Created: Mon, 04 Aug 2014 06:35:00 EST
Updated: Tue, 05 Aug 2014 10:35:56 EST
Local Macon residents sing Christian praise songs beside a man who has been bed ridden for 10 years in Guatemala.
"They were worried about food and school and stuff. We’re worried about what teacher we're going to have in school, and that just like touched me," explains 10-year-old Asher Dingmore. He recently served with his church, Piedmont Church, in Magdalena, Guatemala. He is the youngest child in the Dingmore family, who went as a family to spread the message of love and hope in a struggling country. His older brother, Colton, says there was one family he helped that he'll never forget. "There was this family who had been sleeping like three, I think, in a bed, and we got to build them some bunk beds,” explains Colton. “That was really cool just to see their reaction."
The Dingmores were part of a 15 person team who served at Love Guatemala, a vocational school that teaches Guatemalan women and children trades in cooking, art and carpentry. They use the trades to get jobs and earn money for their families. Most Guatemalans earn just $5 a day working in the fields. Love Guatemala students learn trades and they sell their cakes, paintings and furniture and earn much more to help feed their families. Sponsors from around the world donate $30 per month to give the students the opportunity to attend the school.
Kenzie Dingmore says she has taken away valuable lessons from the people she helped there. "They're just so grateful and so happy when they have so much less than we do," Dingmore explains.
Jerry Dingmore is the pastor of Piedmont Church. He says it was important that his three children help serve in Guatemala. "I have a real passion to train them to not just want to make a dollar in the future but to make a difference," Dingmore explains.
Dingmore's children along with the team helped build chicken coops to help families have sustainable food supply and income. Coops would take Guatemalan families an entire month's salary to build.
Medical professionals also taught a class on basic triage, such as CPR; it could take hours for ambulances to reach their towns, if they come at all.
Jana Dingmore says serving in Guatemala showed her that even though people come from completely different places, Guatemalans are not much different than Americans. "They just want to be loved and to know that someone bigger than them was going to take care of them."
Asher Dingmore says he hopes the message they left in Guatemala remains with the people they met. "Don’t lose hope and always trust in Jesus," Asher explains.
Love Guatemala is in the process of completing a half a million dollar expansion including computer and tourism schools, thanks to a generous donation from a US citizen. The schools are expected to open in January 2015. If you would like more information visit www.LoveGuatemala.org.