Guatemala (MNN) – Short-term mission trips are more than a chance to see a different culture for a week. They provide insight into missionary life and often open up hearts if God has a bigger call and commitment in mind.
AMG International works with churches to bring people to Guatemala for short-term trips. They minister practically, but also get to see how God is moving around the world.
Last year Jonathan Lipscombe went to Guatemala with AMG International and immediately felt a new passion for Guatemalan people. Even after he returned home, he felt God was calling him back there. So he decided to apply for an internship and see how God directed.
Lipscombe explains, “I’m really waiting to see what God’s going to have me do down there, and if He’s really telling me this is going to be a long-term thing – whether it’s something I’m going to be doing for a while – or if this is just a short-term thing.”
Poverty and Civil War
One of the things AMG exposes teams like Lipscombe’s to is the extreme poverty in Guatemala and the problems people face because of it. More than 50% of Guatemala’s population lives under the poverty line, with over 20% of people severely impoverished. Hand-in-hand with the poverty is a violent history. Their 36-year civil war only recently was resolved in 1996. And the fall-out of war still impacts society, with deep divides between people that often erupt into family or gang violence.
Lipscombe says, “Poverty is something we always hear about and we’ve always been told about it. Like we know what it is, but at least for me, I didn’t think I personally [understood] it until I saw it first-hand. One of the places we went to the first day we were there was the city dump in Guatemala City. And we saw that some of those people’s livelihood was getting up every day and going to the dump and trying to find stuff that they can sell or to feed their families and put food on the table. So it really opened my eyes to what that was. God was really speaking to me that day and really giving me a heart to want to help those people.”
AMG International believes that the hope Christ offers has the power to change the situation in Guatemala. They work with local churches as well as international ministries to bring the Gospel into every facet of people’s lives. From abuse trauma centers to camps, they work to open doors for Christ in Guatemala.
Through this first trip, Lipscombe saw that God was working through AMG International and he wanted to get involved. But he wasn’t sure how. He applied for a general internship and then waited for an answer.
A Clear Call
When he heard back, God’s direction was clear. For several years prior, Lipscombe had worked at other camps in the US. He understood camp ministry and was passionate about doing it. So it was nothing less than God’s providence that AMG wanted Lipscombe to work at a kid’s camp just outside of Guatemala City.
“I was really blessed because I didn’t know where I would be in Guatemala, I just knew that I was being called back down there. And then when I got the call and they told me I was going to a camp I thought it was a really awesome thing. And I think it is a great ministry and they use that to reach the kids that might not always be going to church or have that opportunity. Because a camp sets it in a whole different setting to expose people to God.”
Lipscombe’s first day of work is today. Please pray for God’s continued blessing on the camp. Thank God that he is working in hearts like Lipscombe’s to send workers to those that need Him.
If you would like to be involved with AMG International on a short-term trip, click here for more information.