Wear One. Share One. Spreading Kindness in Guatemala
Our team of 10 from Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Lubbock, Texas was blessed with the opportunity to travel to Guatemala at the end of the summer. It was the fourth year that our parish has sent a mission team to Guatemala. We always describe it as a mission trip of presence and that's exactly what it is - eight days of giving and receiving God's love, eight days of the sweetest and most joy-filled hugs, eight days of seeing worldly poverty that is unimaginable until you've seen it with your own eyes, eight days of utter heartbreak learning about the burdens some of our brothers and sisters carry - truly, eight days of beautiful presence.
Our trip has been to the same school each of the four years. The school is outside of Guatemala City and provides a safe place for more than 200 at-risk children to call home, get an education, receive spiritual formation, and be loved on and cared for during their school year. After four years and with many of our team members returning multiple years, the kids know our group now and are very excited to see us when we get there. While our trip may only be eight days every summer, these kiddos are with us in our prayers and in our hearts all year long - what a blessing it is to us!
Every year we have taken goodie bags for the kids with things like prayer cards, candy, small toys, hair accessories, etc. The last two years, My Saint My Hero has blessed us with the opportunity to take a Breathe bracelet to go in each of their bags. It's such a blessing to take them such a beautiful, tangible reminder of God's love for them. They are used to us bringing them goodie bags, so ALL week long they asked us what we brought and what we had in the suitcases for them. It kind of became a game for them to see which one of us might spill the secret early! It was so special to finally pass out their goodies on our last night with them. They were so excited!
During our week, we also visited many other communities and nearby places including Niños con Bendición (Children with Blessing) which is an organization founded so that children in the community of San Antonio Aguas Calientes have after school support and are able to strengthen their cultural and family ties. Each of our team members was also wearing one of the Breathe bracelets during the week so that the kids would be even more excited when they got their goodie bags, knowing they received the same bracelet we also had. We had taken some toys for the kids at Niños con Bendición but didn't have enough bracelets to take them some as well. After we had been there for an hour or so, I noticed that one of the kids was wearing one of the Breathe bracelets! I looked around and realized that some of our team had given their My Saint My Hero bracelets and other bracelets they were wearing to the kids. Wear One, Share One is encouraged by My Saint My Hero, but it hadn't been discussed among our team and I don't think most of our team had even heard that My Saint My Hero concept before - but that's exactly what happened!
Thank you My Saint My Hero for being a part of our story and loving these kiddos with us! —Stacy