At first, it seems hard to believe that my family and I have been going to PoP for over a decade, but when I think of all the fond memories I have had over the years, it’s maybe not that hard after all. My wife and I have experienced so many blessings with our activities and as most participants in mission trips will tell you, we have received far more than we have given.
We have witnessed: our daughter falling in love with both the Prince of Peace ministry and many of the girls at the home to the point that she considers two of them sisters; girls that were once broken, running down the hill laughing with new friends that they consider family; girls accepting Christ as their Savior; a new on-campus school that is helping the girls learn at their own pace; a medical clinic that serves the community; a pile of 1000 pairs of socks donated by thoughtful Floridians that a couple months later, also donated thousands of dollars for the girls to buy their own shoes; a staff devoted to not only help the girls recover from their past but thrive in the present with hope for the future; people young and old finding purpose on their first mission trip and/or maturing in their faith when they excitedly return year after year; the generosity of both Americans and Guatemalans in terms of their time, talents and treasures… I could go on for pages.
In short, my wife and I experience the love of Christ when we go to Prince of Peace and we would recommend people looking for a ministry to invest in come join the team.
Prince of Peace is certainly a peaceful place, but it is certainly not always a quiet one. The vivacious hum of over 50 girls living together on one compound, constant gentle mountain breeze, bustle of neighboring chickens, and nearby city activity all mingle together to form the melody that is my auditory memory of Prince of Peace. These prominent sounds harmonize with gentler ones for the more careful listener. The whispered prayer of a mission team member, the shy giggle of a little girl, the crackling of a bonfire, and an early morning conversation about the goodness of God over coffee add fullness to the melody that is a day at Prince of Peace.
Like most songs, this one tells a story. The melody of Prince of Peace speaks of the beauty and resilience of the girls that live within its gates, as vibrant and diverse as the brilliantly colored casas they inhabit. It speaks of the vision and obedience of those that work there, of hope for the future. It tells a story of healing, second chances, and a little girl feeling safe and loved for the very first time. At the center of this story is the storyteller, the true Prince of Peace. His presence permeates the entirety of the home, filling it so full of His joy that it spills out into the surrounding community.
It is so easy to see God at work in huge ways in the bustle of activity at Prince of Peace. However, once we return home, our own busyness can all too easily cloud our awareness of God’s presence in our day-to-day activities. Daily routines and obligations, even admirable and healthy ones, can divert our attention from where God is at work in the people and situations we see every day. While God’s presence may not be as obvious to us in our daily activities as it is at Prince of Peace, it is just as real and powerful. God is using the melody of our lives to tell a story, just as he does at Prince of Peace. Is your story, your melody of every-day activities, interactions, and attitudes, one that brings glory to God? Just as being aware of the gentler sounds at Prince of Peace add richness to an experience there, awareness of the still small voice of the Prince of Peace is vital to finding meaning and peace in what often seem to be mundane daily activities. We just need to be still and know that the storyteller, the Prince of Peace, is at work.