My Missions Story — Canceled Haiti missions trip sets stage for impactful ministry in Guatemala

My Missions Story — Canceled Haiti missions trip sets stage for impactful ministry in Guatemala

Early in 2018, Calvary Baptist Church, Russellville, in Franklin Baptist Association, had a small group of people prepared and prayed up, ready to go to Haiti. I had labored greatly over this decision — my first missions trip — but had agreed to go.

Shortly before the trip we met to pack all of the many items we were taking. As we entered the room that evening it was evident something wasn’t quite right. We soon found out there was unrest in Haiti. It was not safe for us to travel there and the trip I had spent many hours planning for was canceled.

As I left that night I was relieved God had kept us safe from danger but very disappointed in not getting to go on the trip.

But my disappointment turned into excitement again a few months later when my dear friend and fellow church member Robbie Richardson worked out the details for our team to join an effort in Guatemala.

Readjusted plans

The trip was booked for October, a few months after the original trip was planned, and most of us on the initial team could go.

While in Guatemala we saw many come to faith in Jesus and the medical team cared for more than 1,000 patients. We also met new friends.

One of those new friends is Frank Whittaker, previous pastor of First Baptist Church, Barton, in Cherokee, Alabama. He now serves on the board of Global Missions of Mercy (GMM).

As we talked Frank shared the vision of GMM and described how the school we were visiting on this trip had grown over the years. He also showed some of us where they hoped to build the next addition to the school.

During the entire trip I took it all in and found myself asking God why I was there. What talent did I have that could be used? I would find out.

As 2018 drew to a close and the new year approached the thoughts of the vision that Frank had shared began to stir. A group of us at Calvary discussed helping build the next phase of the school and we agreed we would start raising money.

We set a goal and announced it in mid-January 2019. I phoned Frank and told him what we were doing and made the comment that I didn’t know how long this would take but we would just have to see what God had planned. I didn’t understand then but when God is in something, things happen at God speed.

Within a month, with only a small portion of the goal raised, I began to hear that several had already agreed to go build the building. A trip was planned for June and 35 slots were reserved, still without much of the money we needed raised.

But by April we had the funds in hand and were in full trip-planning mode to build a classroom, provide medical services and evangelize.

We headed out with a purpose and a plan and brought back a success story.

The building team was able to complete the classroom, two medical providers saw hundreds of patients, many came to faith in Christ and 10 much-needed Filter of Hope brand water filters were given away to families.

Now nearly 2 months after the trip I can look back and see why God originally sent me in October 2018. It was to prepare me to be part of the next journey God was planning in June 2019 and to be part of the building of the classroom at Highland Park Christian School in Chiquimula, Guatemala.

The school is fully supported by GMM, a small group of volunteers who are dedicated to following the Great Commission by feeding the minds, bodies and souls of the impoverished children and families living in the mountain villages near Chiquimula.

One hundred percent of all donations go directly to the school to provide for the needs of the children, the facility and the school staff.

For more information visit or find GMM on Facebook.

EDITOR’S NOTE — This article is the first in a new occasional column featuring Alabama Baptists sharing their first-person missions experiences. If you would like to share a “My Missions Story,” send it to