Mission to Guatemala - Trinity Bible Church
Dec 09, 2015 02:23PM
● Published by Savannah Ludwig
In 2001, Trinity Bible Church began a long-term relationship with the people of Comitancillo, Guatemala. Since that time, teams from the church have made many mission trips to assist this Central American community. Work projects have resulted in the construction of a new church building, church benches, musical instruments, homes for widows, outhouses, farm animals, and school sponsorships.
In November, a group of eight people from Trinity Bible Church set out for Comitancillo, a small village in Guatemala’s western highlands. The trip focused on the medical needs of the Mayan people, whose ancestors have lived there for thousands of years.
DR. TIM OSBORNE, TRINITY BIBLE CHURCH’S MISSION PASTOR TALKS ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE
Life in Guatemala is hard. People have few possessions and struggle with simple, yet significant issues. Clean water is a luxury. Basic health care is unavailable to most families.
Their diet is amazingly simple — corn tortillas, tamales, black beans, and hard-boiled eggs — every day, day after day. Most people have a small tract of land, which they use to grow corn and black beans. Their few chickens roam free and if they are fortunate, families may have a goat or a pig. Most of the women wear traditional Mayan clothing that is quite beautiful and intricate. Skirts and belts are hand crafted on a loom and shirts are embroidered from colored yarn.
Over the fifteen years that we have been visiting Comitancillo, we have come to love and appreciate these gentle people. Through their simple life and faith, we’ve become students of a people who have learned to trust God and experience His presence in the midst of great hardship.
In the context of this hardship, our mission trips are designed to bring help and hope to people
in specific ways. While our medical team brought certain skills to the task, we all had a simple plan in mind — to love each person we served. Love transcends both language and culture. Met with a smile, a hug, or just time to listen or to pray, each person carries in himself or herself the dignity of all humanity.
Our team worked a series of stations: intake; vital signs; triage; doctor visits and the pharmacy. In addition, each patient was asked if they would like someone to pray with them. About 98% of the 330 patients we saw said that they did. Most of the patients suffered from common issues consistent with their labor intensive lives — and their spicy foods. They came in for headaches, stomach pain and digestive problems, muscle pain, and women’s issues. Some were more serious and beyond the scope of medical treatment available.
One woman came in with her elderly mother. Both were being treated for various needs. After examining the mother, “Dr. Pat” called the daughter in to speak with her privately. She said,
“I need to give you a hug before I tell you about your mother’s condition.” She went on to explain that the woman’s mother had advanced liver disease and would probably live for less than six months. While she could do nothing for the mother except help with pain, she was
able to counsel the woman on what to expect and how to help her mother through the next few months.
Dr. Osborne and his mission team provided medical treatment, prayers, love and compassion for people in dire conditions — a life that most Americans will never know. The positive impact of these trips can be astronomical for people with limited resources.
Photos by: Jo Ann Gary Photography