Guatemala Bound & How You Can Help
I remember sitting down two years ago to write a blog post similar to this one. I remember feeling anxious as I shared that I was headed to Honduras to donate my civil engineering services.
This time, I’m headed to Guatemala. From March 17-25 I’ll be working alongside a design team of architects and engineers to develop a concept design of new buildings and facilities for a pre-school, primary school, middle school and high school.
If you’re interested in supporting me on my trip to Guatemala, click the button below to read the scope of work and how you can help!
Looking back to the Winter of 2016, I’m filled with emotion thinking about where I was professionally and spiritually. Re-reading that initial blog post takes me right back to how I felt at that time in my life:
While all of the projects I work on impact the world around us in some way, most of my career I’ve failed to see how the work I do is bigger than just my own personal interest.
- Jan 15, 2016
At that time I was mostly working on high-rise projects in downtown Chicago. You could say my work was about as “glamorous” as civil engineering gets. The projects were exciting and impressive to others - which was motivating to me. There was an appeal to working on high-profile jobs, and I thrived on having my hand in some portion of the development of my own city. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was working solely to glorify myself - which was rapidly leading to burn-out.
Making the decision to go to Honduras in 2016 was an answer to a lot of prayer and a lot of questioning about who I was and what I stood for. I never thought that being an engineer was part of God’s plan for me. I can honestly say that I went to Honduras looking for a new perspective on my career, and what I came home with was a new perspective on my entire life. I had no idea that spending 11 days with 10 strangers working for free would radically change my life. But it did.
Every morning of that trip was spent doing devotionals, praying, and reflecting together as a group. We shared personal stories about our lives, talked about our successes and our failures, and encouraged one another - without judgement. On that trip, I found something I didn’t even know I was looking for - community. It was the first time I ever truly experienced it.
It’s funny how sometimes we ask God to give us one thing, and then he gives us something completely different - something we need even more.
When I returned from that trip to Honduras I made it a priority to get involved with my Chicago church community. I’ve been (hashtag) blessed to find a group of women that I’ve been meeting with nearly every single week for an entire year. This group of women challenges each other, supports one another, and walks alongside each other. We basically do life together and I don’t know what shape my heart and spirit would be in today if it weren’t for them.
Recently I’ve come to the realization that life is all about (1) demonstrating God’s character and (2) loving others. I’ve always known this to be true, but could never put it into words until I read it in the book “Called to Create”. If I can do these two things, then I believe everything else in life will fall into place. My relationships will be stronger, my motivations at work will be genuine, my priorities will be in line, and in the mix of all of those things - I will be happier. (Of course I’m not a super-human, I will continue to screw this up - I’m sure.)
Reflecting on the last two years brings on a lot of emotion, but the biggest emotion I have right now is excitement for this trip to Guatemala. Two years ago I can safely say I was running away from something, and this time I can’t help but feel like I’m running toward something. Another opportunity to demonstrate God’s character and love others, perhaps? All I can say for sure is that I’m excited to see what God has in store for this trip.
This is the part where I ask for your support, again.
Asking for donations for a trip I am choosing to go on, and can afford to go on, always tends to feel funny. On one hand, I don’t like drawing attention to myself, because I never want anyone to be confused about my intentions. But on the other hand, I’m excited! I want to share this experience with people. I want people to have the opportunity to participate in the work God is doing here on Earth.
The total cost of the trip is expected to be around $1,800. This includes, airfare, an EMI trip fee, membership in the EMI Network, travel insurance, and miscellaneous expenses accrued while on the trip. Donations are tax deductible.
Whether you choose to support me financially or not, I do ask that you support me through prayer, positive thoughts, good vibes, etc. I’ll be traveling to a country I’ve never been to with a team of people I’ve never met – which can be a scary thing. It helps to know I’m not alone in this.
Click the button below to offer support: either financially, verbally, or both!