Friday, April 29, 2016

When The Lord Returns

To read the original post on the Hungry for Life website click here.

Heb. 10:14
“…by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”

Why is It, that those who have no reason to complain do, and those who have every reason to complain don’t?  The people of Zapote have nothing and are literally dirt poor, yet they don’t complain.  To the contrary, they seem quite satisfied.  Some would call Zapote “God forsaken” but he is here and I have learned why he loves the poor so much-they turn to him so easily-they fear and respect him.  The nicest building in town by far is the church.  I have also not heard any complaining from the local Christians from Iglesia Galilea Church, who are giving up a lot to help these people, and even though the 12 Amigos from RLC have left the comfort and familiarity of home, I have not heard one complaint.  To the contrary, there is an honest joy that permeates this group and a genuine concern for these people and one another.  I am very proud of my new friends, and in awe of God’s wisdom in choosing them , and in their sacrifice to him and each other.  Although, no one feels they have given as much as they are receiving.  I wonder if this is how it will be when the Lord returns?

The one real  sacrifice everyone agrees on is the separation from family.  I miss my Sons and Martine terribly and know they feel the same.  That is their sacrifice and contribution to this mission-giving us up to do the Lord’s work here.  I’ll be home soon M.

To the RLC’ers who have prayed and supported this trip, it’s working!  The Lord is being glorified in so many ways.  We appreciate you immensely (the flushable wipes are a gift straight from God).  See you all soon (especially you M).


David Howard  aka “el Churro”

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Fear Not, For I Am With You

To read the original post on the Hungry for Life website click here. 

Isaiah 41:10 says,
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” 

Have you heard of Zapote? I certainly had not before I travelled down here. The people we met in the Houston airport, who were also traveling to Guatemala and have been here multiple times before, hadn’t heard of Zapote either. That’s because it’s an incredibly remote village, over an hour outside of San Lucas. Once you turn off of the paved road, you’re still at least 25 minutes out, with four rivers to cross (not via a bridge – you literally drive through the water), before you reach Zapote. It is quite literally in the middle of the jungle. Sean warned me of this, but it didn’t actually hit me until we pulled up and got out of the van. The week prior to coming down here, I experienced spiritual attacks in the form of stress, anxiety, and worry. As soon as my feet hit the ground in Zapote, Satan took an ounce of my fears and anxiety and full on attacked me. My heart started racing and my palms were sweating as I stepped on and over stones, and pushed through plants and leaves, to get to this house. And I use the term ‘house’ loosely. As the local pastor, Jose Luis, began to pray, Glen came over to put his arm around my shoulders and make sure I was doing alright. After the prayer, I walked out to the “road” trying to clear my mind. Sean walked over and tried to reassure me, and yet my fears consumed me. When he saw this, his words were, “You know what we’re going to do right now? We’re going to pray. We’re going to pray, and give this to God.” So that’s what we did. And while the relief wasn’t immediate – because it’s so easy to hold on to fear – it was the comfort I needed.

Prayers and the assurance that I have 10 big brothers here who are watching out for me was what I needed to get through the day. The encouragement I received was what I needed to be able to focus on our task, and on the people we’re here to help. My favorite moments of the trip so far have been interacting with the kids. While there’s definitely a language barrier, facial expressions are universal. Sharing a smile, a silly face, and holding a little boy’s hand for a brief minute are why I’m here. Just being able to touch another little boy’s head and ask him his name, is why I’m here. I wouldn’t be able to do this, though, without the comfort from the people I’m here with. More importantly, I wouldn’t be able to do this without the strength and comfort that God is providing me with.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

What is Poverty?

To read the original post on the Hungry for Life website click here.

In the States we have a view of what poverty looks like. We have an idea of poor that includes dilapidated housing, unpaved streets, tattered clothes and dirty skin. And in Guatemala you find all of that.

You find kids walking barefoot down rocky streets, women washing dishes in black water. You see houses that are black from soot and are falling down from poor construction. Their floors aren’t natural wood floors – they are natural dirt floors. They don’t have playgrounds, they have piles of trash.

We look at these conditions and we want to change them. We want to help. We see the impoverished conditions and want them to live like we live, to enjoy what we enjoy. To know the luxury that we know – or if not that, we at least want them to live better than they are.

But is that what they really need? Is that where hope actually lies?

When I looked into the eyes of the children today, I saw joy. Not joy for all the things they had, but for who they had.  I looked into the eyes of the woman who owned the home today, I saw appreciation. But the appreciation wasn’t for the house we were building, it was for the love we were showing.

And so I think, what is poverty? Is it not having stuff? Or is it more than that? Is true poverty deeper than that? Isn’t true poverty thinking no one cares about you? Thinking you have no hope? No chance of redemption?

When we look at changing this country, or changing even one town – or even a home – it seems hopeless. It seems impossible. And it might very well be.

But aren’t we here for a greater purpose? Aren’t we here to do more than build houses? We are here to love these people. To love them to Jesus. Because although we might not be able to ever do physically more than build them a house, a stove or a school – we can share the love of Jesus. The same love that He showed us.

And Jesus is Everything. We may not be able to do anything for them, but we offer them the hope of Everything. And it is that hope that will change more than countries – it will change every heart that believes in it.

That is True Wealth.