We recently had 1992 alumnus Doug Criswell speak in a chapel service about his ministry, Harvest International Missions, and their work in Guatemala. As a result, two Clear Creek students, Mike and Tracy Raftery, decided to participate in a mission trip to minister to the people of Guatemala.
“The place Tracy and I visited was called Hope of Life, said Mike. “It is a mission campus in the middle of Rio Hondo, Guatemala. It took us four hours to travel there even though it was only 70km (43.5 miles) from the city. This was the most exhilarating drive we had ever experienced.
“The trip was five days long and we were exposed to the people of Guatemala in a ministerial way, which included feeding the poor; visiting the elderly, the sick and orphans; and sharing the gospel in villages and in the markets. We would also conduct street ministry, handing out information, and most importantly, speaking to people about Christ and coming to a decision about salvation.
“We had the opportunity to love on the elderly, love orphans, and console the sick on the first day. We fed soup to a village of very poor people on the second day,” said Mike.
“This village’s main source of income is recycling paper, plastic and glass that is retrieved from an open land dump. Their approximate income per day is about 25 cents, and they live in dismal conditions. It smelled very bad and our hearts broke for these people.
“We ministered to the poor again on the third day when we went to villages and knocked door to door sharing the gospel, he said. “The fourth day we went to the market, but not only to shop; we handed out tracts and several accepted Christ.
“This trip was life changing, and Tracy and I did not know exactly what to expect,” said Mike. “Doug Criswell purposely left out details concerning where we were staying and our daily mission activities because he wanted us to experience it all. We did, and we are honored that God used our little team of five people to lead 200 people to faith in Jesus Christ. God is amazing, and we are so glad that we had the opportunity to serve Him in Guatemala.”