EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD: Sharing light of Christ benefits missionaries, too

2013-02-17T00:00:00Z EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD: Sharing light of Christ benefits missionaries, tooPaul Appold nwitimes.com
February 17, 2013 12:00 am  • 

One of the great blessings we have in our congregation is the opportunity to take short-term mission trips, both in the U.S. and abroad in foreign countries.

As I wrote this, eight members of our congregation were in Guatemala helping to serve some of the most impoverished people of the world. This is a great blessing for us, because we know we are helping other people with their greatest needs.

Our mission team this year is called “The Light of Christ.” They took with them health and hygiene items; school needs for children like backpacks, pens, and pencils, arts and crafts materials; and most importantly, they took themselves.

Our mission team is there to share the light of Christ. They are there to let the people of Guatemala know that they are loved by God and loved by other people. They are there to listen to their problems, pray for them and give them hope.

You might wonder how we are able to connect with the people of Guatemala. Our team is working with a larger Christian organization called, “Groundwork Guatemala.”

Groundwork Guatemala is dedicated to helping Guatemalan people with their most basic needs, food, clothing and a connection to Jesus Christ. Within the organization there are trained interpreters and educated caregivers. They are a great help to us.

Sometimes, as you can imagine, it gets very emotional, as people will talk about the effects of poverty, crime and other forms of brokenness in their lives. Since Guatemala does not have the social care systems our country has, it is left up to groups like Groundwork Guatemala to bring them health and healing. We feel very privileged to be able to work with this organization to bring people hope.

Yet we know this is not just about us giving to them. These Guatemalan people will also be a great blessing to us. They will teach our group about the simple joys of people in this world.

So often in our country it seems that everything has to do with money. Sometimes we only feel blessed if we are wealthy. They will teach us that Christian love, joy and peace have nothing to do with money. These are, in fact, the greatest blessings of life.

Sometimes it’s important to take a step away to be able to count your blessings. We feel very blessed to be able to help others and share the light of Christ. We feel especially blessed by the love the people of Guatemala show back to us.

I hope in doing so, we will be more willing and able to help many others in our country and give them hope.

The Rev. Paul Appold is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Lansing. The opinions are the writer's and not necessarily that of The Times.

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