety about leaving my youngest and general trip preparations had been creeping in. I want to go. I know we can help Bethel Ministries International missionaries with what they’ve been doing in Guatemala for decades. But I still was feeling all sorts of emotions.
God showed up right there on an acquaintance’s porch. Yes, giving away a suitcase to support our mission was kind, but her prayer was sincere generosity that blessed me.
That’s when I remembered it takes
a village to do anything worthwhile.
We have sixteen large suitcases stuffed with clothes, toiletries, school supplies, shoes, blankets, and other goodies for the Guatemalan families we’re going to visit next week. That’s one suitcase for each person on our team. We represent at least four different churches, although most of us have been on previous mission trips to serve with Bethel Ministries International in Guatemala.
Many of those suitcases were gifted and filled with other donations. People have donated money and supplies. People have prayed and encouraged.
Yes, next week our team of 16 will be in Tecpan, Guatemala, but we aren’t going alone.
This will be our second mission trip to Guatemala. Our trip in 2015 was life-changing and I brought home plenty of stories, some of which I’ve shared here.
I wrote most of this post before knowing the devastation from the volcanic eruption in Guatemala on Sunday. Our team leaders and missionaries are still determining if and how much the aftermath of Volcan de Fuego’s major eruption will affect our trip, mostly getting from the airport to our destination.
I look forward to sharing with y’all what God does on this trip. Until then, the #PorchStories linkup will be on vacation next week. I look forward to catching up on June 20.