Guatemala (MNN) — At a time when people are having Christmas parties, planning time to spend with family and friends, and shopping for their loved ones, a group of 30 Americans are heading to Guatemala.
Why? They're not going as tourists. They're going to practice what James, the brother of Jesus, calls true religion. They're taking care of the orphans.
John Balyo is the co-host of 91.3 WCSG's Family Friendly Morning Show with John and Amanda. He's spending his own money to join the group. "We're going to be seeing about 1,000 kids (that's the estimate) over the six days we're in Guatemala. We're going to be throwing Christmas parties for each orphanage, each project that Orphan Outreach is involved with. We're going to have piñatas, we're going to have a party, and ultimately we're going to have a chance to share WHY this is something to party about." That "WHY" of course is Jesus being born in Bethlehem to be Savior of the world.
The six days in Guatemala is about more than ministery to kids. Balyo says he hopes "to be a part of just watching God work and being able to help orchestrate that in some way. To be a part of that is addictive. It really is."
As a radio professional, Balyo has traveled all over the world, working: leading trips, participating in vision trips, and reporting back on the air. They've all been working trips. This one is different. "It's really an opportunity for me to sort of set that part aside and realize that this is really about one individual person that we're getting a chance to touch. That [includes people] on our team and also each kid. So for me, it just becomes more personal: being able to set the work part of it aside and realize this is for the Kingdom. This is cool."
Balyo and the teams heads out today. He's asking to you to pray for protection as they travel highways where landslides are common. Also pray that they will "be able to effectively and with energy share the love of Christ to each of those 1,000 kids."
Orphan Outreach has teams traveling to Guatemala, Honduras, India, Russia, and Kenya this year. If you're feeling called to join a team to serve orphans in an area of the world, click here.