A point of view from Mitch Grunsky:
Waking up in a nice hotel room was really awesome, but I found myself wishing I was still at the Bethesda Clinic enjoying coffee with my fellow missioners. The outside world was already starting to creep in with talk of “they are shutting down the borders” and “all the toilet paper is gone” on our cell phones. We enjoyed an incredible breakfast, yet many of us commented that we felt guilty enjoying such nice things knowing that the people we just served have so little.
With some extra time before leaving for the airport, we did some last minute shopping at the mall beside the hotel. Trena was trying to buy Guatemalan candy to bring back to her family but didn’t have enough local currency. Some of the folks standing in line with her realized what was going on and several of them offered to pay for the candy. They could see from our shirts that we were missioners and were thankful for us being there.
We had arranged transportation to the airport; thankfully I could turn over the keys and didn’t have to drive anymore. Our flights were uneventful and we had plenty of room to space out on the plane. News of impending travel restrictions made me wonder why the planes were not full and if some of the Americans we had met the day earlier would be able to get home safely. We made it home around 1:30 AM and it was nice to see my dogs and my bed. Little did I know I was about to drop into Covid-19 madness.
As I sit here now and think back about our amazing trip there are so many things that come to mind:
1. How completely covered in prayer the missions team felt. Thank you Trinity and all the churches in Sumter that were praying for us! The Holy Spirit was with us for sure!
2. How amazing the people of Guatemala are. We truly received more from them than we gave to them.
3. How God has his hand in putting this team together. What an amazing sight it was to watch this team turn churches and schools into “medical clinics” capable of seeing >200 people per day. Clinics complete with ultrasound, examination “rooms”, triage stations and a pharmacy, all in a matter of 10 minutes each morning.
4. How fortunate we are to be able to get our loved ones medical care whenever it is needed. How fortunate we are to be able to grab some Tylenol or Motrin out the cabinet when we have a headache or a fever.
5. How true happiness has nothing to do with money or possessions. Sometimes they can even be inversely related.
6. How much of a servant Dr. Luke is. Richard said it best, we are suppose to put God number 1, even before our family, Luke is a person who truly does that.
7. How we need to remember to encourage our ministers and missionaries and be there to help strengthen them too. Even though they are our spiritual leaders, we are all human and need nourishment.
8. How I can’t wait to get back to Guatemala! There is so much to do!