Red Knights on a Mission
The people of Guatemala are near and dear to many a Red Knight. On July 8, 38 Red Knights and six BSM teachers will be embarking on a mission trip to build the Kingdom of God in Antigua, Guatemala. Each summer, BSM teams up with The God’s Child Project (GCP) to build homes for poverty-stricken families in Guatemala. This summer’s trip will be most extraordinary given the aftermath of the recent significant eruptions of the Fuego Volcano June 3. In this fourth summer partnering with the GCP, 138 BSM students will have built 21 homes, 17 outdoor kitchens, and will have brought over $65,000 worth of donations. Think of those numbers for a moment. The vast majority of Americans, 99% that is, will not give up 11 days to serve others abroad, building them a sustainable future. In four years, approximately 10% of BSM students will have done so. To all the current and former mission trip participants, you have made the community of BSM very proud!
The current need to build is great. Many Guatemalan families have lost what little they had. Some will be cleaning up for months, and some have missing family members. I can imagine that former participants, like myself, desperately wonder if “their” Guatemalan family is okay. How could this be? Why would God take from those who had so little? Upon hearing news of the eruption, I scoured Google Earth, trying to determine if the little village that we were in last summer was affected, trying to determine if the lava would have flowed down the northeastern side of the volcano where we built a tiny new home for our hardworking and happy family of eight. Would they have been able to run away in time? I want to go back to Antigua, to find them, and to help them! I have been feeling helpless but have been praying for all the families, children, volunteers and first responders doing God’s work. Thankfully, the GCP reported back to us that none of the homes that BSM has built were affected.
I am taking a hiatus from the mission trip this summer, but we can all help. Consider donating to BSM’s Guatemala mission trip fund to allow more participants an opportunity to serve. Or, consider making a monetary donation to the God’s Child Project, the organization that is currently on the ground, sheltering hundreds of displaced families and children. The GCP is using donations to purchase meals, clothing and essential supplies like toothpaste and toothbrushes for those who have lost their homes, or who are not being allowed back to their homes. They are even building emergency shelters and homes much like the homes BSM students will build next week. The GCP is working hard to care for displaced children in hopes of reuniting them with their parents and to protect them from further harm.
The GCP makes our BSM mission trips possible. Founder, Patrick Atkinson, calls Minnesota home and is the uncle of a BSM alumna. I am very proud of the partnership that the BSM World Language Department has developed with the God’s Child Project. I can’t think of any better reason to give during this time of need. And finally, may the students of this year’s trip be safe and find joy in meeting their new Guatemalan families! I will be thinking of you! – Sra. Hansen
Please pray for our Red Knight community members traveling to Guatemala in July and for those families affected by the recent volcano eruption.