Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Guatemalan Education

Another post from Rush....who is apparently trying to take over my blog. :)

I recently returned from a short term medical mission trip to the Pacific Coast of Guatemala with a team from my church. Thirteen of us spent eight days in the beautiful Central American country providing medical care to some of its more needy communities and working with a missionary who has dedicated much of his life to Guatemala and its people.

I met incredible people and got to do things that I never thought I would do in my lifetime. Releasing a baby turtle into the Pacific Ocean, spending hours painting faces of little kids, pulling a tooth, helping with a surgery (more like a minor procedure --- but to me, it was surgery), playing soccer on the beach, laughing non-stop at inside jokes, and connecting in a new way with Christ are just a few of the memories that are now forever a part of who I am.

People have asked all types of questions since my return. What did we do? (Work & have fun) What were the people like? (Awesome) Would I go back? (Yes) What did I “get” out of the trip?

When I think about that last question I realize I got a lot of things out of my short time in Guatemala. An appreciation of a different culture, a renewed passion for missions and friendship come to mind. But most of all, I got an education.

I learned that we are all the same. Kids. Adults. Churches. We are all made in the same image and we all need the same things.

I learned that broken Spanish makes Guatemalan kids laugh. More broken = more laughs.

I learned that doctors, dentists, pharmacists & nurses do amazing things every day --- everywhere.

I learned that in some circles of Guatemala I’m known to be quite an artist.
(In America I can’t draw.)

I learned that I can do things that are outside of my comfort zone.

I learned that a multivitamin can give hope.

I learned that this world doesn’t make sense sometimes.

I learned that one little girl in Guatemala thought I was Justin Timberlake, even if just for a minute.

I learned that contentment doesn’t come from stuff. It comes from relationships, from community, from Christ.

I learned that Virginia really isn’t that hot.

I learned I love my church even more than I thought.

I learned that trying to fulfill Christ’s Great Commission is hard work, but it’s also the most enriching and rewarding work I’ve done. And as Christians we have a lot more work to do.

So why go on a mission trip? Why spend the vacation time and money? Why be away from family, friends and comfort for a week? There are a million reasons one could give I guess. For me though, it was all about getting an education.


  1. Thanks for sharing, Rush! Always amazing to see the lessons we learn if we're looking, listening, and loving.

  2. Inspiring, Rush. You're a good man.

    K. King