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Hope of Life

Our trips to Guatemala to help Hope of Life are an incredible way to show the love of Jesus. Hope of Life serves the people of Guatemala where we are involved with the Total Village Transformation and the Ray of Hope Drug Rehab projects in the village of Santa Rosalia de Marmol in Zacapa, Guatemala.

Information about our 2020 trips:

Trip Dates
Saturday, February 29–Saturday, March 7, 2020
Saturday, July 11–Saturday, July 18, 2020

Let us know you’re interested in the trips to Guatemala by filling out this form

Due Dates
For February trip, deposit ($850) and applications are due by December 15, 2019; balance is due: January 19, 2020
For July trip, deposit ($1,050) and applications are due by February 9, 2020; balance is due: May 3, 2020
If you plan to purchase your own airfare, the deposit is $500 and the due dates and balance due dates are the same as above for each trip. The refund policy is defined by Hope of Life where the amount is valid for one year and can be put towards a future Hope of Life trip.

Pre-Trip Information Meeting Dates
Sunday, December 8 and 15, 2019, between each service, the Hope of Life Team will be in the Café to answer questions and collect deposits, applications, and copies of passports.
Sunday, January 26, 2020, 1 pm in the Ren Students Space (497 Springfield Ave.)

Estimated Cost
February trip: $1,650 per person; July trip: $1,850 per person
This includes about $850-$1,050 for airfare and about $800 for lodging, food, incidentals, medical insurance, and support. This is an estimated cost which could vary depending on final airfare and incidental costs.

Please note: The $850-$1,050 non-refundable deposits are used to purchase airfare. Should you opt out of the trip, the airfare would follow the airlines cancelation policies, but is not refundable.

We recommend each traveler check with their employer to understand if any of the cost of the trip or hours worked while in Guatemala are eligible for their matching gifts program.

Fundraising
New for the 2020 trips, the participants are asked to help raise the funds for the 2020 projects. We estimate that these projects will cost about $10,000. Therefore, the fundraising goal for each participant is $500. Tax deductible donations can be made directly to Hope of Life via this link.

Payments
Payment should be made by checks payable to Renaissance Church with “Guatemala Feb/Mar 2020” or “Guatemala July 2020” written on the memo line.

Passport Validity
US Citizens traveling to Guatemala should have at least 6 months of validity remaining on their passports after the date of entry or they may be turned back by the airline or immigration. If you  are not a U.S. citizen and traveling with another passport, please make sure to check the passport validity details for your particular passport.

Documents

Notes for Application

  • 6th–8th graders may participate in the trips with a parent or guardian
  • 9th–12th graders may participate without a parent or guardian, but with permission
  • Applications for those under age 18 must be notarized
  • Team name and church name: Renaissance Church
  • Team leader: Linda Policarpio and Jeanne Hodge

Immunization Recommendations (given at least 6 weeks before departure)

  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Typhoid Vaccine
  • Malaria Prophylaxis
  • Antibiotic prescription filled for travelers’ diarrhea

HealthCare Recommendations

  • Connect with your general practitioner or travel doctor ahead of time to review your medical history for any recommendations.
  • Prepare for hard physical labor.
  • Review the foods listed below. Do you need any dietary requests? They can be accommodated if listed on application.

Travel Info
Getting to the Hope of Life compound: It’s a long day of travel with 5–7 hours of flying (not including delays and connections) and a 3-5 hour bus ride from the airport to Hope of Life.
Getting to Santa Rosalia: From the Hope of Life compound, it is a 30-minute bus ride, a transfer to pickup trucks, and then about an hour ride up into the mountains over rough, steep roads.

Accommodations (on Hope of Life Compound)
February trip: Maple Leaf
July Trip: Maple Leaf
Rooms are double occupancy.

Special Projects
February 2020 Trip
Work on Ray of Hope Drug Rehab Center Project
Re-paint inside and outside of school built in 2018
Finishing touches and dedication for Medical Clinic and Woman’s Center in Santa Rosalia

July 2020 Trip
TBD
Build greenhouses (or goat cages)
Start up computer lab in school room built in 2018

Completed 2019 Mission Trips (March and July)
Projects in Santa Rosalia de Marmol: Construction of Medical Clinic and Women’s Center, Initiation of Ray of Hope Drug Rehab Center, planting sustainable fruit tries at homes in the village of Santa Rosalia, assisting in construction of the Thomas house, packing rice, beans and nutrients for distribution to Guatemalan villages by Hope of Life.

Completed 2018 Mission Trips (April)
Two-room school building (classroom and computer lab), distributed clothing and shoes to villagers.

Schedule of a Typical Week

  • Saturday: Arrive
  • Sunday: Church, visit Hope of Life compound, sort clothes/gifts for Santa Rosalia
  • Monday to Thursday (7 am–5 pm): special projects and other activities (see below)
  • Friday (7 am–2 pm): Finish active projects 
  • Saturday: Leave for airport at 4 am

Other Activities and Connection Opportunities 

  • Serving at the hospital
  • Serving at the disabled center
  • Serving at the Village of Transformation (a place where children who have been abandoned or forgotten now call home)
  • Serving at Kelly’s House (children with physical and developmental disabilities)
  • Serving at Thomas’ and spending time with Evan, Hanna, and their children
  • Serving meals at dump
  • Packaging food bags for distribution in villages
  • Visiting other villages
  • Trail maintenance at waterfalls (near Santa Rosalia)
  • Nightly devotionals

Weather and Climate

  • 80–90 degrees
  • Possibilities of rain, extreme heat, and insects

Work/Service to Expect
For the projects in Santa Rosalia:

  • Construction: digging (dirt/sand), lifting/moving buckets of sand, moving cinderblock, painting, mixing mortar
  • Interacting with the people of the village to understand their needs
  • Organizing clothing bazaar at Santa Rosalia

Safety Concerns
We are traveling to another country so there are many unknowns. However, throughout our travels outside of the Hope of Life compound, we are accompanied by a translator that speaks fluent English, as well as an armed guard. While at the Hope of Life compound, we will be surrounded by people from other groups also traveling to perform their own missions, so there is a great sense of community and safety.

Types of Food

  • Lots of Fresh Fruit
  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Meat (pork, chicken, beef)
  • Peanut butter/jelly and ham/cheese sandwiches
  • Clean water

More about Hope of Life

Contact: hol@renchurch.com

Service Times:

Sundays
8:30, 10, & 11:30 am

REN KIDS at 8:30, 10, & 11:30 am
Middle & HIGH SCHOOL: Fridays, 7:30 pm
MIDDLE SCHOOL: Sundays, 8:30 am

Address:

Summit Opera House
2 Kent Place Blvd
Summit, NJ 07901