We had a whirlwind of two days of medical clinics and there is so much to say we could never do it justice in one post. You will have to ask one of us about the experience. What I can tell you is that we arrived in each village to welcoming children and even men from the village. In the first village we ministered to only 18 families in a small village called San Martin. The leaders of the villae welcomed us in an official way over the PA system, thanking God for our coming to the village. In both villages it didn’t take long for us to engage the children and even the mothers and fathers and young men. Many played soccer or frisbee or other games. The children had painted fingernails and played with new toys and stuffed animals. All of this to build a bridge in a culture we don’t completely understand.
In the first village we had all the toys and fun activities we would need. We brought frisbees and balls, nail polish and crayons and coloring books as well as toys of all kinds. In this village we begain to minister immediately and saw the Spirit working just as quickly. During the testimonies we poured our hearts out in song and stories of the power of Jesus in our personal lives. Indeed we did not come here for the people of Guatemala alone. Jesus has called us to himself this week one by one as he works through our inadequacies to mold and shape us to his will. After the testimonies Pastor Darwin shared a message and the Spirit moved mightily as we saw nearly the whole village respond to the call of the Gospel to accept a personal relationship. Many of our team members were moved and there are dozens of personal stories of prayer and God’s work in individuals both guatemalas and teams.
At the second village, we quickly discovered that the toys and candy we use to break ice were not in the van. We would have to build relationships without the traditional tools. In God’s wisdom, we had just had a devotional about the feeding of the 5000. The point revolved around Jesus looking at his disciples and saying “You feed them”. We knew what Jesus was showing us to do. He would provide in ways we couldn’t have believed possible to break the ice. What we discovered was a soccer field just a short walk from the school where we played Guate against American. We lost 4-6, but we won the hearts of the young men and boys. We also found several hula hoops in the school and used these to play games of all kinds with the children. One of the team members had a bag of nail polish and we made much use of those. God provided all we needed in this village without our usual supplies. Again at testimony time our team rose up and poured ourselves out with honesty and clarity about the power of Jesus to change our lives. At the time of the message, the Holy Spirit was so evident that Pastor Hermano Jesus simply summarized our testmonies and called them to turn to Jesus. Again there was a great movement of the people to respond to the Gospel. Jesus is alive and well.
Our team spent the day today in Antigua. We shopped and enjoyed some Pollo Campero fried chicken and ice cream dessert. We are all tired and yet strangely energized. The Lord has done and continues to do amazing work in our hearts as we begin to reflect on his call on our lives this week and in the weeks and years to come. Tonight is a defining moment for many of us in our final devotion together. We trust that He will continue to be present among us. Thank you all for your prayers. We are eager to share about our Lord and about Guatemala when we return. A few still struggle with some illness and we have an early morning arriving at the airport at 5:15AM Local time. Please pray us home and into the work he had prepared for us in His Kingdom.