My Guatemala Dream...

I'm sure many people who read this blog know that we have a daughter who was born in Guatemala.  We have also had foster children from Guatemala.  It is a gorgeous country with a fantastic climate and beautiful people.  Guatemala is a country that will always have a special place in our lives.

One of the reasons we chose Guatemala as a country to adopt from is the proximity of it to the United States.  My plan has always been to take the kids to Guatemala and stay with a host family and go to school to learn Spanish.  I have spoken with a few people and already have an idea of what school we will attend.  Of course, if you know me, you know that I am a dreamer.  My dream is to stay for an entire summer with the entire family.  That may not happen in the immediate future, but a variation will!

Actually, in October of this year, Jackson and I will be going on a mission trip to Guatemala!  We will be traveling to San Juan and staying in a malnutrition center.  I can not wait!!  We will be helping children daily for a week and doing other odds and ends to help people who live there.

Yes, Jackson will miss a week of school, but I think that the things he will learn on this trip about other people, another country, being selfless, and helping others will be things he won't be able to learn in school in the same way.  I'm so excited to share his sister's heritage with him and to give him the gift of knowing how it feels to step out of your comfort zone to help others.

Of course, I will be documenting our journey here and sharing pictures and adventures!  Right now we are in the process of raising money for the trip.  I helped Jackson compose a letter to family and friends which we began sending last week.  This is his letter:

Can you imagine being a young child and not having any food to eat?  I know I can’t because my family provides for all of my needs, but in other countries like Guatemala where my sister was born; there are many children who are sick because they don’t get enough of the right foods to eat.
My mom and I have the opportunity to travel to Guatemala in October of 2013 for a week to help these young children.  We will be going with a group from Orchard Hill Reformed Church to San Juan, Sacatepéquez, Guatemala through Orphan’s Heart Ministries.  We will be staying at a malnutrition center to help the center’s full-time staff with maintenance projects, providing medical care to children and staff, changing diapers, bathing children, helping feed children, and teaching them through Bible stories, singing, crafts and games.
This trip is very exciting for me and will mean a lot.  I have never seen where my sister was born or been in an area where children don’t have enough food.  During this trip I will get to give back to others who are in need and appreciate what I have more.  I am only 10 years old so I may not be able to do some of the work that the adults will do, but there are a lot of other things I can do easily.  I just hope it isn’t changing diapers all of the time!
It will cost my mom and me a total of $3800 to go on this mission trip together.  I am asking that you prayerfully consider sponsoring us on this trip.  Any donation would be greatly appreciated.  Even if you cannot sponsor us at this time, we ask that you pray for us and the children at the malnutrition center.

If you are able to donate toward our mission trip, you can send a tax deductible donation to:

Florida Baptist Children’s Homes
                                                7748 S. W. 95th Terrace
                                                Miami, FL 33156                 
Please write:  Jackson and Amy  Vander Zwart, October 19-25, Guatemala Trip in the memo line.  The organization will mail you a receipt for your donation within five business days.

 If you would like to check out the ministry we are working with, you can go to:   My mom will also post pictures and stories about our trip on her blog:    

 Thank you for your prayers and support,
 Jackson Vander Zwart

Yes, I'm a proud mom of a great kid. :) 
BTW - if you are interested in donating to help this wonderful organization (and support us on our journey) you can follow the instructions in Jackson's note above.  We appreciate any prayers, good thoughts, or donations that can be given!

Soo soo excited!!!


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