Innocence on the face of a sleeping child is so very sweet. When my children were babies I would spend hours watching them as they breathed in and out, enjoying the sweet murmurs as they dreamed. Oh my, I am so very thankful for God’s Love in the eyes of my children. My greatest prayer is that all mothers know this blessing.
As a young girl, I went to a Baptist Church. We had a revolving door of missionaries in and out sharing stories of children in need, families suffering along with beautiful stories of grace as God moved in the hearts of those they served. All very touching but there was this little voice inside of me that would always cry to God, “Please don’t ask me to be a missionary, please don’t ask me to be a missionary ... “
When the call came for me to go on a mission trip, I found it amusing considering my background. But there is just something about watching your children grow up that places a tug on your heart for those who may be in need. My Pastor said something that marked me that year, “We are all called to go, the question is, will you answer the call?”
I said YES.
My first trip to Haiti in 2013 proved to be one of the most marking experiences of my life. I watched the Hand of God move in a way that I had never witnessed before. Stories written on our hearts included God’s love and grace intertwined within the knowledge that WE did very little, the truth is that the blessings were ours as the community reached out to serve us. God moved through us all.
In November of 2016, God served to mark me once more when He called me to GO.
I wish I could tell you that age had dismantled my fear over mission work; on the contrary, my ole’ nemesis was working overtime as he threatened my peace in the days leading up to my “YES.” But then God would remind me to “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord, your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
The Lord is with me WHEREVER I go!!! Once again my heart would choose obedience as I joined with 3 kindred spirits and we made our journey to the beautiful country of Guatemala.
In Central America, Guatemala has many neighbors including Mexico, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador. Winning the designation of “most populated state in Central America,” Guatemala is booming with a population of around 15.8 million. This became very apparent as we entered Guatemala City and saw the scores of people on buses, in automobiles and courageously crossing roads where cars have the right-of-way.
If you were to peer into my journal from that week, you would recognize the Father’s fingerprints interspersed with the delight of a daughter’s heart finding His little blessings along the way.
Our Father loves to delight us.
Every mission trip has a mission, with the core rooted in sharing the gospel and love of Jesus in direct correlation with Jesus’ final commission, “Go and make disciples of all the nations.” (Matthew 28:19a) A mission given with a promise, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:21b) Our mission was to serve a local church in Guatemala City by the name of “Cristo es el Camino,” through encouraging small group leaders within their youth program.
God really knows how to tug on my heart. His still small voice asking me to serve students is all I need to promptly say yes!
There is great need in Guatemala City and the desire to swoop in and save others is strong. Just google Zone 3 – Guatemala City, I won’t add to the heart-wrenching stories of need and poverty, no, God has given me a different message to share.
Look for MY Love
SLXLAs tears well up in my eyes, I remember the baby sitting in the dirt paved walkway. My heart cries over the thick breath of oppression hanging in the air. My mind asks “Why Lord?” as I recall the dark figure hanging their head in defeat as a child stared emotionless at their side. “What can I do here, Father? I am only one person.” I will never forget His answer as we walked through the lines of freshly washed laundry, side-stepping potholes in our path, “Look for MY Love.”
God knows me too well, He knows my passion and He knows my pain and my pain in this moment was great. But in His quiet whisper He reminded me that He is bigger than my pain, He is bigger than oppression, He is bigger than defeat. My God is bigger and His Love is greater!
There was a moment that I almost succumbed, but the reminder of God’s faithfulness gave me new hope, new life, as if He lightly lifted my chin, wiped my tears and guided me on my way with the promise of a move of God unlike anything I had ever known.
And as always, God delivered precious moments forever etched on my heart.
Moments such as . . .
Praying over a baby weak with fever.
Meeting my beautiful sponsor daughter on the first day in the community.
Visiting Nueva Esperanza (New Hope) and witnessing fresh revival among those who served.
Praying over a young mom whose husband had lost his job.
Serving alongside students on fire as they shared Jesus with their friends and loved ones.
In my treasure hunt I recognized God’s Love in the eyes of each connection.
Yes, there is poverty in this world and there are people who need to know they are loved and cared for. But God’s story is still being written and He is still faithful. We are all on mission as we have been written into His story to share His love with those who may not have the strength to look up. And as He calls us to GO, He promises that He will go before us, strengthen us and be with us until the end of the age.
My heart still yearns to help the little ones who do not know the comforts that I take for granted, but I know that He will provide, and as I look in their eyes I recognize that His Love IS PRESENT and He is so very faithful.
HIS LOVE IS EVERYWHERE!
My prayer for you is that His fingerprints will inspire you to His call resulting in your own personal discovery of His blessings.
This I can promise, you will never be the same.