With two young daughters, a home and jobs, the Bindus family of Hartland never thought a yearlong mission trip was possible for them at this stage in their lives.
After 18 months of planning, praying and preparation, however, Trish Bindus says her family, which includes husband Craig and daughters Maddie, 14, and Abbey 11, put their faith in God and found a way.
“We love doing missions,” Bindus said. “This is our passion and just really felt that it’s what God called us to do.”
Although the family had participated in shorter mission trips in the past, visiting places such as Kenya, Ecuador and Guatemala, Bindus says it wasn’t until they met a South Carolina family with daughters in similar ages in Chichicastenango last year that they realized their dream could be a possibility.
And then fate stepped in, according to Bindus, when her husband was approached by Pray America during his last church mission trip to Chichicatenango with the opportunity to move there for a year. The parents then had to approach their young daughters with the proposition.
“After about 10 or 15 minutes of some tears, they both kind of looked up and said we want to go,” Bindus said.
Leaving behind the comforts of their home, the family began the process of selling all the material items they felt were unnecessary, a “freeing” moment for Bindus who said she came to realize how much you can live without.
The family also began preparations for homeschooling their children for a year as well as becoming debt-free to begin their new journey.
With just weeks left before their new adventure begins, Bindus says she is excited for the new opportunity and the work they will be doing to help widows and children by building homes, installing efficiency stoves and helping to feed the children.
“It melts your heart that these kids live in complete poverty and not always eat a complete meal in their day but still have a huge smile on their face,” Bindus said.
Although the family has succeeded in becoming debt-free, they are also currently trying to fundraise money for their year away. It is estimated that for the family of four they will need $11,000 to help pay for living expenses, travel costs and the renewal of Visa’s which need to be done multiple times while they are there.
“People are able to go to the Pray America website and donate there,” Bindus said.
Kahuna Coffee in Hartland will also donate 10 percent of their proceeds in the month of January for anyone who says they are supporting the Bindus family.
Leaving friends, family, technology and privacy behind, Bindus hopes that the new experience will enhance the lives of her family and teach them to become less selfish and learn to live the way God wants them to.
She also encourages others to follow their own path.
"My biggest piece of advice is to listen when God’s speaking to you," she said. "When you feel that nudge in your heart, and even people who aren’t 100 percent sure of what they believe in, the humanity of helping others who are in need ...if you feel that nudge to ever want to go somewhere, just do it.
"Not only could you change someone else’s life, but they are going to change yours for good," she said.