Today's post was written by Brook Hills member, Vicki Margene, who recently went on a short-term trip through Brook Hills to Guatemala. For Part 1 of the Guatemala stories, click here.

It felt like an impulse. Clearly I was not thinking things through, but when my small group leader, Karen Wilson, told me about a mission trip to Guatemala with only women, my response was immediate. "I want to go, too." Now I had had many opportunities in the past for mission trips - to Guatemala, even - but I had never gotten further than a twitchy feeling that perhaps I should think about it. This time I was on board. Well, I was at least on the gangplank.

Let's back up. I'm 65. I retired from teaching after 38 years of grading papers and herding cats and entered a world of peace and quiet, reading, art, sewing, and some tutoring in an inner city after school care program. I asked God to show me open doors. Then I asked Him to make me bold enough to go through them. And I sewed and painted and read. So this was definitely impulsive for me, but what ensued was unnerving at points, inspiring, and worth every minute.

This group of 10 women headed off to Guatemala to serve in Casa Aleluyah along with Sharron Shafer. We seemed a motley crew - professionals, retirees, singles, grandparents, moms, newcomers to the South, and perhaps a Belle here and there. Some knew one another; most were unacquainted. And our talents ranged from accomplished seamstress to expert bubble blowers and a jump rope enthusiast. We brought what we thought we could do and tackled whatever surfaced. And it stretched us. We adapted to a much simpler community lifestyle. We struggled to remember Spanish from ancient high school classes. We wept through Mike Clark's 3 hour retelling of how Casa, a home for almost 400 Guatemalan orphans, came to be. We watched dozens of beautiful children flourish in a garden of love and encouragement after untold times of abuse and abandonment - a garden protected inside 10 foot high walls with razor wire toppings.

I went there concerned that I was too old to do this. I would hold people back. I would not be useful. I would fail to connect. I learned that God did not need to change me into someone else who had more strength or more sewing skills or greater natural compassion and sensitivity. I learned that He had equipped me to fill certain needs and would equip me for the rest as we went along.

I knew that God works with what we have, and I knew that God often just waits for us to put what we have back into His hands. I knew all that, and yet I went there afraid. I want to encourage those of you who still look at your own lives and think "I'm not really up to this. God must have someone better suited than me." It's not just about what you can produce or accomplish. Sometimes it's really about what God has in store for you, the recipient of His grace and bounty.