The sun beating down at a perfect temperature, people all around playing fútbol and a country with indescribable beauty, seems like the perfect place to just visit and relax.
But for Abigail Barron, freshman at Johnson University Tennessee, going to Guatemala for a week was not a typical spring break trip.
While many of her fellow classmates were at beaches, spending time with family or finishing upcoming assignments, Barron was going to another one of her homes for the second time.
“This is my second trip to Guatemala and I was able to visit some of the same places [villages],” Barron said. “Guatemala is definitely one of my homes and I would move there tomorrow.”
After graduating high school, Barron was certain she was going to live in Guatemala as an intern, but instead decided to come to JUTN.
She said she feels like every time she goes to Guatemala she leaves a piece of her heart there with the people.
Barron spent quite a bit of time building relationships with the people she met.
She said she wants to create a bridge of friendship to share the gospel through that relationship.
Playing fútbol with people of all ages, meals and lots of shared laughter, were all a part of building those friendships.
She said language was a little bit of a barrier but not as much as people might think.
“I pick it [Spanish] up every time I go to another country, but I forget it when I come here [the United States],” she said with a little laughter, “in the inner cities of Guatemala they knew a good bit of English.”
Barron learned something new about the connection between relationships and missions through the organization she went with, For the Love of Missions.
“You don’t have to be building an orphanage, or teaching people about how to use clean water to be able to do missions,” Barron said. “You can just do life with them.”
She said she recognizes the importance of equipping local leaders in Guatemala on how to share the gospel with others instead of people from the United States going there with the expectation of converting and then leaving.
Barron has been back at JUTN for less than a month and said she is ready to go back to Guatemala already.
“It is my favorite place in the world,” Barron said.