IRC/TORCH Missions had its Inaugural Guatemala Trip this past July. The Hines/Reeves team traveled over two hours to hold a clinic in a church building in the village of Oratorio. Passing some puffing volcanoes, and they loaded up into four-wheel drive pickup trucks for the last leg of the journey, as the bus couldn’t make it over the roads. We had to cross through a river just to get to the village. Over 100 patients were seen and the group enjoyed some local cuisine with the villagers, which included chicken, turkey, rice, vegetables, and freshly made tortillas. Then the group loaded up on the trucks to head to the Niagara waterfalls, a local attraction near the village. A perfect way to end the day before heading back to Antigua for the night.
The team visited and learned about a ministry that is called Street Kids Direct (SKD). SKD, which is run by Dunc Dyason, has been working with children in Guatemala City that are high risk of living on the streets or already living on the streets for 28 years. The team played games, colored pages, painted some arts and crafts, painted fingernails and ate pizza with them. As the team was interacting with these children, it became clear that they all came from backgrounds where it is hard to trust adults. As we spent time with them, they began to open up and smile, and have a good time. Laughter was heard often as we played games with them. What a blessing this ministry is and the volunteers that do this full time.
Later in the week part of the group spent time in prayer for the ministry and the children at that same facility, while part of the group went to prep the Casa Alexis Protection Home for the work the team would do the following day. In the afternoon, the team took the children and the staff from the SKD to lunch at the local mall, and to see Disney’s Toy Story 4 in the VIP theater. The team thoroughly enjoyed getting to spend more time with the kids and it was so moving to hear their appreciation for something so simple, that we take for granted.
The team’s final workday was at the Casa Alexis Protection Home in Guatemala City, which is run by the Street Kids Ministry (SKM). There was scraping, wire brushing, moving of scraps of wood, cleaning up the courtyard and inside the downstairs part of the building, and yardwork. This center is where Dunc is currently living, and it allows kids to stay for 72 hours to stay off the streets in extreme situations, to receive counseling and guidance.
The group stayed in Antigua, and were able to do some exploring of shops, enjoying the amenities of the spa and pool at the hotel, and exploring local museums. There were group dinners, daily devotionals, Sundaymorning worship on the rooftop of the hotel, as well as hiking or riding horses up the Volcán de Pacaya. The team walked as close as we could to the flowing lava and roasted marshmallows for s’mores. We look forward to the what the future holds for the work in Guatemala and where and whom God will lead us to serve in that country.