Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Snapshots from Guatemala....

As we walk away from a trip, there are always snapshots that stick with us. They flash through our memories often and flood our soul with emotions. We asked our interns to share a couple of those pictures with us from this past trip to Guatemala. Here they are:

We visited a family in Lantana. The father of the house was going through the same thing that Greg Brown went through. He was into alcohol. His wife was a Christian and she wanted to share Christ's love with him. He said that he believed in God but was a little confused about Jesus. I guess what really got me was when we prayed with the family. The daughter that was about my age wrapped her arms around me and cried on my shoulder. I started crying also. God just gave me the understanding of what they were going through. After we prayed, the preacher gave the father his Bible and I felt peace in the house. The mother and daughter kept thanking me for listening to them. Tears were pouring from my face.

We begin each VBS lesson following along and doing fun songs with the children led by the members of New Jerusalem church. Even though the songs are in Spanish, it is so fun to dance and sing these songs with the children. After we finish the songs, someone from the church explains to the children why we are here, and then begins playing a soft song in the background...the only familiar word is "hallelujah" the song begins to play, the team breaks up and finds a group of children to pray with. Words can not describe how God seems to work through this song with every group of children. Today, I prayed with a group of three girls and one boy (all pre-teen looking). Once the song was over, I gave them a big group hug and the girls began to walk away. As I began to stand up, I saw the boy pull his shirt over his face..he was crying and wiping away his tears. Once I realized this, I gave the boy another big hug, and we just sat there for a minute hugging and then wiping away tears. Seeing a man cry ALWAYS gets to me....but seeing a preteen boy like this crying..not caring that older boys were around..not caring about how it made him look..not caring about anything, really tore my heart out. I don't know what this boy is going through at school or at home, but I can't imagine it was anything good. However, I know that no matter where you go, a hug is a hug. A prayer is a prayer. No matter what language you speak. To know this for me was one thing, but then to see God at work in this time and to use something as simple as a hug was amazing.

Lord, help us to never forget these images. May they burn into our memories so that we live each moment for your glory alone. Show us how to live and follow You in a way that gives you all the glory, honor and praise!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Blessings & Burdens

As we walked the road with Pastor Morales yesterday we heard his heart for the people and vision for the village mission church. After a time of prayer on the side of the road, we ventured up the hill to visit a couple of families he knew. The blessing of this amazing man of God overwhelms me every trip! We were blessed to watch his heart love on children in tough situations with the most authentic expression of Christlike compassion. His example is such a wonderful picture of the Father's heart and the Savior's hands!

The burden of the day rushed into my heart as I played with a group of boys in the street. Rich Stewart and I were being schooled in ball handling skills by some young boys in the street in Lantana, when I realized how close we were to the road we had just walked. The burden of Pastor Morales' heart came rushing over me... The mission church in Lantana needs a permanent location in the village. Earlier we had paused on the road to pray for a piece of land to build a church and continue reaching the community. As I stood in the street I saw just how perfectly positioned this piece of land is for the mission.

With every blessing here in relationship we build with the local church and the families who are building the Kingdom here, come burdens for more people! Burdens to reach more. Burdens to give more. Burdens to be more of the body! Will you join us as we take up this burden in prayer alongside the local church for land? Will you pray with us for favor with the owner and his willingness to sell a piece of choice land to the mission! The blessings far exceed the burdens when we walk this journey together!

In His Grip,