The challenge is that God has richly blessed the mission model and the operational philosophy of 6:8 Ministries so much that it has created an interesting challenge. We have already reserved twenty mission teams for 2009, and unfortunately I've had to turn away several churches. This is tragic, especially since many have explained they can't afford to use other mission organizations. Proof to us that cost is the number one deterrent for individuals participating in short-term missions. So you have a large number of people willing and ready to serve, but aren't given the opportunity. This expansion will allow us to give these willing participants another option for affordable, high quality mission experiences.
The other issue to consider is the impact this expansion will have on the people of Guatemala. In keeping with our current philosophy we will be targeting areas where there is currently little or no missionary presence. We are planning to provide tangible ways to meet both the spiritual and physical needs of the local people in powerful ways.
Why Guatemala? It's a simple matter of need and opportunity. God has already provided staff and facilities. These are normally two of the largest obstacles to overcome. The Johnson family was strongly considering a move to Costa Rica, but God intervened. They did not know "why Guatemala", they simply heard God's voice and obeyed. Since their arrival in Guatemala, God has been at work in powerful ways. God has broken their hearts for the poor communities, connected them with a local pastor who has a heart for assisting with mission teams, and a team house. God has already provided churches from the United States that are ready to start sending teams! Why Guatemala? Because God is at work in Guatemala, and we want to be part of it.