Jonathon Lipscombe, Advancement Intern

The air is thick with humidity. The sounds of children laughing still ring in the air as a not-so-distant memory. The bright colors that light up Guatemala clothe the children in their best outfits.

Camp is back.

A little sponsored girl sits in a chair at AMG’s Camp Canaan, listening attentively to the pastor comparing a game involving being blindfolded and led to kick a soccer ball to how God is always leading us. Still, we have to be actively listening for His direction over the other distractions of this world.

This contemplative gaze was a rare moment for me to capture as the smile showing through her mask was evident the majority of time spent in front of my lens. I expected a challenge to capture any smiling faces after the 15 months of uncertainty, fear, and loss.

But that was not the case. For the first time since February 2020, a Mission Adventure team had traveled to serve alongside AMG national leaders to walk hand in hand with these children to show them how transformative the gospel is.

From the ear-to-ear grins on the children’s faces as they exited the bus to the smiles that seemed to never leave the group of Cedarville University students’ faces, the struggles of the past year quickly faded into the joy of being together.

The week reminded me how great our God is and how much He cares for every one of us. I was given the unique opportunity to see a Mission Adventure as I had never before. The task of documenting the trip through my camera for my internship at AMG forced me to take a step back and disconnect like I had not ever experienced before. In doing this, I had the privilege of connecting to the ministry through a new lens… literally.

Looking back, this quickly has become one of the most impactful weeks I have spent in Guatemala. As I was sitting in the corner of rooms and the edges of fields looking through a tiny electronic viewfinder, the Lord was using this opportunity to show me how much He can do in such a short amount of time.

Even with a pandemic limiting the children’s time at camp from five days to just two, I saw more people give their lives to Christ than I had before. I got to see and hear the hearts for ministry from people my age, from students filled with dreams and aspirations to serve our Father.

When I look at this photo, I see a picture of reflection. I see that little girl’s meaningful gaze, and it reminds me of how much I witnessed our amazing God through a smile.