Campus ministry to aid Guatemala 


Lindsey Eaton

Going somewhere warm and relaxing is what spring break is all about, right? For NMU students Holly Glover, Sarah Robinson and Kyle Oldenkamp, they’re spending their spring break a little differently.

The students will be going on a mission trip through Cru and Bethel Baptist Church to Joyabaj, Guatemala to distribute water filters to rural communities through the missionary organization Filters of Hope.

The mission trip will include 16 members total. The group will be presenting water filters to the Quiche people of Guatemala.

“The water is a huge issue for the people,” Glover said. “Babies are getting sick and dying from it.”

The filters can be connected to large buckets and filter up to 150 gallons of water per day. If maintained properly, they can last up to 10 years. Along with being useful tools for the Quiche, the filters are also a creative technique for the missionaries to share the gospel, Glover said. The missionaries will then be the first people to consume the water after it has been filtered.

“We, as Americans, will be drinking the first cup of water to symbolize how clean it is,” she said. “Usually, Americans would never drink the water there. Ever.”

There is more meaning, though, behind the group members drinking that first cup of water.

“The symbolism of the water being cleaned, [illustrates] how our lives were dirty, but Jesus comes in and makes us pure,” Glover explained. “Telling people about Jesus, is what it’s all about.”

Along with presenting the filters, the group will also be building a four-plex apartment to house for Quiche widows and their children. There are many in need since a civil war that happened in the surrounding area, the students explained.
These new four-plex housing centers will not only provide the widows with housing but livestock, clean water and a garden as well.

“They’re not freeloaders, but working for themselves and toward a better life,” Robinson said.

Oldenkamp mentioned that instead of hiring the Quiche peoples to build the housing themselves, the goal of mission trip is to share the gospel through missionary acts of service. They hope their actions will be noticed and encourage the Quiche people to conversate with them about their mission.