FHe will give families the opportunity to provide Guatemalan villagers with training and hope

Published: Monday, Feb. 13 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

“When you serve together your love for each other grows and you can feel God’s love,” Rachel von Niederhausern observed.

“When you forget yourself and focus on meeting the needs of others, it brings true joy and happiness,” Steven von Niederhausern added.

“With your family or with your friends, even with strangers you can’t help but bond by serving side by side,” said Tyler DeLange. “I don’t think there is a better way for a family to come closer together than in serving side by side in one of these expeditions.”

David Shirley agreed that families become closer through serving together. “It focuses their attention back on charity, which, is of course the pure love of Christ. … I think it also carries into the generations of those families as they have their own families … it will carry on that tradition of trying to do charitable acts for their fellow men.”

The work that will be done will last generations as community leaders will take the knowledge gained and use it to improve the lives of villagers.

“The greatest gift you can give is teaching them leadership skills to develop and empower their communities,” said Steven von Niederhausern. “We don’t go and give handouts. We teach them basic principles and let them grow and develop according to their needs.”

Michaela Shirley agreed. “That is what I hope we are able to give — to be able to provide them opportunities to reach their potential and to enjoy some of the blessing that our Heavenly Father gives to us.”

Those who are going for the first time can expect “rugged camping,” but Rachel von Niederhausern is quick to point out that the food is excellent and you are well taken care of. But more important are the people who are quick to return love.

“Just be prepared to see people that are so happy and to feel like there are deeper things that you can reach out and find. …" Sarah Wright DeLange said. “You are there for a few days and by the time you leave you genuinely have a love and appreciation and respect for them and it really is life changing. It changes who you are.”

The FHe Guatemala 2012 expedition will be June 30-July 8. Registration will close March 1 or when all expedition spots, approximately 50 volunteers, are filled. For more information visit familyhumanitarian.org.

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