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I stumbled across a TIES email serendipitously (or providentially) during a time when I felt desperate and trapped by my familiar and comfortable suburban American life. Our family had adopted but not from Guatemala, and the child I took with me wasn't even our adopted child. (She was just the one I thought most needed the trip, in addition to me!) I had never gone on a missions/service trip before, so I didn't know what to expect. It was a very gentle entry point, which I very much appreciated: gorgeous hotel, heated pools, romantic restaurants, and amazing scenic beauty. The actual service projects, like playing with the children at an orphanage, delivering bunk beds to different families in need, hosting a neighborhood BBQ, visiting rural Mayan villages, and more, were all unforgettable. But as for many others, what stood out to me were the people. On all sides. The people of Guatemala, so warm, inviting, and generous, even in poverty. My fellow travelers, so big-hearted and open-armed in their serving. The organizers and leaders of TIES and OUR Guatemala, such devotees of other-centered living, of living bigger and richer lives than the self-absorbed one that so threatens to swallow me up. On a more practical note, the whole trip was well thought out, meticulously planned, and artfully executed. Again, all things I very much appreciated. Like many others, I'm constantly plotting a return. I guess that says it best.
Hyelee, We are so glad you and Arwen joined us. And we are so pleased that the journey touched you in such a profound way. Hugs. Becca