January 15, 2020
A group of Our Towns Habitat supporters are giving up the comforts of home this week to help Guatemalans have the comfort and security of their own home. This past Saturday, a team of 11 left for an 8-day mission trip to Antigua, where they are building a home for one Guatemalan family, as well as building latrines and smokeless stoves to improve housing conditions for other families.
At the core of Habitat for Humanity’s mission is the belief that everyone deserves a decent, affordable place to live. We work to meet that need through our local affiliates, such as Our Towns, who serve the neighborhoods where we live.
Even at the local level, though, we still work to fulfill the global mission. Our tithe program directs a percentage of unrestricted revenues to our partner affiliate in Guatemala. In addition to that financial support, Our Towns tackles the need for affordable housing in a hands-on way through Habitat for Humanity International’s Global Village program, sending a team of staff and volunteers to Guatemala every year to work on build projects.
Director of Operations Denise Copeland and Director of Family Services Lareka Knox are representing the Our Towns Habitat staff for this year’s trip. They are joined by other Our Towns volunteers and board members.
Both Copeland and Knox have been on Global Village trips to Guatemala before, and they say it helps reinforce to them the mission of their daily work with Our Towns Habitat.
“It’s a tangible experience for me, as I can see the immediate impact we are having in their lives,” Copeland said. She points out that Guatemalans do not have access to the same government support services and programs as are available here in the United States, which makes their work vitally important. “I always go there to be God’s hands and feet, but I always come back feeling like I was the one most blessed.”
Knox experienced a health scare on last year’s trip, but she is returning this year despite that, because she believes God has called her to be there, and will give the health and energy she needs to do the work. She says the trip helps her open her heart to people of all cultures.
“This trip reminds me that we are all different, not just in the way we look, but we have different ways of seeing and doing things,” she said. “Observing the culture in Guatemala expands my mind to consider ways I’ve never had to consider before. Even though we are all so different, we all have the same feelings, hopes and desires.”
The Global Village team will return to the United States this Sunday, exhausted but knowing they have helped build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter. The team members appreciate prayer from other Our Towns supporters while they are abroad. We also invite you to support affordable housing here and abroad through a donation to Our Towns, which can be made in just a few minutes online.