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Building Love — and a House — in Guatemala City

Stacey is a nurse and is passionate about helping others.

In March, she and 12 others from Hoboken Grace spent a week in Guatemala City, constructing a house for a family of four. She recently shared her experience and explained why building relationships was just as important as building a house.

Q. Why did you want to go to Guatemala?
A. I previously went on a medical mission trip, and that was an experience that really changed my life – my spiritual life and my relationship with God. That was a really impactful experience that I wanted to have again. It happened when I was just at church one day. They were talking about the Guatemala trip, and I just had a good feeling about it. It felt right. I wanted to go. I love people, and I love helping people. I’m a nurse, and that’s what I do for a living. So it’s nice to be able to do that abroad.

Q. Is there one memory from the trip that sticks out to you?
A. All of it. I don’t think it’s necessarily one memory – more the people. The family that we built the house for there – I’ll always remember them. It was a family of four people. The husband, Oscar, the wife, Jessica, and two little boys: a 3-year-old named Lenny and a 10-year-old named Oscar. The interaction and all the memories that we shared – how we got to know them, that will be what I remember.

Q. What was it like to build a house in one week?
A. Our team worked together so well. Going into it, a lot of people didn’t know whether they’d be able to really help much, but everyone surprised themselves. I think at the end of the week we were all surprised by how quickly it had gone and that we had built a house, but more importantly, we had built relationship with the people around it.

Q. How has this changed your life, now that you’re back?
A. I think for all of us, we’re still processing everything. And it’ll be an experience that we’ll always carry with us in our hearts. We all felt like we wanted to do more going forward. But we can only do so much. We had one task to focus on. So we can take the experience with us and share it with others. I think it’s important to remember not just the people that we helped there,  but also to remember that there’s a lot of people around us here who need help as well.

Q. What advice would you give people who are thinking about going on a missions trip?
A. Pray about it, and if it feels right, go for it! It can change your life. You’ll really be happy you did.

To learn more about Hoboken Grace’s other missions trips this year, click here.

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