Two families are leaving Aplington for service in Guatemala - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Two families are leaving Aplington for service in Guatemala

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by Danielle Wagner

APLINGTON (KWWL) On June 3 two families are leaving Aplington for Guatemala.

The Hankens (a family of seven) and the McCauleys (a family of eleven) plus a teenager close with the mccauley family (that's 19 total) are packing up and re-locating to Guatemala.

"I think it's equally hard no matter when you go, and we don't know what tomorrow holds. We don't know if we have next year or even next month. We just felt it was something we were being asked to do by the Lord and we wanted to be obedient right away," said Dina Hanken.

The children had mixed reactions to the move at first.

"They've all gotten to the point where they at least have peace with it. Several, if not most are excited about the opportunity," said Jodi McCauley.

The families are leaving behind their homes, vehicles and most personal possessions for their mission work.

"We've committed to go there four years to teach at the Christian Academy, which is an American school designed for missionaries," said TJ Hanken.

Both families will also work with New Life Children's Home for orphans.

The Hankens and McCauleys say after a population boom and 30 years of civil war, Guatemala is the poorest Latin American country.

"One to two dollars a day is what most people live on," said Jeff McCauley.

The McCauleys two youngest and adopted children were born in Guatemala. They feel going to help others is God's plan for them.

The McCauleys hope to make connections with local churches to bring more mission trips to the country.

The Hankens have previously taken mission trips to Guatemala and feel it's where they're supposed to be.

Both families plan to call Guatemala home for at least four years, and say it's up to God what happens after that.

As soon as the families get to Guatemala in June, they'll begin taking language classes to learn Spanish.

The children will go to the international, English speaking Christian Academy for their education and some are already planning to come back to the U.S. for college.

If you'd like to help the Hankens and McCauleys on their mission trip, or if you would like to find out how your church can organize a trip to Guatemala visit www.hankenmissions.com or www.mccauleymissions.com for more information.

(To see the video for this story, please visit the Today in Iowa Weekends page).

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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