From Where I Stand

Exhaustion. What we all have been feeling now that our incredible adventure is soon coming to an end. Looking back to the very first day, it’s hard to believe I had never been on a plane, that we all knew so little Spanish, and that we thought we could beat the locals at soccer. Throughout this trip we have seen God work, we’ve invited Him to lead our leaders. And the willingness to learn, to try, to discover the reality of God’s love has become a common theme for our team.               

I know, for myself anyway, I embarked on this journey to reestablish my relationship with God. I needed a spark to jumpstart my life, already skewed by false promises of the world. But everything has exceeded those expectations. I’ve seen God’s abounding joy in the smiles of the homeless and the look of defeat in the eyes of a discouraged vendor. We offered our help to the farmers in this third world, and seen the beauty of this historic culture. Our time in Guatemala has given me more perspective than anything else and showed me that no matter what situation I’m in, I’m still wrapped in His abundant plan for me. So that’s why I’m here, living with this crazy group of strangers. Problems have amounted to paying too much at the market, not being able to read things off a menu, but most importantly stretching out of our comfort zones. It’s because of the encouragement to be bold, that we have opened ourselves up.

                Everything started to click back in Atlanta, where the incredible team has built a part of the Kingdom. God was there when we were lost in worship, he was there in our preparation and he was there ready to lead the way to the airport. In our ATL (Ask the Lord) time, we prayed to God asking for His guidance over the course of the trip. And with every night of debrief, we reviewed some way that the Lord made his presence known for the day.

                For example, probably 4 or 5 days ago we were all settled in for team time. Then out of the blue a man came up the stairs and entered the room. He was a stranger but was immediately welcomed into our family as a brother in Christ. He was obviously distressed about something and eventually he told his story. For the past couple of days he had risked his safety to save a particular 14 year old girl from human trafficking. Just the emotion that he was able to convey really impacted us all. And these problems sound rather usual for Antigua, but then the Lord came back into the picture. Our leader Jordan asked Trevor if this girl had wavy dark hair. With a nod, Jordan continued to explain that God gave him a vision of that girl standing atop a hill in victory. God had worked through Trevor to plant a seed in her, and although he felt like he didn’t quite save her that night, in the end she will find peace. I’m so inspired to say that we heard back from his today. He escaped safely to Mexico and has already come into contact with more human trafficking programs to see how he can further dedicate his life to stopping it. God is good.

                So that was just one incredible example of how God plans everything perfectly. But even though we see the product of his touch, and the success in his words, we find it difficult to stay faithful. Another portion of our ministry was wrapped around prayer walks and working in rather unusual circumstances. Working with the cerebral palsy kids came to be difficult because of their limited ability to respond and interact. The grandpas home was difficult to relate with at times. And teaching at the schools accented the language barrier we were facing. But the incredible thing is that it really didn’t matter. We heard the Lord speaking and directing us in each activity. We were blessed with our translator, Luis, and we eventually got a laugh out of the kids. It’s from the challenges that the rewards come. I feel I speak for everyone when I say we found God in Guatemala. Many of us have never been so close to Him as we came to be these last 2 weeks. And that just goes to show no matter how far we go, he is standing right beside us. We just need to keep our arms open.

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