October 2008

Alison Spiker Goes to Guatamala

Highlights of Alison Spiker's mission trip to Guatamala.

Alison's Mission Trip to Guatamala -- Sharing God's Mission of Love

Written by: Alison Spiker

What: Mission trip to Paxtoca, Guatemala, for two weeks with the West Virginia Volunteers in Mission organization based out of Oak Hill, WV

When: July 5th to July 19th 2008

Who: Traveled with 24 other volunteers from WV, TN, CT, and Mexico

Why: To share God’s message of hope and love with the people of Guatemala through active worship services and daily fellowship experiences

Summary: I felt CALLED by God to go on this mission trip. I emphasize “called” because that’s the best word to describe it. Having hoped to engage in fellowship and mission work abroad for some time, I finally received my opportunity this summer. After the deadline for the mission team had passed, I contacted the WV VIM office to see if there were any spots left. They had the greatest number of volunteers in the history of the program and I was uncertain if they could squeeze one more on their roster. God willing they did.

I was offered a spot and followed through with God’s call. My excitement was almost overwhelming… I had never been to a developing country before. The stories I heard all included the phrase, “The experience will change you forever…”

This was part of an essay I wrote recently explaining my experience…

“This summer I joined a work team dedicated to improving the lives of those in disadvantaged areas. I witnessed first-hand the dire circumstances that exist in developing countries and the desperate need for assistance.

“For two weeks, I volunteered on a 25-member work team in the rural village of Paxtoca, Guatemala, devoted to constructing a house for a widow and her son. Maria, the kind-hearted widow, and her young son Moises served as the inspiration while on the trip and continue to motivate me today. They demonstrated extraordinary work ethic. Moises mixed cement by hand each morning and laid countless bricks before heading to school, and Maria balanced cement blocks on her head as she walked to the house site a hundred yards away.

“In the maize covered hillsides, I worked alongside my Guatemalan friends and the other volunteers as we laid the foundation for a renewed life for Maria and Moises. As a result of my work team experience, I reaffirmed my desire to pursue a degree in global health science and become a medical doctor. Once equipped with the education and necessary resources, my goal is to lead medical work teams to underserved populations as a physician.”

Family Fun and Games

Written by: Bobbi Spiker-Conley

As fall brings cooler temperatures, many of us will begin moving our leisure activities inside. We think October is the perfect time for indoor games, so we’re getting ready to play a new one in the Spiker Family Game Room.

It Makes a Difference” is a challenging game that both adults AND kids will enjoy. Be sure to share the game with your kids and grandkids so that they can play along too.

The younger participants may respond directly to Bobbi Conley, or parents may forward their responses. (See game instructions.) Just be sure to include the participant’s name so that we’ll know who is playing.


  • Submitted by Bobbi Spiker-Conley – Additional references for Gay Spiker’s diary have been provided in the Transcriber’s Notes beneath the obituary notice of Doris Cox. Review these notations, including a response from Mary Lucille DeBarry, on Page 24.
  • Submitted by Bobbi Spiker-Conley – We’ve received a few responses to the transcription of Gay’s diary and wanted to share some of them here with our readers: Melinda Chambers: You have really done an outstanding job with Grandma’s diary. I look forward to reading it piece by piece. I read your introduction, and yes, it makes Grandma Spiker more human to me. I was a teenager when she died, but didn’t really know her much. I did, however, enjoy seeing the fruit of her labors with her cooking, gardening, and crafts. She seemed to have much compassion, I observed, particularly the way she was always mothering Marjorie. Mary Lucille DeBarry: I just visited the website and Gay Spiker’s diary is amazing. Cathy Gregis: What a wonderful job you have done. Of course I’m not through reading it but I hope it brings to others the blessings I have received reading it. I had heard of the journal but was never given the opportunity to read it. I’m enjoying it more every day. I try to read two sections a day. I remember grandmother and this is a side I never knew. There is such good advice. I keep reading quotes to (my husband) Larry. I still have a lot of reading and getting to know a woman I thought I knew. Willa Dean Spiker: The other night I couldn’t sleep so I decided to read more of the diary. I couldn’t believe it when I looked at the clock and discovered I’d been reading for three hours!
  • Submitted by Bobbi Spiker-Conley – Haley Conley recently added her recipe for Mexican Quesadillas to the Spiker Family Cookbook. Check out all our family recipes in the Kitchen.