What brought you to Guatemala?
Some family friends began a long journey of adoptions and mission ending in a move and new ministry planting here in Guatemala. Before they made the move, they brought down short-term teams of which I was a team member. I loved Guatemala. When I returned home I agreed with my sister, who had previously visited Guatemala on a Short-term, that our family should take a trip to Guatemala together; that wish became a reality in 2011. Our friends had moved down 2 months before our visit and had a great vision of ministry growth. They asked my parents to join them in their efforts. To which my parents responded, “we will pray for someone to fill the need.” 1 year later they felt God was asking them to consider being the answer to their prayers. And so, the visits and church sharing, tears and prayers began. We made the move in May of 2013. I was 20. Yes, I could have stayed back “home” in the states. But, as you will soon discover, how could I?
What did you think about moving when your parents first started talking and praying about it?
I was thrilled. I had already left my heart in Guatemala, so I was anxious to be reunited with it. God had provided a way and I was more than excited to be able to make such a move with the people closest to me, my family.
What is your favorite thing about living in Guatemala?
The color, the people, diversity in landscape from region to region. The colors are vibrant and give life to the concrete dwellings. They also tell stories of the history and culture, wrapping the people in a rainbow of patterns. Family is important. The people are welcoming, lively, and always celebrating something or someone. The countryside spreads from the ocean to the Caribbean. With 22 volcanoes, many mountains and lots of farmland, Guatemala is an exciting and incredibly photogenic country to live in.
There are so many epic places to visit in Guatemala, what is your favorite place to visit?
I unfortunately haven’t been to many of the touristic destinations. That is something I would like to improve on. I love to go to the beach. I find it relaxing, but the sand is HOT. Lake Atitlan is another great destination… so pretty, but frequented by tourists. I like to go to beautiful places that I don’t have to share with a ton of people.
On the flip side, what do you miss the most from the US (besides friends or family)?
Outdoor adventures, peanut butter M&Ms, unlimited internet and phone use, clearance sales, car trips to see friends and family, Panera Bread Co., etc.
Why did you decide to join the Athentikos I AM ART leadership team?
Art has been a part of me since I was very young. I remember creating things from twisty ties, painting rocks, sketching on Sundays, etc. as a pretty frequent part of my day to day life. When I moved to Guatemala with my family I didn’t have any real direction as to what I should be doing. Naturally, when I heard of Athentikos I AM ART camps I was hooked. I love the outlet it provided for me to use my creative/artistic abilities/hobbies in an impacting the Kingdom focused way. The first week had such an impact on me and everyone else involved I just knew it was something I would want to continue being a part of.
What do you enjoy most about the I AM ART camp?
Watching the children experience and create during the week and connecting with them throughout the week.
How do you see the I AM ART camp impact the kids?
I AM ART gives the kids an outlet to express themselves in ways they haven’t otherwise explored. Throughout the week the kids slowly open up and begin to trust their leaders and share their hearts. It’s a safe environment for healing to take place in the lives and hearts of the children.
You are a talented artist in several areas, tell us a little about your creative “hobbies.”