Trotter Family Update:
As Thanksgiving week comes to a close. We can’t help but see how much we have to be Thankful for!
As many know the Trotter family came home to the states for a short visit. Our first stop was to Parkway Church of God in Salisbury who had blessed the mission families here from proceeds of a fundraiser. The team Hope Rising also had changed plans due to Covid and was completing a “Stay at home” mission for Hope of Life that directly benefited us with new appliances greatly needed for our kitchen. We are so grateful and wanted to thank the church in person.
Because of the distance geographically and past weather issues, a hurricane that changed Jessica’s wedding plans in the fall of 2018, the older girls Ashley and Jessica have not seen each other in years and had not had the opportunity to meet spouses or each other’s children. What a blessing it was to bring our whole family together for about a week in Florida. While in Florida we had the opportunity to meet some wonderful people at Jessica & Brandon’s church, New Hope Church in Bradenton. While in Florida we got news that our friends and neighbors here in Guatemala had been hit hard with Hurricane Eta. Our hearts were breaking as we learned that our neighbors were being evacuated from there home and even more so when we learned that they got out just in time and had lost everything to the river that made a new path directly through the village.
Upon our return to Maryland, we visited some friends and watched as another storm was forecast toward our home in Guatemala. We felt a strong calling to return early to start assisting with rebuilding and clean up. We were blessed to meet some wonderful new friends at SonRise Church in Berlin our last Sunday in the states. SonRise adopted a village here in Guatemala and we are excited to provide updates to them on San Filipe. Simultaneously the USA was having an influx of CoVid cases and talk was rising of shutdowns by state governments. With our hearts already longing to be back home in Guatemala and do what we could to help our friends, we felt an even stronger urge to return early. Then the news mentioning that state governments had toyed with the idea of another complete closure, we felt that was an early warning and we needed to change our plans.
Leaving early meant we would miss service at our home church, Bayside Community Church in Pocomoke. We were deeply saddened to miss that service. But we were so excited to surprise some and have dinner with several. There was still a lot of you that we missed seeing and visiting with. If we missed you, we are terribly sorry and hope to catch up with you on our next visit.
We returned to Guatemala just as the second storm passed by. Roads were again washed out which led to us remaining in Guatemala City a few days before arriving back at Hope of Life.
Once back on campus we were able to take a walk and see for ourselves what others had been trying to show us in pictures. I can only tell you that by looking at the pictures you can only see a small glimpse of the destruction that Hurricane Eta left. I can’t begin to explain the devastation we are looking at on the ground. Mud ridden flat land where houses once stood and held families, a family that used to smile and wave “Hola” to us each time we went by, now homeless. Leaving no sign of anything ever having been on that land. No debris, nothing but flat sand or in some areas huge boulders, huge as in bigger than a car “huge”. It left 50 families without their homes and belongings. 24 families are still living in a neighboring village school until they can find a place to rent and regain some sort of home again. I know areas of the USA have been hit and suffered tremendously by hurricanes and fires for that matter, and my heart goes out to you if you have suffered through that. But, I have never in my life been so close to the destruction. It makes you feel ridiculously small and vulnerable, knowing that within minutes nature can come and redefine the land. I will be posting pictures, but I honestly don’t even like the pictures because you cannot see the depth and magnitude of this reality. It is nothing short of a miracle that no lives in our area were lost during all this destruction, we can only praise God for His mercies.
Since our return we have been on quarantine due to the mission sites vulnerable residence. Dale has been able to work some, but we are hoping to be back in full swing this coming week. We do not know what God has planned for us to do, but we trust that He has us here to use us in helping His people recover.
We will also be starting our ministry with the young adults from the orphanage moving in within the next couple of weeks.
Please continue to keep our ministry and family in your prayers as we move forward in God’s calling for us.
We are trying to plan for our next trip home, our six months in country will be up at the beginning of May. For those that are not familiar, we are here on tourist visas that are 90-day visas. After the first 90 days we apply for an extension of an additional 90 days, after the second 90 days we are required to leave the county for a few days and then we can return. We are using this as an opportunity to come home for a visit and our yearly doctor check-ups. After this trip we will most likely only be coming to the States yearly due to the cost (it cost us $3,000 in airfare alone to come home) and will travel somewhere closer and less costly the other time we must leave country.
We appreciate your prayer and support as we serve here in Guatemala.