Kayla Janzen is a Grade 11 student at Mennonite Educational Institute in Abbotsford, BC. This March she and eight of her school mates gave up their spring break to serve us for two weeks. We asked Kayla what the most impactful part of the trip was for her:
The word ‘worship’ gained a whole new meaning for me after my first morning in Guatemala, in school devotionals, joining 300 kids as they belted out their praises to God. Witnessing four and five year-olds giving their all to Jesus, lifting up their hands and belting out songs of praise made me realize that you don’t have to reach a certain level of maturity in your faith in order to praise God fully. The moment I realized this, I was so overwhelmed by the love I felt from God and the people around me and I just lost it. At one point I remember looking around the room and was surprised to see pretty much our whole team crying! These children depend fully on God and it is amazing to see how much joy they find in the process.
After the first devotional it was time for the kids to go back to their class. Most of them had already left, but one girl was clinging on to me and refused to leave. Finally I told her “Vamos!” (“let’s go!”) and she grabbed my hand and led me to her class. As soon as we turned the corner into her classroom her whole class started singing to me. I still have no idea what they were singing, but it was absolutely adorable.
On our last day at the school the pastor leading the devotional explained that our team was going back to Canada. He told us to stand in the middle of the kids and they started praying for us. The feeling of 300 kids raising their hands up towards you in prayer was one I have never experienced before. A little girl I had gotten to know that week saw that I was crying and without thinking got up during the prayer and gave me the biggest hug. Soon enough our whole team was surrounded in hugs and a lot of tears! The way the kids at the school show love is so tangible. The barely knew us yet they did everything possible to show God’s love to us in every possible way. It was an overwhelmingly genuine experience of God’s love.