Our journey to Guatemala started very early in the morning on Friday, February 9. Our team of nearly 50 people met at Skidaway Island Baptist Church at 4am. The volunteers loaded three buses with medical equipment, supplies and medicine. They then boarded those buses for the airport.
Once we arrived in Guatemala City, we quickly rounded up all of our luggage and supplies and boarded three buses for Antigua. It was a bright, clear day. The city streets were crowded and the people drive very fast and very close to each other. It was supposed to about an hour and a half for us to get to the hotel in Antigua.
Within a few short minutes of our convoy getting on the road, we pulled over at a service station. The bus that I was on had a mechanical problem. I waved as my photographer, Bob Wells, and the others got back on their bus and left us there.
Our driver, Pablo, and a couple of mechanics quickly went to work to make the repairs. Although it took them more than three hours to finish, it was a very nice evening. The weather was perfect: cool and clear and I was in very good company. On that broken down bus, we were all the same. We were all just people with one thing in common, we were excited about the mission that awaited us.
Even though this is my first trip with the Faith in Practice mission, it feels very familiar. You might remember that last summer I went with the Goodness & Mercy Foundation on their medical mission to Ghana. Those volunteers were just like these volunteers. While this group is larger than the other, it is filled with the same kind of people--loving, kind, compassionate and generous people who understand that no matter where we live, people are the just people and it is our responsibility as citizens of the world to care for those who need help.