27 Sep Guatemala Mission Story: Phil
Here are some snippets of an interview that Pastor Jim had with Phil Amosah, one of the team members from our Guatemala mission trip with Impact Ministries
Jim: So, what is it that made you want to go to Guatemala?
Phil: My faith journey is one that I want to take every avenue to experience God’s work so experiencing Him in a different culture was very interesting to me. Mostly I just want to mature in my faith and I’ll take any opportunity to do that. That’s what interested me.
J: What would you say was an experience from your trip that stood out to you?
P: Oh, well, there were many great opportunities that stood out. But I think the first one was a children’s worship time at one of the schools. They do this every day. They come in and sing worship songs. And there are no barriers. I feel that as a Westerner, a Canadian person, we’re kind of inwards and sheltered in our faith, but these kids, if they could do backflips down the aisles, they would be doing that. It didn’t matter if you were singing on key, they had their hands in the air. Children 6, 7 years old down on their knees thanking Christ…I just felt that was an amazing experience for myself and the group…I found myself jumping up and down….my hands were both in the air and I was thanking Christ….I was just so happy to be involved.
J: What surprised you or was something unexpected that you experienced in Guatemala?
P: How grateful the people are to have so little. How passionate they are about the work of Impact ministries. And they’re so grateful for us to come. (I thought) it was supposed to be a work experience trip but we did very little work the entire time we were there. Maybe 6 hours. Me being more of a physical labourer, I was going to go there and show them how to work! That was the farthest thing from the truth. They worked on me. I thought we were the ones going to be the missionaries but I learned so much from these people in 10 days.
J: I think I saw a picture of you sharing your own story in front of a group of people?
P: I did.
J: How was that?
P: It was something that I felt like I wanted to do. I think some of the things got a bit lost in translation. I’ve never written a testimony or shared a testimony prior. So, that was very emotional for me. I think sharing my testimony in front of a group of strangers, some of the negative parts of my story were put away. When I can present it and tell my story of how I found Christ, where I want to see myself in the future, it was a relief for me actually. In writing it, that was the most honest I’ve been with myself in a long time. And once it was out there, I felt relief.
J: Did you struggle with anything while you were there?
P: (pause) The height of doorways. I slammed my head into a doorway like once or twice. Guatemalans tend to be very small people. I thought it was funny, because every time I walked into kids’ ministry they were like “Oh, you’re a giant!”
J: Is there something in your life now that you’re doing differently because of Guatemala?
P: There’s a lot different! There’s a lot I’m doing differently. And I don’t know if it was specifically in Guatemala but in the preparation for Guatemala and since I got home, a lot of my life has changed. In the industry I work in, often you’re more inward as a Christian. And I felt if the Guatemalans can be so enthusiastic in their worship, I can’t be afraid to say that I’m a Christian. I can’t be afraid to show people I’m a Christian. Or be embarrassed that in my office I’m listening to worship songs on my computer. None of that bothers me anymore. And one thing is praying with my wife every evening. Not just sitting on the bed with hands clenched but praying out loud together.
J: Is there any way that we can be praying for you?
P: The people of this church did a phenomenal job. We knew people were praying for us. I never felt unsafe. I felt the presence of God and prayer.
P: Where people can pray is for us is as we’ve come home. There’s such an adjustment. We’re on such a high. And people think that the mission is over but we’re just getting started as we get home. Pray that people are using what they’ve learned. That’s the biggest thing.
We will have more stories from Guatemala team members in the upcoming weeks and a presentation from the team at our Sunday morning service on October 29th. Our service starts at 10:30 am. We hope to see you there.