Beginning the long journey

January 25, 2024 … and another missions trip is beginning! This year, we are sending 11 Grade 12 students and 6 chaperones to Guatemala. They left this morning before the sun rose, driving in several vehicles to the airport in Toronto (thank you, Mrs. Fuller, Mr. DiPietro and Mr. Van Rooyen for providing the transportation). Mr. Fuller, the secondary vice principal and veteran missions trip coordinator, reported: “We made excellent time to the airport and sailed through customs smoothly. God goes before us!”

The team was commissioned by our chaplain Mr. Krasinkiewicz at last week’s chapel. It is the hope of Maranatha that the students would see God at work around them over the next 10 days or so, that they would grow in their faith and they would experience a fresh understanding of the Lord.

MCA’s past missions teams have offered practical help in the past to Global Shores and its school called Colegio Cristiano Avivando el Fuego (Fanning the Flame Christian School). We have helped to build a science lab, do renovations and help with vacation Bible school. We’re not sure what awaits the team this year though expect it will be much the same. The team will also fit in some sightseeing. Mr. Fuller says it’s one of his goals that the students walk away with a better appreciation for Guatemalan culture and for the people.

We look forward to hearing more! Stay tuned for updates.

UPDATE (Early Friday morning from Mr. Fuller)

This has definitely been a long day. In fact, it was exactly 24 hours ago that my alarm went off to wake up and go to school to meet the team. Through it all, we have continued to find God’s faithfulness in big and small things. Special thanks to our Drive Team who got us to the airport early and then turned around and drove back. Our check in with United Airlines and then U.S. border security went smoothly and faster than ever. We were at our gate shortly after 10 with two hours to relax. 

Although none of us had been through the airport in Newark, NJ before, the consensus seemed to be that it has a unique setup, with its cafeteria-style restaurant in a central hub. Unfortunately, this is where our delay began as our plane was delayed arriving in Newark. We were in the air shortly after 8:00 p.m. (Toronto time) and arrived in Guatemala just before midnight (1:00 a.m. Toronto time). It was great to see Luis and Willie again and we were loaded and on the road in record time. (Border security here went completely digital since two months ago, so it went very smoothly.)

We have arrived, settled and quickly fallen asleep. There are lots of tired eyes and minds, with a couple of upset stomachs. Please pray that our sleep will renew us for our early morning start today at 6:30 a.m. (Remember, we are an hour behind Toronto. For example, as I am writing, it is now 3:36 a.m. in Toronto, which means that here it is 2:36 a.m. and we get an extra hour sleep. Definitely thankful for that and all the other blessings God is showing us.)