A FIRSTHAND ACCOUNT OF PERSONAL AND MUTUAL IMPACT. THIS BLOG POST ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON FRIENDS CHURCH PROJECT GUATEMALA FACEBOOK PAGE. WRITTEN BY CHARLENE THREATFUL.
Charlene Threatful of Friends Church (Calgary, AB) recently traveled to Nebaj, Guatemala and witnessed the impact she and her community here in Canada is a part of!
FEBRUARY 21, 2014:
I have been fortunate to have traveled quite a bit and been to many developing countries. The first time I got involved in supporting a project was World Vision, where years ago I sponsored a little girl in Uganda. I loved being a sponsor, but from my own experience I never knew exactly what impact I was having on her life, her family, her well-being.
There were no tangibles that I could measure and other than the letters - I had no real idea what was happening over there. Because Uganda is so far away, I never had the opportunity to go back to visit her. After I had my own children, and my sponsor child was a teenager, I stopped my donations and have been (passively) searching for a new cause.
When I first learned of Project Guatemala it was really interesting to me because it was closer to home and therefore easier to travel to; I liked what Carmen Kokot and the team had to say about Food for the Hungry and the work they were doing and decided to participate in this years trip.
I knew it would be life-changing and it was.
But I have to say, one of the biggest surprises for me was the FH organization and the work they are doing in Guatemala. These dedicated people work tirelessly with the men, women and children of Guatemala to help end chronic malnutrition. Our goal wasn't to go over and dig trenches, lay pipe or participate in physical labor (although there was some of that). We met with the leadership team, going through metrics and understanding EXACTLY where our donations are being used, how they are being used and what impact we are having on the children of Guatemala, specifically in Rio Azul.
And we are making a difference! I have to commend Vince Klassen for asking the tough questions, not taking I don't know for an answer and for the Food for the Hungry team in providing the information we kept asking for. These employees work in very humble offices; walk/bicycle/motorbike to work every day and work hard for not a lot of money to make our donations matter!
We presented them with a backpack at the end of our trip with the FH logo on it and the smiles and genuine appreciation was incredible. (My goodness, my kids would never get that excited about a backpack!) Their dedication is inspiring. The goal is to make Rio Azul self-sufficient and empower them to lead healthy lives.
It was so rewarding to know that all the work and money that we have provided to Rio Azul really is making a difference. And that makes me so proud and blessed to be a part of Friends Church and this experience.