by Susannah McQuitty, 1040.com
“What we’re doing this week is not necessarily ’missions‘ work. This is a Vision Trip.”
No matter how many different ways I try to describe our time in Guatemala, Kayla’s words have always felt the most accurate.
We talk a lot about vision these days – in our businesses, our lives, our churches – so the word can easily begin to lose its focus. I bet you have posters or pictures in your office that are meant to keep work in perspective. And how many cute hashtags and mottos do we crank out to get people’s attention and pique their interests in our passions? Could you count the times you’ve hacked away at a meaningful statement to get it down to 140 characters?
There’s nothing wrong with those things, of course. But when 1040.com partnered with Healing Waters, we both knew that we wanted something more than an exchange of mission statements and images from the field to understand our identities as organizations.
So we went on a Vision Trip.
In a clinic in Guatemala City, the nurse showed us shelves of donated medicines that are free to those in need, explaining that the clinic gives in grace because it receives in grace. We were served a meal at the Mineras’ feeding center, surrounded by kids who braided our hair and laughed at our attempts at Spanish: Kids who would be rooting through trash for food if not for the Mineras’ ministry in Jocotan. The church in Portales showed us cinderblock pillars that will one day support a second story for their now tin-and-metal building, thanks to the profits from their clean water store. We watched parades celebrating Guatemala’s independence as we walked through the streets of Antigua and drank in the national pride and brotherly love.
When we prepped for the trip, I told people I was going to Guatemala. When I returned, I was brimming over with stories about Guatemala City, Jocotan, Antigua, and Portales. Now, I know names and faces and stories, and Guatemala is no longer a country in Central America – it is part of me, part of our team, and part of our company. And more importantly, we are a part of it.
At 1040.com, we believe in the power of becoming global citizens. Our partnership with Healing Waters and our time in Guatemala has rooted our understanding that global citizenship is an accessible reality.
Once again, I find the best words to describe our experience have been spoken by someone else:
“We are trying to change lives, but this work is changing my life, too” (Louis Mineras).