Arise...Be of good courage, and do it.
In Christianity we often hear of people taking a "next step" such as baptism, Bible study, personal time in prayer, etc. However, I think more importantly than just taking the next step is actually stepping up to what God calls us to do- to go and share about Him and His love for all. While small measurable steps are great are there are times in life when God moves us to a whole new level of faith in Him. We were hoping and praying that our mission trip to Casa Aleluya in Guatemala would be one of those times and God answered in remarkable ways! Our time spent at Casa Aleluya was incredible.
I am so very thankful for a church family that encourages and supports mission work! Without the prayers and support of our church family and friends our trip would not have been possible. Thank you Cook Baptist Church for this opportunity!
It was evident that God wanted us on this trip from the beginning. We faced a number of obstacles we had to overcome just to get there. I'm no sure how many know the story of how this mission trip came to be; Elli was signed up to go on the mission trip to the Navajo Indian reservation in New Mexico as she has for the past three years. There were not enough people able to go this year so the mission trip was cancelled. I let my Mom be the one to tell her the news. She responded by saying that a mission trip is our summer tradition. That is what my 8 year old daughter looks forward to doing when school is out, serving others. That being said Mom knew she had to do something. She has been to Casa Aleluya two times with our church. Elli and I have always wanted to go there as well. Mom made some phone calls to see the possibilities, all the while praying for God to show us where he wanted us to serve this summer.I received a text message from Mom one day at work that asked, "Want to go to Guatemala?" Not knowing how serious she was, I replied "Sure". She then informed me that our deposits were due the following week. I had no idea how we were going to pay for the airplane tickets o get there or for the nights we would stay at Casa. Little did I know God had something wonderful in store for us, He is always Faithful. We designed a t-shirt and started selling hose to raise money to help fund our trip. I was overwhelmed at the response of people buying shirs and donating money for us to use to go. After only a couple weeks of praying and asking for friends to pray for wisdom in planning, our trip was almost completely paid for. Wow!!
It felt like an impulse decision. Clearly I was not thinking things through- my only daughter, my Mom and myself going to a foreign country where we have never been. All I could think was God, we are in Your hands. I was tremendously blessed by being able to go on this trip. The children at Casa taught me so much. There are so many things in life that we often take for granted. We did activities with the children there each day. It didn't matter if we were doing something planned out or simply playing and loving on them, they were grateful!!
I will never forget the joy in their smiles on their little beautiful faces!! I plan on going back to Casa Aleluya as soon as God sends me!!
Renae Dickerson, Christi Noland, Ellie Dickerson, Tori Matthews