A PHOTO JOURNEY

WITH FIRST CHURCH MISSIONS

Henderson Mission Trip - April 2017


June Hartranft School for Girls

In Sierra Leone, West Africa

Jane Lahai is the head of this school for young girls named in honor of missionary June Hartranft, a lifetime missionary from our church who served there from 1945 until her premature passing in 1965. The school enrolls over 500 girls from the area and is a boarding school for a number of them, providing room and board as well as an education. First Church's support includes providing school supplies and some regular meals as well as special projects like the new mattresses that you see pictured here and below. Band instruments for a school band were also provided by First Church as well as a bus that you will see in the photos below.


The Smoker Family

In Guatemala

Ted and Julie Smoker and their five children, Abby, Jacob, Nathan, Esther, and Luci, are serving in Guatemala where their mission is to help the indigenous K'ekchi' people, a tribe of the Mayan Indians, develop sustainable business income that will provide for their families. Coffee is a primary crop there that has the greatest potential and is currently the main focus of this venture.


Visit their mission through the photos below. You will see:

  • A class for the K’ekchi’ farmers to help them produce better crops. 
  • A healthy coffee plant with some ripe red coffee cherries. The coffee beans are the "pits" inside the cherries.
  • K’ekchi’ women picking ripe coffee cherries.
  • The open market where food is weighed with a balance scale.
  • Planting corn on a hillside. Guatemalan landscape holds great beauty but also special challenges as all farming must be done by hand. Farming on mountains is hard manual labor.
  • A K’ekchi’ home. Notice the “stairs” to the upper level used for storage of the corn crop. Corn is the mainstay in the K’ekchi’ diet. Corn tortillas are served at every meal. 
  • Women walk many miles carrying loads on their heads.
  • A typical K’ekchi’ kitchen where they cook over an open fire.
  • A K’ekchi’ family standing in their coffee field.
  • K’ekchi’ children playing with the Smoker children.
  • This village garden was initiated in part by Red Paz (Peace Network) an organization with which Ted works. Red Paz goes into communities and works to teach helpful skills in both agriculture and peacemaking.