Guatemala Short-term Missions trip

February 10 - 17, 2024

Day 7 | Friday, February 16

Visiting Bethel Headquarters


Lauren Miller

This morning we loaded all of our luggage onto the van and drove to breakfast. Following breakfast, we made a short drive to Chimaltenango where we toured the Bethel shop and warehouse. We met the Bethel staff, including office workers, social workers, wheelchair restorers and a seamstress. Two of the staff are actually the founders of the wheelchair ministry that is now known as Bethel. Most of the wheelchair repair staff are in a wheelchair themselves, so the job is also a mission.
It was interesting to see the behind-the-scenes of all the work we were able to do this week. The warehouse renovation is going well, and is fully funded, which is a huge praise! We then drove to their other property where another warehouse is located. At the warehouse we got to see the fabrication of the house pieces as well as all the wheelchair storage. The racks that hold the wheelchairs were much emptier than usual due to a lack of donations. The racks should start to fill up soon, because wheelchair collection is picking up again post-Covid. We are happy to have Grace become one of the collection sites for Bethel.
We got the chance to see the Cross Roads school which has been open for three years. At the school we met the three teachers and twelve students. The purpose of Cross Roads is to offer education to students with disabilities since that is lacking throughout Guatemala. It was sad to learn how these students were treated before, often getting rejected from school and having poor self esteem because of their disabilities. It is common in Guatemala for people with disabilities to be referred to as someone who has minus value. However, it was encouraging to hear about the transformation that has taken place in these same students over the past three years that they have been able to attend school.
Right now, construction has begun for an addition to the school which will be a place for the students to receive physical therapy. After seeing all of the aspects of Bethel Ministries, we piled back in the van and enjoyed the afternoon exploring Antigua. Before heading into the city, we went up the Hill of the Cross and saw the view of the entire city. After enjoying the view, we started to head back down the mountain, when the van got a flat tire. Thankfully, we had a spare, so we were back on the road quickly.  We finished the day with a drive to Guatemala City where we spent our final night in Guatemala.