Published Thu, Mar 14, 19. Written by Caroline Wilkins.
By: Anita Oswald
A little over three months ago, Angel, the Founder and CEO of Mission Life, asked me if I wanted to be one of a handful of people that would travel to Antigua, Guatemala on a discovery trip to evaluate a potential partner organization. My only question was, “When do we leave?” Thankfully I knew what a discovery trip was, I wasn’t ready to look like an uninformed weirdo… Just yet anyways!
In the weeks leading up to our trip, I had many reservations, one being that there are active volcanoes, what happens if we are too close to one when it erupts? Turns out we were close enough to see them erupt, but not close enough to be in harm's way. This was actually one of the most majestic things I have ever seen in my entire life, to date. Nature can be absolutely stunning, but there is nothing like an erupting volcano to remind you that nature can also be devastating in it’s beauty.
But to stay on track… To say that I was prepared for Guatemala would be an understatement of epic proportions. I expected one experience and left having had an entirely different one. Please do not misinterpret that as a bad thing, because it was definitely not bad. On the contrary, it was amazing and I am entirely grateful to have not had the experience I was expecting!
Stephanie, the Founder of Exodo Foundation, where we stayed and the organization we were evaluating, went above and beyond to make sure that we were welcomed with the warmest reception, had as many creature comforts as she could have available, indulged all of our crazy American tourist habits, taught us all so many things about her faith, shared her testimony, and helped us all become better in our own faith… Though I still miss my Star Wars pajama pants: a story for another day!
In any case, for those reasons above, and because Stephanie was instrumental in introducing this rag-tag team from New Hampshire to the Samuel Ministry and Pastor Eddy, I will forever sing her praises. As a byproduct of Exodo Foundations efforts, the Samuel Ministry has implemented an after school children’s program that fits into exactly what Mission Life is looking for in partner organizations. So after six days of traveling around Guatemala, speaking to so many wonderful people, hearing many amazing testimonies, eating a ton of delicious food, and completing our discovery mission, the decision was made.
Only a few weeks ago it was announced that Exodo Foundation would become the newest partner to join the Mission Life family, and by extension, the Samuel Mission. This is incredible news because it means almost a hundred children will be added into the Mission Life database for sponsorship, that is almost a hundred children that will benefit from someone’s generosity. All of those dreams that we can help foster.
As part of the Mission Life team, and the discovery team responsible for helping our organization grow, it is a very humbling and emotional moment for me to know that the people I spent six days of my life with will not be just that, but will be friends and coworkers for life.
Now, have you ever seen an avocado in the wild? I have, and let me just tell you, it was bigger than my head… almost!!