“Living in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in Guatemala has not been easy. [But] God has blessed us with strength, health and by providing for our every need,” says Carmen Cabrerra, Safeguarding Officer, Kids Alive Guatemala.
All of us can relate to Carmen’s sentiments, and while our field teams have been great at adapting to the new realities, COVID-19 brought a key facet of Kids Alive ministry to a grinding halt: service team visits and short-term mission outreaches from U.S. churches and volunteer groups*. From years of experience, we know that God works powerfully through these trips to minister to both the team members in the field and the volunteer participants every time.
In January of this year, the doors for out of country visitors to our campuses were opened for a women’s group from Calvary Community Church in Valparaiso, Indiana, to visit 66 women staff of Kids Alive Guatemala. Together they shared a three-day retreat focused on the theme “Armor of God.”
“From the first moment, the ladies [of Calvary Community Church] made us feel so welcome!” Carmen continues, “We received a gift bag with many special things …most importantly the workbook for our study for the week, Armor of God Bible Study. The retreat offered a meaningful time for us. We enjoyed activities like creating a beautiful charm bracelet with each component of the armor of God and a set of praying hands to remind us to pray at all times.”
This topic was especially timely: “We are in the midst of constant spiritual warfare. We have to be prepared. The enemy is not happy with the work we are doing every day at Kids Alive Guatemala. We are Warriors of God – chosen to do the job God has given us,” added Carmen.
“The retreat was refreshing for my faith and new strength for my heart. My favorite part was the bracelet that reminds me of the tools that God gave me to face and resist the devil,” says Vicky, who serves as a psychologist for Kids Alive Guatemala. She continues, “I am grateful that a group of women from another country is interested and concerned about our spiritual well-being…it makes me feel embraced and loved by God.”
“We would not have met together as a complete staff of women without your (Calvary Community Church) team coming. It was delightful to have you here,” notes missionary Cathy Fredlund.
The women from Calvary brought encouragement, laughter and love with them from Indiana to the hard-working staff in Guatemala. Like ripples in water, the impact of their visit grows as several women continue the Bible study after Calvary’s departure.
In a letter to the women of Calvary Community Church, Ligia Lopez, another Kids Alive Guatemala psychologist notes, “Thank you. God sent you at the exact time to satisfy that spiritual thirst.”
Is God calling you to serve with a team of church members, skilled professionals, or friends? Service trips are back! We’re scheduling teams now for the 2022 season. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website.