Here’s what happened to that money I asked you to give


A quick note to the readers of this blog who, a few months ago, donated around 17,000 dollars to help my brother and the others on his mission trip provide medicine and clean water to a poor town in Guatemala.

He returned a couple of weeks back, and asked if I would post a thank you note and update on my blog, so that you could see the fruits of your charity.

I told him I’d post it, but he’d have to pay a 200 dollar fee.

That was a joke.

The fee is 300.

In all seriousness, I get some satisfaction out of knowing that something tangible and real has come from this little blog of mine. Rather, it came from you, but I’m happy to be a facilitator of the exchange.

Here’s Joe’s letter:

Dear friends,

Thank you once again for your generous contributions to my mission trip. Everything went according to plan (for the most part). On March 8 we left for Guatemala and arrived back at Christendom the following Sunday, March 16. We were lead by our Pastor, Father Planty, and another Christendom staff member Josh Peterson. We worked with the Missionary Sisters of the Poor Jesus in the small Guatemalan town of El Progresso and a Canadian relief organization, the Doppenbergs.

The majority of our work consisted in working in a remote Guatemalan town digging a trench one mile long to connect this town with their water supply. Working alongside the Guatemalan men, women and even children we finished the ditch by Saturday. The days were long and exhausting but very rewarding. We dug on mountain sides with inclines of nearly 70 degrees and at time had to dig and pick ax through straight rock. In one 30 minute stretch three pick axes were broken due to the rock formations. In the meantime, Father Planty administered to the sick Guatemalans who, in the remote villages, rarely receive spiritual care. And with the money donated the Sisters were able to buy and administer medical supplies to hundreds of children through a series of day clinics set up in the villages. After digging the trench, laying the pipe, creating a ditch 10 feet deep for the 10,000 gallon tank and covering the pipe the project was completed on the last day.

This project, which includes a water filtration system, all made possible by your contributions, will have a direct and immediate impact on the lives of all the people in this village. Now a clean and reliable source of water exists for a entire town, due in large part to your charity.

It was truly one of the most amazing and fulfilling experiences of my life, and a week I will never forget. If not for your donations, we would not have been able to provide these essential services. Most importantly, above all else, we were able to share Christ’s love with our brothers and sisters in Guatemala. Again, thank you for your help, and God bless.


Joe Walsh

I’m told they also had the funds to conduct an alpaca grooming seminar, which will hopefully aid in my quest to rid the Earth of the scourge of unkempt alpacas.

In any case, thank you all for your kindness. It’s easy to just sort of skim right by a blog post where some guy is trying to get you to give money to poor people. You don’t gain anything from clicking the Paypal link and sending a few dollars (or more than a few). But you gave, anyway.

Thank you.

And thanks for reading.



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50 Responses to Here’s what happened to that money I asked you to give

  1. Sandra Grammer says:

    There go those hypocritical, self-centered Christians again-feeding the poor, making clean drinking water, giving medical care, sharing love, immersing themselves in poverty, making a difference. Thank you, Joe and your team for being the feet and hands of Jesus in this broken world.

  2. Deanna says:

    What a blessing, to the people in Guatemala as well as your brother and the people who were with him. God is good!!!!!

  3. TJ Petri says:

    Very nice. The way things should be,

  4. Janice says:

    That is a very sweet picture!

  5. Tapestrygarden says:

    Thank you for the followup. It is so much more gratifying to see the impact of contributing to people like your brother who are looking to be the hands and feet of Christ working to help people who are so poor. I hope to hear more about this effort and that your brother will continue to keep you informed and us informed of his efforts.

  6. Mum says:

    I really believe this is true partnership of service. Those who are able to give some funds and those who are able to give some sweat. It’s truly a team effort. All members of the team are important.

  7. Abby says:

    I must admit that I did not donate to this trip. I think I had just discovered this blog at the time and was unsure of who exactly this alpaca fanatic cum blogger was. If your brother goes on another such trip, please let us know. I’d love to contribute.

  8. glenna says:

    Sorry I missed out on helping; not quite sure how I didn’t see that blog, but I do understand what it takes and would have loved to help. We are currently selling homemade sourdough bread locally to raise funds for my daughter’s mission trip to Honduras with our church, so I completely understand what a blessing it is to have people contribute to make it happen, and I’m so glad you shared the update with us. Plus I think it’s just totally cool that your brother is Joe Walsh!

  9. Deo gratia! What a great mission story. Matt, you actually do a lot of good with your blog. Keep doing what you’re doing for the glory of God.

  10. FaithLorraine says:

    This is awesome. Thank you for sharing the follow up and thank you to Joe.

  11. SLIMJIM says:

    Kind of unrelated but I have to ask…was your brother a Marine?

  12. Anne Nelson says:

    I, too, appreciate the follow up. What a great way to start the day! I would love to physically participate in one of these adventures – if anyone has information on how I might do that, please let me know.

    • heyjudej says:

      Many churches lead missions trips throughout the year. I believe that is how Joe got connected. If you aren’t involved in a church, then you could look for a local branch of a larger organization such as Living Water International ( in your area. Good luck!

    • Jillocity says:

      our Church sends people out…we have had two groups go to Haiti, to Haiti itself, and to a small island off Haiti…many Churches have missions groups, different Churches send to different countries…it is possible there is a Church in your town that does missions of this sort πŸ™‚

  13. Pam says:

    Thank you for the update, Matt. With all the emphasis on problems, it was really nice to be reminded that there’s good stuff happening. Congrats to Joe and his team for a job well done!

  14. Dodie King says:

    Oh Matt, again your wit and humour shine through. I am so glad that the money was able to give the people there a valuable resource: water. Thank you for the report (sorry I didn’t know about this but would have “donated through PayPal” from Canada. I enjoy your blogs and often they crack me up. Keep writing your wit, humour and sarcasm. As a fellow walker in this life, a little light shone in the darkness of deeds makes me always think. Scary I often agree with you.

  15. AH Wilson says:

    It takes the sender and the sendee. Anyone who gave (I wasn’t able to) was just apart of that service as those who physically flew there! Sounds like an awesome trip!

  16. Terry says:

    Really awesome to see how a lot of people can give a little and have it mean a lot. Thanks for the update!

  17. Melissa says:

    What a beautiful thing to read first thing in the morning! Thanks for the letter!

  18. Paula Smith says:

    So inspiring. Thanks for sharing the update and photos from your brother’s mission. Hope you get your $300! (and if you do, I’m sure you’ll give it to the Sisters! They are doing some incredible work!)

  19. Awesome, thanks for the update Matt!! We are raising money to adopt a special needs baby and this gives me so much hope! God is so good!

  20. chrisknits says:

    As an alpaca wool loving, knitter the grooming class is actually very pertinent. Women in these countries are part of companies that harvest and spin the alpaca wool into gorgeous skeins of heaven. Over the top? Maybe, but let me knit you a hat from alpaca wool and you will discover the siren song. The one that finds you petting your shawl/cowl/sweater/etc made from alpaca. It’s a win-win. The women have a sustainable source of income and I get to buy gorgeous wool to knit with.

  21. analyticalperspective says:


  22. analyticalperspective says:

    I want to go in the next trip!

  23. Philippa says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience Joe. I went on my first mission trip the first week of March. We went to the Dominican Republic. A transformative experience for me, and I am sure, for you. My only regret is I waited till I was 54 years old to go. May God grant you all many blessed years!

  24. mo says:

    Those pesky Christians are at it again, going to poor countries and giving of their time and energy and sweat to help strangers, with no expectation of anything in return. Who do they think they are, anyway? Don’t these Christians know all cultures are equal? Don’t they know these folks are perfectly content to live in poverty and isolation, lacking clean water and going without medical care? How dare we impose our values on them!

    In all seriousness, I wish I had been able to give to the trip. Not sure if I was here in time to read about it, and funds are short these days with being un/underemployed for six years now. Hopefully there will be a next time and I’ll give what I can.

    (But only if there are pictures of the alpacas!)

  25. Sharon says:

    Matt-I would like to give to any future mission projects but do not have a pay-pal account. Is there an address for the church available? I could then send a check for the cause. Thank you.

  26. Meghan says:

    If you want to continue to support the mission in Guatemala, or see what they’re up to, go to (and

  27. Jan Rodelander says:

    It’s very good tohear the results and see the pictures of such an endeavor. God bless you both as well as the whole team for your good hard work!

  28. Katie says:

    Thank you for sharing the good. There is so much shared that is negative and defeating that people begin to focus on those things and forget to open their eyes and their hearts to the good that is all around. Thank you for spreading good and sharing light.

  29. Guajimbo says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. My family and I are currently living in Guatemala and have been in the Pregresso area. You have no idea the difference a reliable water source can make for people. Something that I know I took for granted in the States.

  30. Jillocity says:

    Such a blessing to receive this in my email inbox…among all the other stuff going on in the world, there is true good happening, God bless you and all of your family…and tell Joe thank you, not just from Guatemalans, but from Americans too…this made my day.

  31. Laura says:

    I think the coolest part of the whole story…your brother’s name is Joe Walsh. Maybe I’m showing my age here, but life’s been good to me so far. πŸ™‚

  32. Libby Smelser says:

    Thank-you for the update, Matt! My daughter and family spent 6 years in the mountain village of Xela in Guatamala. We were able to make 6 trips during those years, and we understand what your brother’s work meant to the people…. such lovely lovely happy people. They put our spoiled children to shame.

  33. Just when I start to lose faith in humanity, your brother and some of the people who read this blog have to go and so something like this.

  34. Big Edna says:

    Alpaca grooming seminar. Tee hee.

  35. Jessica says:

    It’s beautiful and soul-satisfying to see people doing such good works πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing! ❀

  36. Ed says:

    Great cause, great execution.

    “These impious Galileans (Christians) not only feed their own, but ours also; welcoming them with their agape, they attract them, as children are attracted with cakes… Whilst the pagan priests neglect the poor, the hated Galileans devote themselves to works of charity…” Julian the Apostate

  37. Anita says:

    For some reason I read that headline as “here’s what happened to that MONKEY I asked you to give.” Kept waiting for the monkey to be worked in to the story.

    -Instaurare omnia in Christo.

  38. MARY MYERS says:

    ” You don’t gain anything from clicking the Paypal link and sending a few dollars (or more than a few). But you gave, anyway. ” What the heck? I think people gain plenty. Was your tongue in cheek???

    • Bro says:

      I think he meant monetary return. Even counting taxes, because I don’t think you can write off donations through PayPal. Or if you can, maybe he wasn’t thinking about taxes.

  39. Mo says:

    I love how the anti-theists and the liberals have nothing to say about this story!

  40. Linda Cox says:

    You ROCK ! I don’t usually comment, am more of a “lurker”, but this is too good. Have to say something! I love your blog and am most offen in complete agreement, as in
    ‘ wish I’d said that’

  41. Wendy Peavy says:

    The very morning I had read the original post, I had gotten a check from my doctor’s office for overpayment on my account. It wasn’t much but I felt lead to give it to Joe and the missionaries at Christendom. I’m so happy to see their goals were accomplished. Thank you Matt and Joe for being the vessels for Christ’s love and compassion.

  42. Oh bless his cotton socks! That’s so cute what he does πŸ™‚

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