Guatemala Trip 2017

Why we go on missions trips?

In the Great Commission we are called to actually GO therefore and make disciples of all nations. Missions is joining God in reconciling the World to Him. There is no lack of clarity in the Gospel message that serving the poor is an essential component of following Christ. This being said, we not only seek to address the physical needs of the poor, but also recognize the desperate need for the message of hope in Jesus Christ in every corner of the earth. The missionary experience brings new, life-changing wisdom and perspective to all who serve on the mission. Again and again we see quality mission trip experiences show people how to use their lives to love and value others better. Mission trips equip and encourage us all to go home and love the communities in which we live!

Why Guatemala?

Every 12 – 18 months, since 2004, Dr. Bailey and members of the Lifetime Dental Team have traveled to Guatemala to provide dental care to the poor and destitute. During the first trip to Guatemala in 2004, Dr. Bailey and his wife, Marge, provided dental services to the poor rural areas with 'Dentistry With Heart’— (a dental mission group with members primarily from the Vancouver area.) That was the first experience with attempting to set up dental equipment in areas that had only generators for electricity and often no continual water supply. What they found in dental health area was appalling! In all the communities, 50% of children suffered from periodontal problems. Examinations of over 600 Guatemalan children with toothaches reveal that 98% suffered from cavities. In an attempt to remedy the pain, many children have had their teeth removed; there was no other alternative in communities that lack access to oral health care facilities, neither curative nor preventative. Guatemala has the highest rates of dental cavities in the western hemisphere!
It was then that Dr. Bailey began working with Dental Organizations provincially and in B.C. to establish the small dental clinic at Fe Viva in Chiquimulilla area. The dental team is able to service the children and staff there annually as well as numerous families in the surrounding area. Because the oral health conditions are so much worse in Guatemala, the patients are much more grateful when they receive dental care. To see such a deep appreciation for what the team does has revitalized the passion of anyone who have traveled with Dr Bailey to this land.

Why Fe Viva as the site for the clinic?

Fe Viva is a secure, monitored compound that also houses the Rescue Home /Foster Home /Orphanage, Casa Esperanza as well as an Education Centre and many other facilities and homes. Fe viva provided a building where the dental clinic could be established and maintained by their personnel when no teams were on site. And more importantly, Fe Viva was established by Canadians, the primary visionary for the mission being a former Pastor of Kindersley Christian Fellowship. We know them and they know us!
So many people from Kindersley and area have traveled to this community with the dental teams to provide sewing classes, mechanical services, English language training, construction of homes (and any other buildings they are working on) and so on. Medical personnel have joined on some of the trips to instruct the people on sanitation and general health education as well as working with medical doctors to run local medical clinics. Fe Viva has the facilities to make all this possible.

Projects we participate in:

  • Dental /Medical Clinics: GUATEMALA DENTAL CLINIC

    we usually have two dentists, a dental hygienist, dental assistants and often have a nurse as well as various support personnel for the sterilization and general administration of the schedule and clinic program. We have had one chiropractor and his assistant, lab technicians and other medical personnel join our teams.
  • The feeding program

    We supply funds to feed approximately 250 kids 3 times a week at 3 schools around 30 minute radius of Fe Viva. They get cereal, cream of wheat, vitamins, milk, some meat which varies. Then our team on the ground distributes this food as well as school supplies, which is why school supplies and vitamins are always on the list of items to pack to take to Fe Viva. Sometimes clothing and other personal toiletries are distributed as well.
  • Stoves for Life

    In Guatemala, as in many other countries, breathing in the toxic fumes while preparing meals puts Guatemala families at risk for respiratory illnesses, blindness and burns on a daily basis. It is estimated that 77% of Guatemalan families use wood as their main fuel source. To diminish this health hazard, Fe Viva is installing efficient wood burning stoves with ventilation pipes to prevent smoke from filling the home (or tent or cardboard shanty). These highly energy efficient wood burning stoves use 40 percent less wood than conventional stoves and get hot enough to cook quicker. These stoves will benefit local families in the communities with cost efficient and better health. Because there is no open fire, there are less children and adults burned from falling into an open fire. Materials needed: Stove, blocks, concrete Cost: $300.00 US per stove. Therefore, we send funds to Fe Viva to purchase materials for these stoves ahead of time so that our team can go out and install them while we are there.
  • Construction and painting

    The mission buildings always require maintenance and the mission relies on teams coming in to paint and assist in constructing new facilities as well as the base expands. The education centre is adding more rooms to accommodate more students and homes are needed for families on an ongoing basis.
  • Ministry opportunities:

    Participants are encouraged to visit (with interpreters), sing songs and tell stories to the children at HIJOS de DIOS overcomewithgood.ca and share their testimonies at local Guatemalan church services. Our groups visit the House of Refuge houseofrefuge.ca where people speak at ladies breakfasts that reach the prostitutes of the area or at the home for alcoholics run by Steve and Karla Stoffelsen (who live on the Fe Viva mission base). There is always ministry opportunities when traveling to families ‘homes’ (many live in cardboard lean-tos in the forest) to deliver stoves or food packages. Those who are preachers will often be asked to preach at local church services as well

How to be Involved?

  • Pray 
    That the political landscape of Guatemala to change plus we always need the favour of the Lord in all aspects of the mission
  • Gather items needed for the mission
    Every time a team travels they always carry another piece of luggage to bring school supplies, toiletry items, medications, vitamins, and whatever else is needed for the people we will be ministering to. 
  • Donate or volunteer to fundraise
    We support the Fe Viva mission base by paying room and board so they can hire locals to cook  for us while we are there.  We also purchase all the dental /medical supplies required to run these clinics as well as the food packages and other items handed out in the feeding  program and we purchase the stoves we install.  The more funds we have, the more supplies we buy,  the more effective the mission team will be on the ground! 
  • Travel with us
    Not everyone can pack up all their belongings and become career missionaries, but many of us can go on short-term mission trips. If you've never tried it, we encourage you to consider these benefits of taking the compassion of Jesus to another culture where you will encounter God’s heart for other nations, expand your perspective on ministry, discover more of the Family of God in another country and feel the bond that only the Holy Spirit can initiate, and you will become more grateful.  Many who travel on these trips return with an attitude adjustment and a greater appreciation for life’s blessings that we often take for granted (like air conditioning, running water, good roads, flush toilets, etc).  

Remember

When David defeated the Amalekites, he gave the same reward to the warriors who stayed behind to watch the baggage as he gave to the frontline soldiers who wielded swords (see 1 Sam. 30:22-25).

So, whether you go virtually or in person, let's recognize the priority of missions. Let's encourage every Christian to discover their role in God's great plan to tell everyone about Jesus and His love.

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