Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Dump

This is a post written by one of the summer interns, Michael Di Giacoma. It gives great insight into the differences in dumps in the US and the dump in Guatemala City.

I went with my dad to the dump today.

Now many people would say that going to the dump is not on the list of exciting places to go, in fact they might look at you funny.

At first I thought it was just an ordinary delivery of garbage to a common dumping area. The smell had started to pierce my nostrils the instant we got out to unload. We finished unloading the trash and drove to the scale to be weighed. The bill: $30.89 for 989 lbs of junk lumber. Just under half a ton. Which for Delaware is 1 ton of trash is $80. We left and it was finished.

I give this context for the following. I went into a different dump today. Completely different from the one I was in over four weeks ago. In Guatemala City its called the "Dump", in Uganda they call it the "Dustbin" and in the US we call it the "Landfill". Sure there was trash and garbage trucks and people working and it stinks. But as a I am breathing in the filth of my home county, the one thing I notice is that this is not a place in which people live; where children work alongside adults; where people horde their earthly belongings.

This is the trash dump and here is where you get fined for stealing trash. Where you spend $80 for removal of the unwanted.

What I believe I am trying to say is that I am very blessed to have been born in the United States not in the sewage of the city dump. Not to live close quarters with my neighbors, not to work along side my parents as they earned $2 for the day. God as a human being I cannot comprehend what it would be like to be those people in the dump. You have a plan though. You are in control. When the rain comes and washes away a family's home or the family itself you have a plan. You have a purpose. I trust in you and when I become annoyed with life in this bountiful country and I begin to complain about the minuscule problems I have, let the stench of trash reach my nose and remind me that there are those who have it harder than me.

It is the dump that I have heard some of the most interesting stories. Women who have lost husbands to land slides and children who have lost parents to drugs and fathers abusing their own daughters and water trucks and many other stories, but the one that has come from a few different people is that of women who have nothing but trash proclaim Jesus as Lord and trust Him to provide for their every need. I can't tell them to sacrifice for the Lord, I can't speak anything into their lives but I can pray for them. God help your church to reach out to the hurting universal church, help me to reach out to the hurting church.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Clear the Way Through the Wilderness....

Listen! It's the voice of someone shouting,"Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God! Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills. Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places. Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed and all people will see it together. The Lord has spoken!"
(Isaiah 40:3-5)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Revival In Africa!

After a few days of catching my breath, I am now beginning to fully grasp some of the things I experienced this summer. The most significant lesson I learned in Africa about the church this summer is about revival. For years now I have been asking the Father to guide me in the3 journey toward revival. I have been praying to see and be a part of a movement of revival with a freshness and passion unlike anything I have ever experienced. For the past couple of years I have been reading and searching out truths about revival experiences across the globe.

Upon arriving in Africa this summer I felt an urgency that I had not felt in my heart before. I had a team of young adults with me who were eager to share the truth of His Word with 1000+ children and then coast through a pastor's conference for a second week. The Lord had plans that we were unaware of as we made our way to southern Uganda.

After a couple of awesome days in Kampala with the Divine Farm Church and a couple of other churches we have relationship with through their pastors, we made our journey 4 1/2 hours south. Along the way we reflected upon the trauma that hit Uganda just one day earlier as terrorists attacked a large gathering of young people and tourists watching the World Cup Finals. The shock and fear of the event was felt over the entire country.

Our first week was a direct contradiction to fear and terror! Watching 300+ children and adults surrender their lives to Jesus brought an excitement to the team that most had never experienced. The stirring had begun in my heart for revival in Africa!

The following week I saw first hand the stirrings of revival. As we arrived for the first morning of the pastor's conference I was overwhelmed to find the church full of pastors and church members praying. They had been there for over 2 hours praying and singing. Throughout the next few days I would be reminded of the true foundations of revival. The church in Uganda is embracing the words found in 2 Chronicles 7:14. They are humbling themselves, and praying. They are seeking the face of God and turning from their wicked ways. Forgiveness is coming and a healing is beginning. Uganda is on the edge of revival sweeping the entire land!

I am so excited to be in relationship with so many pastors in Uganda who are seeking to follow hard after the heart of the Father. This summer He used their passion and commitment to stir in my heart the passion for revival. I have seen the beginnings of a revival movement in Africa. I have come home praying for the Lord to share that passion with the American church through our times of sharing and leading with teams on the field. God is so good to us to show us revival beginning and then stir our hearts to carry the excitement to the church in other parts of the globe.

It is time we the church seek His heart for a real fresh wind of revival and a true brokenness in our hearts. We need to turn to Him and turn from our own ways of thinking. We need to hear from Heaven!

In His Grip,