Guatemala (MNN) — As many college students are finishing up finals and getting ready to graduate, many ministries are gearing up for summer mission teams. Paradise Bound Ministries is no exception.
Paradise Bound's Dan Smith says Guatemala has a huge need for teams in the area of housing and medical needs. "As each group comes down, the group will start and build usually four or five homes. We have quite a process that takes place. The groups will actually start those homes, be able to finish them, dedicate the homes, and present the Gospel inside these homes."
While building a home for these families is important physically, Smith says the Gospel is the most important thing. "We see a large number of families coming to know Jesus Christ during that time because it allows us to build a relationship with the family as we're there building the home for three days. As we work through entire villages doing this, we see entire villages transformed for Christ."
Providing medical care in rural areas is also important. Smith says, "These are some of the most remote villages in Guatemala. We have four-by-four 15-passenger vans that get us out into the villages and get us back. Many times we do get struck. It's difficult to get out there, but if we don't reach them, nobody else is."
Over the winter, 9 teams with almost 300 people have been involved. Smith says, "We've seen hundreds of souls come to know Jesus Christ just in the last three months. Then our discipleship teams go back and continue some of that process, but we're right on the brink of our summer teems."
Seven summer teams (mostly youth groups) are planning to travel to Guatemala on their own to help. Smith says they need prayer. "It is an undertaking on their part. They raise the money to build the homes. They raise the money for the medical clinics as well as the airlines, and a few for them to stay with us."
What's even more interesting is that sometimes trip participants come to Christ. Pray that God will begin moving in the hearts of those He's chosen today.