There will be many children in Guatemala with smiling faces this Christmas thanks to several churches in southwest Indiana.

During the month of July numerous churches helped Mission Guatemala by celebrating Christmas. During this special Christmas in July celebration, United Methodists collected gently used and new toys for children in Guatemala.

“The result was spectacular!” according to Tom Heaton, director of Mission Guatemala.

United Methodists collected hundreds of toys for children of all ages. During August, the toys were delivered to Old North United Methodist Church in Evansville, Ind. for sorting and packing.

The Ferol Martin Circle of the United Methodist Women led the packing effort. Wearing Santa hats, the women packed 15 boxes of toys and were still waiting for more boxes to be delivered by the shipping company to finish up their packing effort at press time.

“We had a fabulous time packing. What fun this has been for all,” said packing coordinator Lynn Penland.

Churches also collected a special offering for food baskets for families in Guatemala. Those monies are still being processed, but many families will be enjoying some extra food at the holiday time as the result of the generosity.

For more information about Mission Guatemala, visit