My name is Jill Wiese. I grew up in Bismarck, ND. I live north of Washburn, ND. My family has a long history with the God's Child Project and our daughter Kayla began to volunteer with Charity Lutheran Church in going to Antigua, Guatemala to help build homes, care for the babies, and do clothing drives at age 15. She has visited the God's Child project 6 times now as well as our daughter Ashley who has gone twice now!
My very first visit to Guatemala I surprised BOTH of our daughters who were going on a "sister trip" and I met them in Guatemala! Imagine THEIR surprise when MOM showed up in a third world country!!!!!! This was the best 9 days of my life! I had known of Patrick Atkinson for many years and knew about the project and we had donated here and there but now I was THERE!
Now, I have been to Guatemala 8 times and the past 6 years have taken our own team with my good friend Teri Brandt. We co-lead a group of 10 or more to go down and build 1-2 homes as well as to visit with the mid-wives and bring them much needed medical equipment from the USA as well as to purchase them supplies while we are there. We are also part of the "menstrual ministry" project with the school girls age 4th grade through 12th grade. We do a "talk" with the 4th-6th grade girls on their menstrual cycles, give them home-made sanitary pads, new underwear, lip gloss, lotion, hand sanitizer, etc...........we love to do some education with these girls and there is never a dull moment.
We LOVE to work with the babies of Casa Jackson which his a malnutrition hospital at the project. This was completed in 2016 and we were there for the grand opening with Gene and Sue Jackson of whom the hospital is named after! What a treat to be a part of that event!!! My family sponsors boys and girls of this project and one of the most fun parts of going back is to take them shopping for school supplies, clothes and groceries too. To be able to bless these families who have little to none is such a treat!
Building a home for a family in 3 days is just something I had never even though about. To mix the cement by hand and carefully nail the cement board walls in, help to decorate and purchase the bunk/beds and groceries and of course decorate with so many North Dakota home-made items is a blast!!!! To get a family off of the dirt/mud that they live AND cook in is one of the biggest blessings I have ever been a part of in my life. Our money $ goes a LONG way in Guatemala and I think that is what surprises me the most.
Our team does fundraise for the malnutrition hospital as well to purchase vitamins, antibiotics, special malnutrition formula, and many diapers, wipes, shampoo, bath towels and TOYS! Did I say TOYS? Sometimes I find myself stuck in the TOY aisle in Antigua at the store..........let's just say the cart does FILL UP! So do our hearts.
I hope to be a major player in this project for many years to come. I know it is not for everyone to visit Guatemala but I feel it is ok for everyone to donate to such an amazing and very worthwhile cause in a special part of this world. One where one of Bismarck's own started some 29 years ago. One project we really do need to keep going. The education, food, health-care and support is so needed especially right now.
I urge you to help us get some $ off to our much needed project right now! $5,000 will build 2 homes for 2 families and/or help so much at Casa Jackson and also help for the school children at the Dreamer Center who just want to learn. Help Teri and I with our goal of $5,000 and hopefully MY team will be able to return to our project with our medical supplies, baby clothes, blankets, and LOVE very soon. But for now since we cannot travel let's help with our $ support. I challenge all/most of you if you can and before I forget, Muchos Gracias on behalf of our wonderful kids, babies and staff in Guatemala!!!!!