Guatemala Changed My Life

In Guatemala, we had prayer sessions dubbed “Ask the Lord’s”, or ATLs. During these ATLs, we would go off by ourselves and just listen for the Lord’s voice…which can be somewhat new and intimidating and exciting and slightly uncomfortable. You sit by yourself and open your heart and ask the Lord to show up.

You ask Him to show you someone you can have an interaction with; you ask Him to show you something that you need to see; you ask Him to just show up and speak to you. After we spent some time in prayer and quiet reflection, we’d group up and walk through the city, praying and looking for people with whom to speak and show Christ.

We did our first ATL on July 5th, our first full day in country. During my prayer time, I found it hard to focus and clear my head, which was frustrating. A rooster was crowing directly below me, I could hear people talking and fireworks being set off (that happens quite often during the day in Guat), dogs were barking. There was a lot of background noise. Nevertheless, I prayed that He would show me or tell me what I needed to see or hear.

The one thing He pressed on my heart were the words “the color orange.” I didn’t even tell any of the team this except for my roomie. It seemed so trivial; it didn’t make sense. It wasn’t even a specific shade of orange, or an orange object. It was simply the words “the color orange.”

We split into groups and walked through the town. I was looking out for anything orange- buildings, clothing, signs. Nothing stood out. Nothing spoke to me. We finished our prayer walk, which did include some pretty neat, God-ordained experiences (too much to share in this post), and went back to our hotel. I was a little disappointed to have gone through that prayer walk and not get anything out of the words I heard Him speak to me.

Later that night, we were circled up in the grass outside, singing some songs, just worshiping our Lord. Our hotel was next to Lake Atitlan, which is surrounded by breathtaking mountains and volcanoes. Those worship sessions were so Spirit-led and filled. Several times, I had chills just listening to the sound of 29 of my closest friends and caring leaders lifting their voices and their hearts to Him.

On this night, as we were sitting out there in the most beautiful country on earth, the sun began to set. Of course, we couldn’t actually see the sun setting because of the mountains surrounding us, but as it was setting, the sky danced with an array of colors. And get this, y’all:

The clouds above us shone orange. Though I couldn’t actually see the sunset, it was lighting up the sky in the very color the Lord had spoken to me that afternoon.

It brought tears to my eyes. In that moment, our sweet Lord whispered to me, “I am faithful. I am faithful.” He gave Noah a rainbow, and thousands of years later He gave me, Abigail Converse, just a typical high school senior, a sky full of orange clouds as a promise of His vast faithfulness.

My ATL didn’t bring me to a woman in an orange shirt whose life could’ve been changed. It didn’t bring me to an orange building filled with people who had never heard the gospel.

That ATL simply showed me clouds in the sky with different eyes. Eyes that were open to experience Him. That ATL gave me a beautiful, tangible reminder of God’s faithfulness that I still think about over a month later any time I see a sunset. That ATL changed my life.

Guatemala changed my life.

The God of the universe changed my life.

And I will never be the same.

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