According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average square footage of a home for first-time buyers in the U.S. is 2,309. Jenna Beavon of Kettering recently returned from a mission trip to Guatemala, where she and her group of volunteers built two starter homes for widows and their families. The square footage? A whopping 150. Yet they were extremely grateful for that shelter.
Beavon made that trip with her father, Kevin Beavon, as part of a Good Goers mission-based adventure.
“My trip to Guatemala was an incredibly eye-opening experience. Good Goers did an amazing job of keeping us busy with things to do and experience,” said Beavon, who is a junior at Fairmont High School.
That first night, the Beavons were able to witness and help with a feeding program at a small church. The children were eager to participate in their Sunday school program, and afterward received a small meal.
“The kids there were absolutely adorable and so receptive of our visit,” said Beavon, who attends Beavercreek Christian Church. “Many of these kids bagged up part of their food to take home to their families. I can no longer store leftovers after a big meal without thinking of those precious children.”
The second day father and daughter had the opportunity to go to Lake Atitlan for a zip-lining adventure. The third and fourth days of their trip were our heavy work days. That’s when they spent time with other volunteers at two different locations building houses for widows in two different locations in Chichicastenago. “I was nervous being only 16 and having absolutely no construction experience that I would not be able to be helpful, but there was plenty to do there suited to people with my abilities,” said Beavon. “Whether I was holding boards or attempting to nail them down, the actual construction of the house was a team centered project that everyone was able to partake in.”
Both houses were tiny one-room shelters with one set of bunkbeds on a concrete floor, with a few windows and doors. The families got their water from a river that was up to a mile away. After the construction work was completed, the volunteers made time to get to know their newfound friends.
“I have always had a thing for kids and I spent several hours playing with bouncy balls, bubbles and stickers that we had brought with us to share. We also gave out copious amounts of candy,” said Beavon.
Although the people spoke a different language, they all new the joyous language spoken with smiles and laughter.
“The fifth day of our trip may have been the most moving for me. That day, we traveled to four different houses to build stoves for families needing them for warmth and cooking purposes,” said Beavon. “The work itself did not require many hands to complete so many of us were able to spend the majority of our time interacting with the people.”
Once again, the volunteers brought out toys and candy to the people there. Many Guatemalans gathered from all around to spend time with them receiving gifts. The younger Beavon painted the nails of the little girls, and taught the children how to make bracelets out of pipe-cleaners and beads. “The families we had helped were incredibly generous. They had next to nothing and were receiving a basic stove to help them, yet they wanted to reward us for our service,” said Beavon. At three of the four houses, the families had used their meager funds to purchase sodas for the thirsty volunteers. “We returned to the mission house that night full of joy and humbled by the incredible people we had met,” said Beavon. “My trip to Guatemala was an awe-inspiring trip that I will never forget, and I am extremely grateful to Good Goers for providing me with the opportunity to go.”
About Good Goers
Good Goers is a division of Family Christian that is based in Grand Rapids, Mich. It was founded in 2003 to care for orphaned children and widowed mothers. The organization has four emphasis areas:
1) To provide hands-on orphan and widow care through mission trips in the U.S. and Latin America.
2) To enable domestic and international adoption by providing assistance grants to key ministry partners.
3) To provide financial resources to improve quality of life around the globe.
4) To equip churches and people with the tools and resources to start orphan and widow ministries of their own.
For more information, call (888) 319-0319 or go online to http://goodgoers.com.
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