As a member of Life Church in Wesley Chapel, Demene Benjamin embarked on a nine-day missionary trip with Life Church and Life Church International to Guatemala and El Salvador, in November.
The mission was a passionate drive to give hope by sharing the love of Jesus, and to inspire change, said Benjamin, who is manager of CMX Cinemas, at The Grove at Wesley Chapel.
In Guatemala, alongside Pastor Luis Pedro Solares, the team visited with an orphanage in the mountains — providing education and meals, as well as life skills to moms in the community. There was also the opportunity to learn both Spanish and English. It was here that one of Benjamin’s teammates took polaroid photos of the kids, who were amazed to see themselves in a picture taken by a camera.
In El Salvador the team found more laborious work, but also an unconditional love for the city. Life Church partnered with Pastor Paco Rosales on sharing and inspiring hope. The team also had the opportunity to visit the well system Pastor Paco is working on that will provide a life source for the people who suffer from liver failure, kidney and heart issues, as a result of dehydration. With donations, the well is expected to be up and running before the end of the year and will provide the community with free, clean water.
The group also served inside an El Salvador church, serving the elders and adding fresh paint to the sanctuary.
Along the way, Benjamin said she found two countries connected in love.
“It was an overwhelming and majestic trip,” she said, and inspired her to seek more opportunities to demonstrate unconditional love.
For information about the church missions, call Natalie Dougherty at (813) 973-2230.
Published December 11, 2019