Saturday, June 8, 2019

Almost there...

We have come to the end of a great week! This team has done so much ministry and work this week, it is truly incredible! Thanks to God who has empowered us for ministry, given us strength for working long, hard days, and who has helped us press through team sickness.

This morning I led our breakfast devotion out of Psalm 67. The Psalm opens with a blessing on the people of God, "May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah." This Psalm asks God to bless his people. And this week we have been blessed. We have been blessed by many of you that have sent and provided for this team. We have been blessed with great weather and good food. We have been blessed through fellowship with many dear believers here in Guatemala. We have been blessed as we have learned to operate in God's strength. But this Psalm goes on in verse to give us the reason why the Psalmist is asking God to bless his people and it is this, "that your way may be known on earth your saving power among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!" And then the Psalm goes on to ask that all the nations praise the Lord." We have had a good trip, God has blessed us, but the trip is not about us. It is about spreading His renowned in the nations. This team has truly proclaimed the goodness of our God to the nations, let the nations praise the Lord!

Today we had a great day resting and celebrating all that we have done and experienced here in Guatemala. We had the opportunity to explore some Mayan ruins and spent some more time in Antigua.

Though the team is leaving tomorrow morning early, Sean and I will stay on for another day. We will get to take part in the celebration of Merari's return to Guatemala and to serve as the Lead Pastor at Iglesia Galilea. Tomorrow will be a great day of celebrating the Lord's faithfulness in the face of much adversity. We are honored to be a part. Pray for the team's return as well as Sean and I.

It has been a great week. Our work is not done here and I look forward to many more days here in the future partnering with Iglesia Galilea for the Kingdom. Maybe God is calling you to come with us in the future.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ - Philippians 1:6

At the close of the trip it is a great thing to look back and marvel at all God has done.  Every year I think it wouldn’t be possible for us to do more.  We are leaving exhausted as we do every year.  I’ve been grateful for this team and their positive attitudes.  They’ve had plenty of opportunity to be discouraged and let that affect them.  Instead, this group has lifted up, helped, prayed for, and served one another.  Risen Life, you should be proud of your team.  I know I am.

While our work week is finished, the church building is not complete.  There will be more teams and more opportunities to serve here.  We’ve begun a good work here.  One day I pray we will be attending church services in the new building in San Lucas. 

God is doing the same in all of us.  We are not complete.  We are constantly being shaped and formed to become more like Jesus.  I know I’m not even close.  Not until the day He calls me home.  Until then, I’m grateful for every moment to serve, trust, and lift up the name of Jesus.

Home.  I’m excited to return home to my family and in the same breath I know I am leaving family behind to do the work of the Kingdom here where they are called.  I’m not saying good-bye.  I’m saying until next time.  These are special people who have made Guatemala a second home. 

Until next time Guatemala. 



One More Column, Lots More Youth

Blog June 7th

What a week it has been here in Guatemala! We spent this morning on the work site making cement and pouring one of the columns. The amount of construction we completed this week exceeded expectations, so the work done today was like icing on the cake. This afternoon we spent as a team on the church property where we stay. After a full week and with many still not feeling well, we enjoyed some much-needed downtime as well as a corn hole tournament that Troy organized. It was nice to celebrate work well done and to get some rest. We joined the youth group for their weekly gathering this evening, which always makes for good fun. They had worship, Jared gave a talk, and played some games.

At dinner, we spent some time reflecting on the week. It is absolutely amazing what our team has been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. What has struck me even more than the amount of work done is the love that has been shown through it. Our team has shown great love for each other and for the people of Guatemala, and has been shown great love from the people here as well. All of the work would be meaningless if not done out of love. It is obvious that our team came here not only to work hard, but to do it all unto the Lord for His glory and the advancement of His kingdom. Praise God for enabling us to do the work He set out for us to do this week and for the strength He’s provided to help us through the trials we’ve faced along the way. It has been a good week, and I am so thankful to have been a part of this team of willing and faithful servants.

Today we only did a small amount of construction. We filled buckets with concrete and lifted it up to Jared. He then handed it to Cooper, who dumped it into a wooden pillar. While some people did that, everyone was picking up trash and hauling huge log things which were infested with spiders. It is so amazing how much work we got done in a matter of a couple days. This afternoon we had an awesome corn hole tournament. The International Corn Hole Champions were John and Sean. At seven we walked to the church for youth group. We played a hilarious game where we sat in a circle and in the beginning one person was chosen to get people to smile. If they smiled, they had to get up and make other people smile. It was so funny! As our week comes to an end, God has protected us and provided for us. Thank him for his blessings.