This week, Her Campus OSU had the pleasure of talking to Ashley Yvonne Rambacher about her recent service trip to Guatemala City. Ashley spent weeks leading up to the spring break trip crocheting scarves and headbands to raise money for the trip.
Name: Ashley Yvonne RambacherHometown: Miamisburg, OHHobbies: Singing, talking, crocheting, painting, running Major: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Minor: Spanish Year: 3rd year
HC: Tell me about your recent trip to Guatemala. Who were you traveling with and what did you do?AYR: My recent trip to Guatemala was totally rad! I traveled to Guatemala City for a mission trip with H2O church (a nondenominational church on campus). We stayed in and served with a church called La Iglesia de Gran Comisión (Great Commission Church). In the mornings we went over to a local university, La Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala (The University of San Carlos of Guatemala) and built relationships with the students, told them about the church, hung out with them and shared the gospel with them, which was awesome. The afternoons were spent in a local neighborhood called Nemahuju. This area is a high-gang-risk area. So our hope is to get to these children before the gangs do. We are currently implementing an AWANA program in this neighborhood (AWANA is kind of like an after school program/youth group). We helped the students with their homework, played games with them, loved on them and shared the gospel with them. We also visited two schools while we were there, put on a program for the kids, shared the gospel and helped them practice their English (many schools in Guatemala are bilingual).
HC: Can you tell me about fundraising for the trip? How did you come up with the idea to make scarves and headbands to raise money?AYR: Fundraising can be difficult and kind of stressful. But money has never been a reason for me not to go on a trip. Somehow, someway God ALWAYS provides if He wants me to go and there is always enough money. So I fund raised by asking my family members and friends for donations and by crocheting and then selling scarves and headbands. I also opened a GoFundMe account so that I could share it on social networking and so people could donate for scarves through that which helped A LOT. I got the idea because I had recently gotten really into crocheting (my boyfriend taught me how), I enjoyed it, I was already making a large amount of scarves for my family and I was just like, “Hey, I could totally sell these things.” People like to donate to a cause, but they like it so much more if they get something out of it!
HC: What was the most meaningful part of your trip?AYR: I have two of these.
1. One morning we were at the university playing soccer with some of our friends, I was super nervous that morning because I wasn’t with my good friend from Honduras who is much more fluent in Spanish than I. I was also nervous because sharing the gospel is really intimidating to me. I would rather just show people the love of Christ through my actions than my words. So I was super nervous and I was playing soccer and just, like, praying “Lord, please open up a situation in which you can use me to share the gospel.” And then, out of nowhere, these four girls (who I had never met before) were yelling my name and asking for me to come out of the game and talk to them. They wanted to form an all-girl team and then play, but we never ended up playing because we just kept talking. They started asking about my life and why I was there and why I become a Christian. So I told them my testimony (just my story about how I came to know, accept and love Christ) and then finished by telling them that, no matter what you have done yesterday, what you do today or tomorrow, as long as you have a mustard seed size of faith that Jesus is the son of God and that he came to die for you, you are saved. We believe salvation is a gift and it comes through faith and faith alone, not by good works. Literally, all you have to do is believe and ask to receive this awesome gift! I said this all in Spanish with a bit of English, as they were bilingual. And at the end one of the girls thanked me and said that I had really inspired her and another left in tears of joy. The spirit just really moved. And it was awesome.
2. At Nemahuju, I really bonded with a girl named Yavaira. One day I helped her do her homework and then was playing with her and then had to leave for a bit to help somebody out with another activity (I was in charge of all the activities we played with them). When I came back, she was sitting alone in a tube thing. I went over and was like, “What’s wrong?” and she said, “Nobody wants to play with me,” and I was just like, “I want to play with you!” And that was just such a HUMBLING reminder of, “Oh yeah!–this is why I am doing this.” I am serving others because I care about the ones (men, women and children alike) that do not think they are worthy enough to be “played” with or to be cared about.
HC: Do you plan to return to Guatemala or visit other countries in the future?AYR: I am in the processes of praying about whether or not I should/can return for the summer to Guatemala. And I hope to return to Guatemala in December. I have a huge heart for missions and for Latin America and I hope to eventually live abroad. I just LOVE speaking truth into people lives that you are worthy, you are valuable and you are loved (which is part of the reason I am a RA). But I will go wherever the Lord sends me.
HC: What other student organizations/clubs are you affiliated with on campus?AYR: I am a RA (so Residence Life). I do research with the Linguistics Department, and I used to be on the club water polo team!