A group of seventeen teens, young adults, and leaders from Covenant Brethren Churches, recently returned from a mission trip to Guatemala. While spending the first night with CBC partners Adam and Velma Clemmons in San Lucas, the team was privileged to hear his story and meet Pastor Walter and Sister Suzie of the Miracle Fishing CBC Congregation.

Following morning devotions overlooking smoking volcanos, the group traveled by bus to Panajachel and then by boat across Lake Atitlan to spend the next several nights with CBC partner Tom Palmer in San Juan La Laguna. The team installed fifteen cook stoves for families who had been using unventilated open fires and breathing the toxic smoke. Each stove and home was prayed over after completion.

While assembly was not difficult, the delivery of the concrete and ceramic components along with eleven cinderblocks required muscle and stamina. The adult leaders were thankful for the youthful strength and energy in getting the pieces up and down hillsides, through cornfields, and down narrow alleys. Although five of the stoves were installed in San Pablo, the other ten went to families 1000 feet higher near Santa Clara and Palestina.

The group also packed two tons of foodstuffs into 200 bags and distributed these and 200 Bibles to families in two different churches. Several of us were moved to tears watching the recipients weep with joy and share hugs and kisses in return. CBC pastors Craig Howard and George Bowers explained through an interpreter that this was food for both body and soul and gave an invitation to salvation.

Some of the group also started repainting the gym at the New Dawning Christian School in San Juan. We also were privileged to share a day of games and fun with the children as well as a hot dog roast. Some team members also assisted in instructing students in learning English. It was apparent the students had a much better grasp of English than we did of Spanish.

Along the way, the group was able to take advantage of incredible sunrises on the lake as well as tours of Santiago and Panajachel. Others enjoyed a breathtaking zipline higher than most in the US. We also enjoyed traditional Guatemalan meals and learned to ride Tuk Tuks when not walking up and down hill. We spent the last day in beautiful Antigua beneath Mt. Fuego before flying out on Saturday.

All members shared how they encountered God at various times and places on this trip. Obvious answers to prayer were witnessed in a returned wallet that had been lost (including credit and debit cards) as well as a returned bag and passport from the airport.

Following some mechanical and storm delays on the way back, the group returned about midnight on June 19th thankful for their experiences. Thanks to each of you for your faithful prayers and financial support of the group. Future trips are planned for both adults and youth in 2024 so plan to participate.

Written by George Bowers & Craig Howard