Why should you become a Mountain Mover?
We asked our volunteers to share some of their personal testimonies so that others can understand the impact that mission work can have on your life, your faith, and on those in the lives of the people we serve. We hope their words encourage you to take that first step and answer God's call upon your heart.
When I felt convicted to do my first mission trip, I remember thinking it would probably be a one-and-done experience; something to cross off my bucket list. However, I was profoundly impacted by the experience and have been drawn back every year since. After a few years of serving in the village of Santa Maria de Jesus, Guatemala, I felt I probably would not be touched as deeply, but only subtly in future years. That next year I led a team who put on new roofs for the families of the village. We tore off the old, rusted, pitted sheets of corrugated metal that let rain drip into homes (onto their beds, clothing, food, and other belongings), and replaced them with shiny, galvanized, new ones. At the end of the project in each home we pray for the family. At one place, after helping with the roof, the man of the house asked if he could also pray. As he began his prayer, his eyes welled up with tears and he started yelling his words of thanks and gratitude to God. Screaming through his tears was the only way he could forcibly proceed with the words. It was like no prayer I had ever heard before. He lifted up thanks from the very depths of his soul. Moments into the prayer, tears started pouring down my cheeks. I'm not a very emotional person, and usually if something brings me to tears, 1 or 2 break loose and it's done. This was as if someone opened a faucet and the water just flowed non-stop; my face and my shirt collar were soaked. As he continued with his prayer thanking God for providing the roof in answer to his cries for help, he moved closer to me and gently placed his hand on my shoulder. He cried out to God, pleading with Him to bestow a blessing on us to repay us for the gift of a new roof while he had no means to repay us himself. As his hand rested on my shoulder, my legs started shaking. As he continued, they began to shake more violently. I remember thinking, 'if he doesn't close soon, I may collapse.' I've always known there was power in the Holy Spirit; but I have now experienced POWER that can literally rattle your bones. In my pompous heart I had thought God called me to this little village on the side of a mountain to help transform the world for His Kingdom. I now realize that it was my heart that needed transformed. As I stood there in the presence of this great man of faith, I was humbled and ashamed. His level of gratitude for a simple tin roof over cane walls was the size of a mountain; in comparison, my gratitude for a mountain of blessings was the size of a mustard seed. I've considered myself a grateful person, but now realize that it was mostly superficial and not from the depths of the soul as it should be. By the example of this man who was desperately poor in worldly goods, but abundantly RICH in faith, humility, and intimacy with God, I was profoundly and forever changed. I have now come to realize that no matter how many times you return to a mission site, God is continually increasing faith and spiritual intimacy, not only in the people served, but the missionaries as well.
Austin F - 2017
As I sit here looking at the screen trying to come up with words to describe my experience for MMM17, I find it very difficult to do because words cannot do it the justice it deserves. One thing I do know and I’m thankful for is that I am not the same man I was when I got on that airplane. It was my wife's and my first time going on a mission trip and I fully expected to be wrecked and changed on the trip, but not to that extent. The sense of love and family that we experienced from the villagers and the rest of the team was truly amazing. It’s so evident to see that this mission is working and lives are changing and God is showing UP!!!! One of the things that stood out to me was how much growth I was able to have on both ends of the trip. Everyday was a great experience in the village, but it didn’t stop there. When we were back at the hotel at night I was changed just as much in our bible study and it is such a testament to the leaders of the group who run this and for that I am so grateful. Thank you for how well the trip was organized and molded to maximize every second that we were there to benefit us. I will never be able to thank them enough for what they have done for me. Serving in the village and getting to know these people and hearing their stories was crushing and humbling. The courage, strength, and faith they displayed changed my outlook on life and made me want to be like them more and more. Story after story of sorrow and hardship came with each family, but the gratitude and love they showed me for something as little as a couple pieces of metal was unimaginable. Some people go on mission trips to change other people’s lives, but it was the villagers who were changing my life. The passion in which they pray for us just brings tears to my eyes because the raw emotion they give to God is felt in every single word and sound they speak. God was so evident in the village that week and everyone could feel his presence and no amount of words could describe the feeling unless you were there. My last reflection on the trip is on the children of the village. Those children were the best part of my trip. Being able to bring a smile to their face or show them love with a great big hug was the highlight of my trip! All week we were looking for a child to sponsor in the program. It seemed like everyone we connected with was not in the program or already had a sponsor. So, Thursday night my wife and I met with Robin and she showed us 10 children with some background on each. We prayed over that list and asked God to select the child best for us. I could remember the top 4 on the list, but there was a name lower that kept coming up in my mind. In the morning my wife said I have a name and it was the exact same name as me. We were able to meet her on Friday and it is a moment that will forever be in my heart! The instant love and appreciation I felt when I got to squeeze her for the very first time is indescribable. Spending the little bit of time with her and showing her that we love and care for her and that we are going to be there to support her in life was the best time of the trip. The hardest part of the trip was saying goodbye. As I was kneeling down hugging her and little sister I was crying and every time I went to let go they squeezed me harder and harder. It was truly one of the best moments of my life. I cannot express in words what the trip has given me. I am forever changed from it and I’m counting down the days till I can hug our sponsor child again. Thanks again MMM17! You guys are the best and I love you all!!
Courtney F - 2017
If you have ever considered going on a mission trip, this is the one to go on! I was so impressed by the prep work of the leaders before we even left for Guatemala. My husband and I were well prepared to go which helped settle my mind about going to a country we’ve never been to before. When it was time to go, I was 100% ready to go without any hesitation. I have never felt so much genuine love as I did when our team first arrived to Santa Maria de Jesus. The people just welcomed all of us with hugs upon hugs and kisses. The village is full of beautiful, kind, resilient people and they are so full of thanks and gratitude. I still wonder how these people can be so thankful for so little. The faith they have in God is something I have never witnessed and it will forever remind me to have a thankful and grateful heart for all that God has given me when I am so undeserving. This week with Moving Mountains Mission Team is one I will never forget. My husband and I felt called to sponsor a child, Shirley Maribel. We are so excited to support her education and watch her grow up. We cannot wait to get back on the mountain and visit our new friends and Shirley! Thank you so much to the leaders of this mission team who plan all year long for this week. This mission was so full or purpose and so intentional. It is clear that God is leading this mission team!
Joni W - PA 2017
2017 was my second trip with Moving Mountains Mission team and it was even better than the first. (If that is possible). They are extremely organized and care deeply for all team members. They have such great passion for the people they serve in Santa Maria De Jesus. I have been on several international trips and they meet all my expectations and more. If you want to see what being in mission in another country is all about, this is a great team to join. They share the love of God with all they encounter and their light shines through in everything they do.
Courtney L - PA 2016
I honestly could not imagine where I would be in my life if I had not traveled to Guatemala with Moving Mountains Mission. I have created friendships that will last a lifetime, and collected memories that I relive every day. This mission truly made me feel I was the "hands and feet of Christ." Because of my wonderful experiences with Moving Mountains Mission, I plan to continue more mission work in Guatemala in the future.
Mission Volunteer 2015
I have had the experience of traveling with another mission team throughout the past 8 years. I can honestly tell you that I had never realized how different things could be until I joined Moving Mountains. The love, time, and care that these leaders take in preparing for this mission team is incredible. It is so clear that their leaders' top responsibility to to serve God first, the village and the team volunteers second, and themselves last. All of the leaders show unbelievable respect toward every single member, and they are all in the heart and midst of the mission work. The leaders go above and beyond to care for the physical and spiritual needs of each and every person on the team. The fact that this team has a long-term plan for their work in the village demonstrates the true solution for helping to eliminate poverty.
Mission Volunteer 2016
I had no idea about what to expect when I signed onto the Moving Mountains team. I had always wanted to serve on a mission team, but every time the opportunity came up, I found a dozen reasons to say "no." I think God was waiting for me to meet this incredible group of leaders, and the beautiful families of Santa Maria. I never dreamed how spending one week on the mountain would change everything about who I was.