January 6th – 13th, 2018
Santa Maria de Jesus, Guatemala
Located at 7,000 ft elevation on the side of a 13,000 ft dormant volcano called Aqua, this village has a very strong Mayan cultural influence.
Through the winding, narrow streets, you feel as if you have stepped back in time as you see traditional homes and shops, people dressed in their traditional Mayan weavings and everyday agricultural-based lifestyles as they work the mountain terrain to provide for their families. The center of the village hosts the farmers’ market each Sunday and Thursday, as the families buy and sell the goods they need for daily life. Close by is the central laundry, where day and night you will see the ladies gathered to hand-wash their clothing.
On the January trips, our lodging is dorm-style at Mission Impact’s Christian girls school in Santa Maria. The Guatemalan school year runs late January to mid-October, so the whole family is available during prime coffee harvest for picking. This school is making a huge impact on this patriarchal culture which has traditionally not placed any value on education for girls. Most Guatemalan girls may get to go to school through 3rd grade but then are placed into the family business or childcare once they can read, write and do some simple math. Proximos Pasos is impacting this culture by helping families realize the value of education for their girls, raising up young Christ-followers who begin to understand how God values loves them and teaching about good nutrition and life skills.
The portion of the team that travels to the remote location, will start their week in Santa Maria de Jesus, then Monday – Thursday serve in Coyolate. Here they will serve with Healthy Communities (a branch of Mission Impact) to improve the health of these areas that have been forgotten or ignore by their government. Through clean water filters, fuel-efficient stoves and dry compost latrines, these families have access to an opportunity to be healthy. The water filters installations alone can reduce illness by 60-70% in a family. Adding the latrines, which provides a safe way to handle waste that doesn’t contaminate the ground water and fuel-efficient stoves, which eliminates the constant inhalation of open-cooking smoke for the women and children , has the potential to greatly reduce life-long illnesses in place with little or no access to health care.
March 1st – March 15th, 2018
Located in the northern part of Cambodia and just 3 hours from Angkor Wat, one of the 7 ancient wonders of the world, Battambang is the second
largest city in Cambodia. Yet, it has the feel of a more rural region. The capital of Cambodia, Phnom Pehn, has experience huge changes in the last decade, as it becomes more of a modern international city.
Asia’s Hope has campuses in both cities. We will briefly visit the location just outside Phnom Pehn on our trip, but spend the majority of our time in Battambang. Our two sponsored homes, called Crossroads of Hope 1 and 2, are located in Battambang. Asia’s Hope serves to rescue children from the exploitation of human trafficking, drug running and child labor... while then raising the children in loving, Christian family homes. Less than 1% of the Cambodian population is Christian. Buddism, Hinduism and spirit worship dominates this culture. These children are educated to become the future Christian leaders and make a powerful impact for the Kingdom of Christ in their country.