I never would have guessed that, after looking at colorful flier on my church’s bulletin board, I would be teaching computer classes at the Buckner Family Hope Centers in Guatemala. In June, I traveled with a group of 10 women 1,795 miles to Guatemala City to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a community that not only needed but deserved our support.
The first day of our trip was bumpy. By the time we cleared for takeoff at 9:30 p.m., we were already five hours behind schedule. As we settled into our seats, we heard a tired voice over the intercom say Guatemala City was under curfew and there were no customs or immigration agents on duty at the time of night. All 150 passengers were welcomed back into Houston until a flight at 7 a.m. the following morning. By the time we reached our hotel, it was 3 a.m. and I was tired. When they lost our luggage on the next flight, I wondered what else would go wrong.
I began to focus on the work at hand and what it means to be a missionary. Our group knew that even with all the adverse happenings, God was in control.
On the third day of our mission trip, we had a wonderful day teaching two groups of ladies from the Hope Center in Jocotenango. They were eager to learn our tips on basic hygiene, feminine and kitchen hygiene. We took turns entertaining their children with games and songs.
I taught computer lessons to students aged 12-30. They received school credit for the classes they attended at the Hope Center. We had the students do some easy calculations on payroll, which gave us a chance to talk about money and paycheck deduction.
Visiting the home of a family who had been helped by Buckner was very eye-opening. I realized how very poor these loving people were, and how they represented many of the people in Guatemala. They cooked on a wood stove and had no electricity, but were still so grateful for the help they received from Buckner.
God gave our group a tremendous upbeat attitude, which enabled us to minister to those around us. It reminded me of 1 Corinthians 12, which says that we are all a part of the body of Christ, blessed with a specific talent.
Our last day went off without a hitch. It was a smooth trip back to Texas, complete with our lost luggage arriving at the same time we did. This trip was like a dream. The support we received from Buckner and our interpreters was amazing. I made some lifelong friends. I would love to go back again!
-Nancy Smith, 2016 Buckner mission trip participant