Church News


Raymond Baptist Church Youth Work At Guatemalan Orphanage
By Cheryl Killam 8-24-13

Eight teens and three adults spent a week  doing  construction work to help an orphanage that houses 900 children in Guatemala.

The teens - Dan Burgess, 14, Nate Brown, 17,  Zack Brown, 17, Rachel Dallaire, 16 , Sabrina Mayo, 18,   James McKinnon, 17, Landon McBride, 17,  and Colton Rush, 16 - along with leaders Mark Burgess, Christa Brown and Matt Chouinard  spent  Aug. 3 to 11 working on two building projects  for the orphanage.

The Raymond Baptist Church (RBC) accepted the mission to help support the Wilson Family from Chester who are living in Guatemala for three years through the  Advancing Ministry of the Gospel  Internationals  (AMG Intl). Jenn Wilson contacted the Raymond Baptist Church  looking for short-term mission groups to help with a variety of work projects.  Youth Director Matt Chouinard thought this would be an excellent opportunity to give the youth an experience they would never forget.

 

The youth  group was split into two teams and  worked from 6 am to 6 pm  on  two buildings on the school property. The  painting and drop ceiling team worked inside the office building and a cement team worked on a new building for the orphanage.

When the youth group wasn’t doing construction, the teens helped in  the physical education and English classes.   After their day’s work, they had fun playing soccer and pig pile  with the Guatemalan children ages 4 to 15 years old.  “ The biggest challenge was the language barrier, since the Guatemalans spoke very little English. Our youth learned more Spanish in one week than they do in four years in high school,” said Chouinard.

The group stayed at a private home inside a gated community with security guards. They drank only bottled water and were provided with American meals such as stews  and  pancakes, and could also eat at McDonald’s and Burger King.  Chouinard said, “their  Pollo Coparo is like Wendy’s fried chicken.”

The group  brought with them only three pairs of clothes  each so that the other half of their suitcases had space for medical supplies, hygiene products, balls and candy for the children.

 

The school property was surrounded by homes built in a ravine. The homes are in rows, with hundreds in each row, and are shacks built of rusted sheet metal stacked on top of each other.  “The worst part of the trip,” Chouinard said,  “ was seeing people from the city of 12,000 picking through the city dump daily.  “  He said the average annual income in that  country is $3,000.

The mission trips are open to high school kids who must go through an application and interview process with RBC and AMG.  Once accepted, each one must raise $800, half the cost of the trip, while the church covers the rest of the $1,520 per person cost. 

The teens had to study the “Missions Adventure” book to prepare for the trip and take part in a weekend training with Ken Ibin, AMG representative.
Chouinard said that for him, “ the best part was the chance to experience another culture (that) doesn’t have as much as we do in America. We take our freedoms for granted and complain about insignificant stuff.

“By the end of the week, our kids were pretty smelly and couldn’t wait to return to their homes for a good hot shower, but they are all eager to do this again,” he added. “They wanted to stay another week, and all of them asked about future trips.“ 

Chouinard plans to keep RBC involved and offer high school youth a missionary trip every year.

Photos by Matt Chouinard. For more information call the Raymond Baptist Church at 895-2859 or click on the Raymond Baptist Church website .

 

 

 

 

 

 

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