Last month, Sarah Stachak traveled with us on a “Journey of Hope” to Guatemala. Her trip inspired her to write this heartfelt letter.

Dear Guatemala,

Gracias por abrir mis ojos a su cultura, gente hermosa y recordándome cuáles son las verdaderas prioridades: survival, family and faith.

"Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” –Matthew 25:40
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” –Matthew 25:40

The day our mission team flew to Guatemala, the CEO of Food for the Poor, Robin Mahfood, told us to find someone who is suffering, look them in the eyes and we will be able to see the face of Christ.

On that very first day, our team was able to visit a community in Laguna Seca with more than 300 families living in the poorest conditions. We met four families living in one-room homes with dirt floors, no toilets, no sinks, no running water, very little furniture, and roofs with holes. Can you imagine standing in the corner of your house every time it rains so you and your family stay dry?

We talked to these families, learned about their struggles — although it was easy to witness the challenges they face every day — and learned how they survive.  Thanks to Food for the Poor, we were able to bless each family with a large bucket full of MannaPacks (rice, soy proteins, vitamins and minerals), which will feed their families for a few months.

Thankfully (Praise, God!) each family we visited has been approved for a brand new durable, safe and sustainable home, thanks to Food for the Poor donors.

At the end of the day, our team and the families in the community gathered in a circle to say our goodbyes. The last words came from a gentleman I had barely spoken to.

He said, “Thank you for being here today. Thank you so much for coming because no one has ever came to help us before.”

No one has ever helped this community before. That’s when it hit me. What our “Journey of Hope” mission trip really meant. Although we will not physically build these families their new homes, our faces, warm smiles, hugs, laughter, kindness, love and most importantly our presence in those moments with complete strangers brought this entire community hope for their families and their future.

That day, I learned there’s something truly powerful in the gift of presence. While we were in Guatemala, we felt His presence every day.

Thank you, Guatemala, for again, changing my heart forever.

Until we meet again,