June 14, 2007
Baptist Church Missionaries Travel to Guatemala
First Baptist Church of Memphis, sent seven local residents to Guatemala City recently to build a mission base in the poorest area of Guatemala City.
“The group had been planning this trip for a year and were finally able to go and see the fruits of their labor,” said member Gwen Dunn.
The group arrived in Guatemala on Wednesday, May 23rd and returned on June 1st. While there, they were able to witness first-hand the poverty and devastation of the poorest country in Central America.
The city had experienced an extended dry season and the group had no running water until Sunday night. The water would come on at midnight for one hour and local residents would store as much as they could until the water ran out.
After Sunday night the rainy season started and they were able to receive water each night.
“We collectively decided that they we are very fortunate to live in a country where we take many conveniences for granted,” Dunn stated. “Most of the residents in this area live in conditions most of us would never consider suitable. They live with so little.”
The group reported that the unemployment rate in this part of the city was approximately 70 percent. Also, the crime rate and gang activity was staggering. Most of the local residents were illiterate.
The mission team was able to tutor some of the neighborhood children and visit a local Christian School in the area.
“These children were fortunate as they were able to afford a private school,” Dunn said.
The missionaries that the group went to help were sponsoring four children to attend this school. The children were very happy to meet the mission team and greeted them with open arms.
The team included Mike Doubet, Troy Barrett, Garth Lloyd, Mark Barrett, Gwen Dunn, Denice Blaine and Ethel Barrett.