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Mission trip to Guatemala: A trip of firsts

Mission trip impacts Guatemalans and Ray Countians

By Liz Johnson, Staff Writer

Richmond missionaries Adrienne Rendon and Emily Chowning pose for a happy photo with Guatemalan children at Richmond First Baptist Church’s recent missionary trip to Guatemala. (Submitted photo)

Travel delays, lost luggage and an injury didn’t faze the volunteers from the First Baptist Church of Richmond on their mission trip to Guatemala.

Travel problems

Traveling is not so simple in these days of extra security, heavy air traffic and constant airline delays. The Baptist mission trip to Guatemala this year proved to be a trial of problems that tested the faith of the Richmond volunteers.

“It was a rather interesting trip,” Pastor Willie Isaacson said. “It was full of a lot of firsts.”

This year the volunteers took a number of Spanish Bibles bound at the Bible Conference in Richmond.

“They were made the week before the trip, so a lot ended up in carry-ons,” Isaacson said. “But when we went through security, they don’t X-ray very well.”

Every bag of Bibles had to be opened, and each Bible’s pages fanned out by a TSA agent for inspection.

Consequently, two of the volunteers, Isaacson and Rob Kinnard, didn’t board the plane at Kansas City International Airport.

By the time the two men cleared security and got to the boarding area, the plane was sealed shut and their seats given away, even though family members – who were already boarded – informed the attendants that the men were on their way to the plane.

Kinnard and Isaacson were informed there weren’t flights available for the next three days.

“Between the prayers (of the volunteers on the plane) and our prayers in the airport, we remained somewhat calm,” Isaacson said. “God answered the prayers and a supervisor somewhere put us on a flight.”

The men still missed their connecting flight, but managed to arrive in Guatemala City by evening.

When the first group arrived in Guatemala City, four of their checked bags had been lost – one had Bibles in it and two had supplies. Thankfully, those bags did arrive in Guatemala.

Yet another mishap occurred when the missionaries went to the Mayan ruins after arriving. While there, one of the volunteers fell, hit her head and sustained a concussion. She was one of the mission’s leaders and also heads up the women’s conference in Guatemala.

“We monitored her all night and took her vitals,” Isaacson said. “The next day we were supposed to head into the mountains to where we go for the rest of the week.” Normally, an old pick-up truck takes the volunteers up the mountain, and they ride in the bed of the truck. It’s a bumpy ride, and the injured woman couldn’t ride like that for fear of further injury.

The complete story is in the Friday, June 30, 2017 Richmond News.

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