Roy Matthews and Bainbridge Church assist communities in Guatemala Mission Trip

Published 10:44 am Thursday, February 9, 2023

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In the Bible, 1 Peter 4:10 reads “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others”. For many Christians near and far, that verse can be lived out in many different ways. It can mean helping a friend, helping someone in need or even making an impact on an entire community. For 410 Bridge and Roy Matthews, they live out this verse most recently through their mission trip to Guatemala. 

Roy Matthews is a very active member in the community. Whether it’s coaching the Bass Cats to championships or attending church every Sunday at Bainbridge Church, Matthews is a vital member of the Bainbridge community and has recently made an impact on communities abroad. 

Matthews recently traveled to Guatemala as a representative of 410 Bridge and Bainbridge Church to assist local Guatemalan communities, learn about their culture, and meet with villages and community leaders to see how they can further assist the communities. 

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“Community leaders invite 410 into their development journey,” said 410 Bridge. “They define their goals, their problems, and their solutions. Community members participate in their development with their time, talents, and resources. 410 Bridge stands in the gap of what they cannot do on their own. Our participatory model of development ensures that the programs and projects are indigenously sustainable long after the community graduates. The leaders define their path, take ownership of the solutions, and are accountable.”

Throughout the week, Matthews met with 3 rural communities of San Martin Jilotepeque which include San José, Chipila and Chioleu to learn about the community and their needs, develop relationships with village leaders and become immersed in the community. 

“Something that really stuck out was the receptiveness of all the leadership councils,” said Matthews. “There is a true poverty in the communities and we are the ones who need to answer that call of bridging the gospel and being disciples. It’s not about just teaching them the word of God but it’s also about trying to teach these communities leadership skills and also give them the resources to be fully functioning communities.”

For Matthews, this trip to Guatemala allowed him to step out of his comfort zone and really connect with a different culture that many people in Decatur County do not get to experience. Getting to connect with the village leaders and members of the village on a personal level really allowed Matthews and 410 Bridge to see the communities true needs and develop a game plan that can further impact those communities. 

“I think there’s always a stereotype over people from different communities that always proves to be untrue once  you get to know someone as a person,” said Matthews. “This trip allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and really dive deep into making personal connections and really just showed me that no matter where you come from or what you do, everyone is your brother and sister in Christ.”

Matthews and Bainbridge Church along with 410 Bridge plan on returning to Guatemala in July with an even larger group as they will continue to work with village leaders and make an impact on their communities.