God said “Go – Serve”. I said “OK, but where?” He said “I will show you.” And He did. Orchestrated by my dear friend’s leading me to LaOtto Wesleyan Church and Phil and Kathy Troyer, I joined their mission team. In 2013, I left the US for the first time for Guatemala (where’s Guatemala?) and allowed God to use me as He saw fit.
I witnessed something very special and incredible in Guatemala with each member of Impacto Ministry giving their all, loving each person whether local or team member, reaching out daily to their community and responding to the broken, the hungry, the sick and the lonely. But most importantly, boldly sharing Jesus’ story of salvation and how He loves them so.
I saw the poverty of a third world country and Jesus was there – providing hope and encouragement through Impacto Ministry and each U.S. and Canadian team that came to serve. Twenty to thirty teams a year serve in Guatemala with Impacto. Why? Because they love the Martinez and Mendez family; they are the ‘real deal’.
Looking back, that trip changed me. You leave the States thinking that you are going to help others and somehow ‘fix’ their problems, and you come back home so filled – so blessed. It’s a bit overwhelming.
Fast forward to 2016 after my third mission trip back to serve with Impacto. Once again, the Holy Spirit is tapping me on the shoulder, saying “You can do more! One week a year is not enough!”. God is relentless when He want to use us for His glory. After prayer, wise counsel, and continued promptings from the Holy Spirit, Friends of Impacto was born. Team leaders from one end of the U.S. to the other and Canadian leaders make up Friends of Impacto. We meet monthly via video-conferencing supporting Impacto year-round through administrative support, prayer, preparing new team leaders, prayer, fundraising and more prayer.
In 2018, Friends of Impacto began meeting in Guatemala annually offering the Impacto staff a time of retreat and rest. Friends provides pastoral care, love, and support for our dear friends for a few days.
In late 2018, the Impacto U.S. Board of Directors was formed and I am honored to serve on it. No matter your age; if you are breathing, you are eligible to receive a divine assignment. Say yes when He calls on you!