I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Last week I saw God use His glorious, unlimited resources to empower a team of people with inner strength through His Spirit. We experienced the love of Christ! We prayed and saw our prayers answered. We were used by God as His hands and feet and we were very blessed by friends there who served us as well. I am so encouraged and filled with joy as I'm writing this blog. Every moment of last week was great and I feel brought glory to God.
We worked with DeepStream Ministries in Buena Vista - a small village that is filled with beautiful people that desperately need food, houses, education but most desperately, Jesus. Mark and Gina Schmidt and their 5 amazing children are the "Advocates" (they prefer this reference vs missionary b/c they see the needs and advocate to others to also help!). They are building a center called Educate BV that will house their 7-9th grade school for the village. They will be able to serve these children a meal, allow them to bathe there, and have a community room for any seminars that need to take place. See, Mark said he felt like he was helping people, but just one need at a time - like putting a band-aid on a situation. He wanted to know how to help change their situation. Through Educate BV children will be scholar-shipped to stay in school longer, thus providing more education. They will learn about diseases and proper foods to eat. They will be set up to be successful so they can come back and bless their families and their village. All of this while being loved and served by Mark and Gina who love God so much and follow as He leads. So, I know these students will know the love of Christ and raise their children to know and love Him too.
While working with Mark and Gina, we helped distribute food baskets to families who have no food. One woman, Xiomara, was in a desperate situation and began crying out to God to provide food her and her children. She had put her trust and hope in ex-husbands, prostitution, and missionaries for far too long. As she and a friend were praying, our group walked up to her home and knocked on her door with 2 food baskets. She saw her prayer answered immediately and trusted that God loved her and sees her and cares deeply for her. She accepted Christ as her Savior 2 days later.
The first day we spent time with Caesar, a man who is on his deathbed and can only move one hand. He seeks the Lord with all His heart and wants to live for His glory all the days of His life. Caesar has a wife and children – all who will be without him shortly. But, God is so faithful. Caesar’s prayer was that He would be able to share Christ all His life and God has brought people from all over to his home, so he can preach. Sitting at this man’s side was like sitting next to the apostle Paul. Caesar is blind, but shared more scripture from memory than anyone I know. He loves God’s word and feeds on it every moment. I took as many notes as possible and pray God will bless him and his family.
Tuesday-Thursday we built 4 homes for 4 great families who otherwise, would not have a home. Each of their stories was sad but knowing that the Pastor in the village saw their need and wanted to bless them so they would know God loves them gave them hope! That's what I loved about building these homes. They may or may not remember us - who cares! - as long as they remember that God sent His servants to lovingly build them a home for their family because He loves them. Amen.
We spent time at an orphanage, loving and feeding babies who need precious families of their own. It was an honor to serve alongside the workers there and just pour out the Father’s love on them. I pray these children know the love of God and that whoever adopts them would be Christ following parents.
Those were our planned events, but God always has a way of throwing a few more unplanned events in trips. Our driver, Alfredo, is a pastor in Chimaltenango, where our group stayed. He is currently not in a church and is in desperate need for money to support his family. Alfredo is so humble, fun and kind. He constantly brought a smile to my face as he served and loved alongside our group. He preached for us the last night and my takeaway from that was to bless others because I am blessed. He said, “The politicians always say they will do this or that and never do. Don’t be like them.” That hit me deep. I can relate to that. I say I will do something and then I don’t. So, my challenge is to bless others because God has so greatly blessed me.
I feel like there is so much more! But, that is all my brain and think through right now! Just pray for these ministries and people with me. I love them and God loves them more.