Ben's Recap of His Mission Trip - In His Words

My family and I went back to Casa Bernabe in Guatemala. It was my fourth time. While we were there, we gave away food, shoes and cleats. We also had a little fun with our mission team.

Our team gave out new shoes to the kids at Casa Bernabe. We got them from our friends and people who wanted to donate. Our team took them to Casa Bernabe in a lot of suitcases. Ellie, Mommy, and Michelle sorted them in rows of tables, by girls and boys. They started from small sizes and went to bigger sizes. I helped list the people from the houses who took a pair of shoes and what size they were. I felt thrilled because they received new shoes because Casa Bernabe doesn't have they money for them to buy any. God told me to help the boys. I helped most of the boys find the right pair of shoes in the right size.

My family also gave out cleats to the kids who were playing soccer. In Casa Bernabe, they call cleats, ‘tacos’. We had 90 pairs of new and used cleats. We collected them from our friends who wanted to help the kids who needed shoes. At the end of the younger kids practice, it was time for the older kids to find a pair of shoes. The last adult that was trying to find a pair, but he didn't have the right size; so, I gave him my pair and they were a perfect fit for him. I felt joyful that he got a pair that fit him. God helped all the kids find the best pair that fit them.

We were able to play soccer with the younger kids and the older kids. They love to play soccer, and so do I. They are trying to raise money so they can buy a Preschool for the younger kids, and a turf field with lights. I think God is going to help them raise enough money so they can buy it. I am going to enjoy playing on a turf field with the kids because the ground is all dirt and a little bit of grass.

On Thursday, our fifth day in Guatemala, we went to a town called Jocotillo. There, we planned to build a house, do a clinic, and give out food at 4:00pm. We started on building the house and it went up pretty easily. It only took us about three hours. And in the last two years were were in Jocotillo, it use to take about 5-6 hours to build a house. It is a tin house with a door and a window. I helped by grabbing the nails for the people hammering and I also hammered a little bit. I felt thrilled that they were able to have a house and a secure place to sleep every night.

I have asthma, so while in Jocotillo, I had to wear a mask because there was a lot of dust. Also, the people we were constructing the house for were cooking lunch to the right of the house. There was a lot of smoke. I felt hot in the mask, but I was relieved I had it so I could breathe easily.

While seven of us were building the house, Daddy included, the rest of the team were helping with a medical clinic and playing with the children.  At 4:00pm, the whole group started giving out bags of food to the people who were waiting in line. We had about 400 bags of food and every family got a bag, including the church and its members. I felt energetic that they received food because food is what they all need. I saw God in the feeding because every person received a bag of food.

On Friday, our last full day in Guatemala, we hiked Volcan de Pacaya. It took us two hours to get to the top of the volcano. In 2014, there was big eruption that caused a lot of smoke and ash to go into the nearby towns. On the way up, we got to see rocks falling from the top of the active volcano. They were still really hot. We got to see a Lava Store, which had dried magma and petrified shells that they put together into a bracelet or necklace. After the Lava Store, we went to a part of the volcano that had heat coming out of the ground. We put marshmallows on sticks and roasted them using the geothermal heat. After the marshmallows, we got to the top of the volcano. Then, we slid down the slope of the mountain. It was really dirty but awesome, I would like to do it again someday.  I saw God at the top of the mountain because I could see His creation, which was extraordinary. God helped our team to be safe on the volcano and on the way sliding down to the bottom of the slope.

Overall, I love being in Guatemala for the fourth time with my family and with the group from my church. I hope we go back for another month to Chimaltenango and Casa Bernabe.


Ben at the top of Volcan de Pacaya, mask and all

Ben at the top of Volcan de Pacaya, mask and all

Ben helping measure beans, as part of the food we prepared for distribution in Jocotillo

Ben helping measure beans, as part of the food we prepared for distribution in Jocotillo

Ben assisting in the cleat distribution - see Holly’s post “Mission Means Sacrifice” to read more about Ben giving away the cleats he is wearing in this picture

Ben assisting in the cleat distribution - see Holly’s post “Mission Means Sacrifice” to read more about Ben giving away the cleats he is wearing in this picture

Ben with a sweet girl from Casa Bernabe who follows him around and absolutely adores him

Ben with a sweet girl from Casa Bernabe who follows him around and absolutely adores him