‘Vacation with a Purpose’ winners changed in Guatemala

By September 24, 2010

Guatemala (MNN) — Last week, Mission Network News wrapped up a series on the sex trade in the United States. The sad truth is: forced prostitution happens all over the globe.

The winners of the Kids Alive Vacation with a Purpose mission trip, Ron and Ellen Nealeigh, witnessed the results of abuse and prostitution firsthand on their paid trip to Guatemala. The Nealeighs, however, have seen tragic situations turn to beautiful redemption at the Kids Alive "Oasis" residence home.

When the Nealeighs entered for the chance go to Guatemala, the trip was tagged with this line: "Through this life-changing experience, you will see how Kids Alive is rescuing orphaned and abandoned children." Ron says that's what they saw.

"The thing that hits most people when they come to visit a ministry like this is the children," says Ron Nealeigh. The Nealeighs, who are still in Guatemala, say they've been changed as they've learned about the trauma these girls have been through. They compared it to the enormous protection the Lord has provided for their own daughters in the U.S. The love and healing that has been provided for these girls, however, has been eye opening.

"The innocence of many of these girls has been taken away by family members or others who have abused them, put them into prostitution, neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse," explains Ron. "To see the little girls here in this gated community that Kids Alive has been able to develop for them over the last few years, where they can feel safe and protected, experience God's love, and hear the story of Jesus, has been very amazing for us."

As they've traversed the country, the Nealeighs have seen all sorts of poverty and needs. The amount of needs can seem overwhelming, but the Nealeighs say they are confident that Kids Alive is doing all that they can.

"They may not be able to reach out to all the girls here, but these girls are being well cared for," confirms Ellen. Ellen says that as she and her husband travel back to the U.S. and tell others about their experience, they and Kids Alive hope for "people to really get a grasp on the purpose of the ministry and really know that these girls have emotional and spiritual needs that they're wanting to address."

The Nealeighs hope to encourage their friends that helping even one child in the name of Christ makes an incredible impact. Each of the girls they have met have been changed for the better and introduced to the deep love of Christ. If you would like to sponsor a child through Kids Alive, or just learn more about their program in Guatemala, click here.

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