In their own words…

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Cries of the Poor
by Julia Marciano
Published in the White County paper in May 2016

“If you refuse to listen to the cry of the poor, your own cry for help will not be heard.” Proverbs 21:13

For the past two summers, I have had the privilege to travel to Guatemala. It has changed my life in many ways. People go on mission trips for many different reasons. Some go to encounter God’s heart, to expand their limited perspective, to become more grateful or to overcome their fears.

The reason I go is to build a family outside of my family, I love meeting new people and knowing their heart. Mission trip s are not just about handing out food and money, it is about teaching people how to make their own jobs and how to use their money in smart ways.

This past summer when I traveled to Guatemala, I met a little boy named Juan. He was 9 years old, and he was the most blithesome child I have ever met. We connected expeditiously. The first day I was there we had already made up a handshake.

Even though we spoke two contracting languages, it was mind-blowing how we “talked” for hours, and played for what felt like a whole day. Juan asked me to visit his house. It was not much, but he was filled with joy that he was able to show it to me. We need to learn from Juan. We need to love what we have, even if it is not much.

While we were in Guatemala, we visited a village named Papajbi. We were the first group of people who’d visited them in 30 years! We planted seeds in their garden  and made house visits. At the end of the day, we asked if we could take a picture of a beautiful elderly lady. We showed her the picture and she started to cry. She had never seen what she looks like because they do not have mirrors.

We worry about what we look like on a daily basis. Every time we pass a window that is reflective, we look to see if there is something in our teeth or if our hair still looks nice. If we were not so focused on our appearance, we would have more time to focus on serving others.

Every time I come back fro Guatemala, I change in a different way, but everyone around me is still the same arrogant American that does not care about anyone by themselves. I come back and pour my heart out to people, and they are not affected by what I have to say. They wonder why their cries or prayers are not being answered. It is a because they are not listening to the cries of the poor.

One does not have to go on an expedition across the world to help the needy. We can work in a soup kitchen or pack boxes for people who need food. It does not even have to involve physical things. We can show them compassion, the love of God, and guide them through the right path.

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