Editor’s Note: A team from Mt. Zion Baptist Church near Oxford, N.C., recently returned from a Buckner mission trip to Guatemala where they held Vacation Bible School programs, distributed shoes and shared God's love with vulnerable children. The following story is a first person perspective adapted from one of the team's blog posts on the Buckner missions blog.
By Gabrielle Capps
[caption id="attachment_9789" align="alignright" width="300"] A Guatemalan girl awaits her new shoes while Gabrielle cleans her feet.[/caption]
Today our team went to an awesome and impressive government-run facility for special needs kids. We saw kids with various needs such as Down syndrome, autism and deafness. The center has physical therapists and doctors on staff. They even had a pool for physical therapy.
We went there with the intention of doing Vacation Bible School with the children. God had other plans, however, because when we got there we began a shoe ministry and did not stop.
Distributing shoes was truly awesome. We started by taking off the child's shoes and socks. Then we cleaned their feet with baby wipes and presented them with a new pair of socks and new shoes.
It was a special time because we got to experience instant gratification [from the work the team was doing]. I personally received several kisses on the forehead and many hugs from kids. I saw a lot of smiles and heard a ton of laughter.
One girl I was helping was so excited she did not want me to look away from her. She kept clapping her hands and rocking back and forth in her chair with excitement. Every time I would look down to put on her sock or try to get the shoe on, she would poke me in the forehead to get me to look back up at her!
The people there were so grateful, especially the staff and parents. Today was really special because not only did we show love to the children, but the parents were shown God's love as well, through the way we treated their children.
It was a really humbling experience for me, knowing that I was doing the exact same thing Jesus did:
“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (John 13:14-17)
On this trip I have seen great need and a broken world that we cannot heal, but when I followed Jesus' example and washed the kids' feet, I felt what we were doing held significance. It brought hope and joy to people's lives in the midst of their trouble. Through it, I felt the love of Jesus covering all of us.
If you would like to learn more about going on a mission trip with Buckner, click here.
Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls® is the largest humanitarian aid project of Buckner International. To learn more about the project, why shoes are important, and ways you can help provide shoes to orphans and vulnerable children in the U.S. and around the world, visit www.shoesfororphansouls.org.