Spring break mission trips are often life-changing for students, and for the people they serve. But for John Karolus, it was only the beginning of a journey that would take him across the globe.
While serving during spring break alongside “Casas por Cristo”, a home building organization in South America, John learned of a summer internship where he could be a home build site leader in Guatemala. At the time, John was focused on graduating (he earned his degree in Philosophy and Biblical Languages) and getting ready to attend Concordia Seminary in St. Louis this fall, but he decided to apply anyways. That decision to apply not only changed John’s life, but the lives of countless people through his service.
The experience has changed John in many ways, and opened his eyes to the struggles of others. “I certainly have grown in my appreciation for the blessings we as Americans have in our country and culture, but have also been strongly impacted by the dramatic and raw faith I see in the people here. To us, church and faith often become secondary to our practical lives, but down here a person’s faith in God is often the highest priority to him or her. I am beginning to see also how one can live out love for his neighbor through more than just house building, but in attitude and behavior and how you interact with people in all situations.”
In John’s three months in Guatemala, he is leading a home build every week, and the team will complete 39 homes by summer’s end. “I am so thankful for this opportunity, because as Christians, especially American Christians, we have so much to give. Often a father of a family will make in a week what we spend on a fast food meal. In these conditions, even the smallest help makes a huge difference, and to simply ignore that isn’t possible after seeing firsthand how much of an impact Christian service has.”
You can follow along with John’s journey on Instagram with #JohnInGuat. Learn more about Casas por Christo and get involved today! Don’t forget to share your acts of Christian Service with us by using #CUServe!