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Gracias Dios

This photo was taken seconds before my life would change forever. Seconds before my very core would be shaken and I would leave sobbing on a dirt floor next to a woman who would never know the impact she made on me.

It was the sixth day of our VBS mission trip and we were doing home visits in a little village named Patzun before we started our Bible lessons with kids. The entire week I had asked God to be breaking my heart for what breaks His. The pastor of the church had asked to visit an older couple who were both very sick. The husband had a stroke recently and the wife had bronchitis and pneumonia for over 4 months plus 10 other diseases including a heart condition. The woman began crying as she told us her story and my team sat in a mixture of shock and depression as our sweet translator tried her best to retell the story through her own tears. I too was crying and knowing that I could not do anything for this family, that I had nothing to offer. Our team began praying over the couple. The wife began sobbing and crying out to God. The type of sobs that are gut wrenching and the cries that are mixed with desperation and a need for a miracle.

I stood over her, crying and begging and questioning God. God, why is this happening? God, why aren’t you doing anything to help these people you claim are your children whom you love? God, if you can perform a miracle, do it here. We finished our prayer and half our team left the room. A group member named Gabby, myself, and a few others stayed behind and continued to pray. We were screaming our prayers to the Lord to heal and to help. The elderly lady sat there crying out “Gracias Dios, Gracias Dios, Gracias Dios”. I fell to the floor on my knees as her prayers filled my ears and I realized that I had never once thanked God for who He is and for His plan that I clearly did not understand. As I sat there listening, I reflected on how this woman had such great faith, she trusted God in what He was doing, and thanking Him. I had never done that in any of my troubles and turmoil. My first reaction was to always blame God and get angry at Him for allowing it. I was overcome by conviction and the Holy Spirit to model my prayers after hers with praise and thankfulness and to leave this house changed.

I cannot fully describe what happened in those minutes, at the little house, in a little village, in the middle of nowhere, and in a country that had stolen my heart. But, I had been changed. God broke my heart for what I had been doing wrong, something I was blind to until that moment. It is my prayer now that I continue to pray diligently and praise Him in my troubles and sorrows. I pray that me and my mission team would allow what we saw, what we heard, and how we felt in Guatemala to change us, and that we continue to do good things for the Kingdom. My trip was entirely crafted and guided by God. Starting seven years ago, to when He first gave me the desire to go to winning a scholarship to help fund my trip to the moment, to when we stepped in the country, to this moment now of me retelling my story. I praise Him for everything He has done, is doing and will do.

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