Zionsville Times Sentinel

November 28, 2012

ZUMC mission trip helps ‘lift’ spirits of Guatemalans

By Matt Werner/Times Sentinel reporter
Zionsville Times Sentinel

— The motto of lifting with love, inspiring with hope, filling with faith and transforming the world was put into practice by a group of Zionsville United Methodist Church members.

A group of 15 people from the church returned to Zionsville earlier this month after spending a week on a mission trip in Guatemala building eight stoves and a teacher’s lounge at the school. The group even Skyped during the Nov. 4 ZUMC Sunday service.

“We began our relationship with Mission Guatemala about three years ago,” said Scott Tyring, senior associate pastor at ZUMC. “We had a group go down last year, and we hope to have another go down in the spring.”

Jill Wilson went on the trip and said she was shocked to see how families cooked.

“They cook on an open fire inside their homes,” she said. “The insides and sides of their homes are charred from cooking; there was no ventilation.”

Wilson said the group was hard at work putting together wood burning stoves for several families.

“We would deliver and install two stoves each day,” she said. “They were made of cinder blocks and preformed concrete pieces that were manufactured in Guatemala; so, we help out the economy while we are there, too.”

The group had a surprise when an earthquake struck not far from the village they were helping.

“We experienced about a 6.2 earthquake, and it was 7.5 at the epicenter,” Tyring said. “We were on the side of a mountain and it starts wobbling like a boat on the water; I had never seen anything like it.”

Misty Byers, who helped organize the trip, said she had a completely different experience of the earthquake.

“I was in the back of a truck driving down a road and taking in the scenery,” she said. “We didn’t feel it at all and came back and found out from all the other people.”