Missionary trip inspires fundraising event
A local group of young people and adults returned from a recent missionary trip to Guatemala.
Heading up the trip was David Beigle, Minister to Students, at Leachville First Baptist Church.
"We hear about the problems and poverty people face in other countries, but until someone experiences it firsthand it is not as real to them," Beigle said.
Beigle has been part of several mission trips including two to Africa, three to Brazil and two to Guatemala. Year before last he was joined by Mark Hurst, John Eric Hawkins and Nathan Sanders on a missionary trip to the Amazon.
"We were in the jungle and we roughed it," Beigle said. "Even then we started talking about our next missionary trip. We decided we wanted to plan a missionary trip where we could take our families and any youth who wanted to go and plans for the Guatemala trip began."
The group was made up of 10 people from Leachville, three from Monette, and seven from Halls, Tenn. They left July 22 and returned July 29. They flew out of Memphis for the eight hour trip landing in Guatemala City.
The Leachville group included David and his wife, Ashley Beigle, Bud Parker and his daughter Hayley, John Eric Hawkins, Jonas Rose, Jacob and Evan Sanders, Kaley Hawkins, and Chris Applegate. The three members of the group from Monette are Mark and Jessica Hurst and Phillip Duffel.
"We worked with independent missionaries who live and work in Guatemala," Beigle said. "The seminary was located in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Many of our group had never been out of the country. The poverty level we encountered blew their minds."
The group worked on buildings in the seminary. They helped build houses which were 12x12' metal buildings framed in wood. The small buildings would be homes for some of the local families.
"The families were thrilled to get the homes," Beigle said. "The small dwellings were so much better than what they were currently living in."
The group also held back yard Bible clubs where they met and worked with many local children.
What caught their attention was visiting the orphanages. The first large orphanage they visited is run by a young couple from the United States who fell in love with the children and the area. The smaller orphanage was what got their hearts and moved them to tears. It is a special needs orphanage named the Joy Filled Homes.
The special needs orphanage could only house 10 children due to lack of funding.
"There are not enough funds or staff for more," Beigle said. "These children had such needs and there was no money for physical therapy or other help. We were expecting children maybe in wheelchairs or with other relatively small physical difficulties, but the afternoon we spent there really opened our eyes and our hearts to the severe physical life-ending medical problems that these children face."
As a matter of fact, the entire group started digging into their pockets and wallets. They decided they couldn't just go visit without trying to do something about what they experienced. They didn't come home and forget what they saw. They are on a mission to raise money to send to this orphanage. The group is having a yard sale on Saturday, Sept. 28, in front of the Leachville First Baptist Church with all of the money going to the Joy Filled Homes.
"We have been working with our youth on life lessons, and caring for the poor is Biblical mandate", Beigle said. "We want them to realize everything is not just about 'me.' We don't realize it in America but thousands of children around the world die every day because they have no food. My Bible tells me my life is not my own and it doesn't give me options to consider by commands to obey."
Beigle said they all came home with a new realization of what is important in life and a new appreciation of what they have been blessed with. Among the group they had ministers, educators, nurse, physical therapist, high school students, college students and several other occupations.
"We will all remember the trip and the people we met, but I think we will especially remember the children who live in the small special needs orphanage and the people who care for them," Beigle said.
If possible he asks people to help support this group as they seek to help these children in Guatemala who desperately need it.