I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge— because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you 1 Corinthians 1:4-7 (NIV)
Every trip to Guatemala is a little different. While the weather and the scenery don’t chance much, the team members give it a special spin depending on how many you have, and their personalities and interests. I am enjoying getting to know this group of women who are so varied in their ages, careers and backgrounds. Only one I have met before when she joined our church on our March trip, and we are enjoying reminiscing about the events of that week. The rest are all becoming new friends. The activities of the week also vary slightly. Because Sunday is a day to rest from travel and get used to the climate and altitude, we spend most of that day sightseeing or at the market. Orphan’s Heart is getting a lot of repeat team members like me. In fact, there are five out of the eleven of us who have been before. One, for six times, another for four, two for two and my five trips. That means that they try to vary the Sunday activities. That’s how I got to go to the Mayan ruins last time. Today, we started our day in an unusual way. Ordinarily we just do a worship service at the hotel, but today, we joined a local church, Iglesia Del Camino, for their services. All the songs were sung in both English and Spanish. Each verse first in Spanish and then, in English. Because the words were on a screen, I could follow along in either language, but am sure I mangling the pronunciation. No one seemed to notice, it sounded a little like I think heaven is going to be. The sermon was in Spanish but was interpreted in Spanish. It was based upon 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, where Paul talks about the message of the Cross. That all we need to share is the simple message of Christ. Since I have come to believe what may or may not be his words,”Preach the Gospel at all times, use words when necessary,” I was struck by all the ministries that this little congregation is doing. They are collecting for Angel Tree, a program to provide presents to children at Christmas time. They have a food bank, and people were bringing in large bags of rice, beans and corn meal. They hold Vacation Bible School, support local ministries and send out mission teams to reach other areas of the country. How amazing that in a country with so much poverty and hunger, this small congregation is doing so much for their community. When I went to their website to learn more about the church, I discovered this quote on the page that talks about what international teams can do in Guatemala:
Remember, you can’t change Guatemala in a week, but you can allow God to use Guatemala to change you and your team
Yes, I know this for a fact and am a living example of that transformation. Why else would I be so compelled to come back time after time? Why would any of the others on our team for that matter. God will certainly use Guatemala to change you. And from the example being set by Iglesia Del Camino, The Church of the Way, you are changed when you live here as well.
|Reminds me of Jesus’ Living Water|