Sunday, March 13, 2011

Guatemala - Day 1 and 2 (Journal Entry)

I hope that by reading this blog that you are moved by God the same way he moved me by the experience I had working with the Pokomchi people of La Campana, Guatemala. He taught me much about Himself, myself and what it means to be on mission for Him. This was written in my journal and is an actual excerpt of what I wrote. God bless you.

3/5/11 -Guatemala Day 1 - PM
-From the first aerial sights of the mountains, the erupting volcano, the insane fast paced traffic and over-crowded impoverished slum houses of the city to the stunning vistas, outdoor social life, bright colors and smells, near death road experiences and STARS in the sky of rural Guatemala-- my first day here has been amazing, encouraging and fun! Although I confess that I am a bit nervous about talking with the Pokomchi, God is reminding me that it is Him, not me, at work here. And that is an awesome thing. Our God is greater! How could I ever doubt Him in the majesty of a country such as this?
-As 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, His strength is perfected in my weakness. So, I will not worry or fret, cause my God is at work in all I do! My prayer for tonight is this - that I will simply decrease and that He will increase. Lord, make me the hands and feet of the gospel!
The mountainous terrain of Guatemala - Day 1
3/6/11 AM
Morning readings: Psalm 63:1-8
Proverbs 16:1-3, 9
- I am asked in my devotion this morning what my motives were in coming to Guatemala. This is very hard because the easy answer is God's will, His glory, to serve, to preach, etc...
But does my life reflect this? At times I think maybe I am obedient not because of bringing God glory but somewhere deep down I still feel as if my motivations are fueled by a lie- that I still have to prove myself. That somehow grace isn't enough. On the plane I read the 1st chapter of "The Ragamuffin Gospel" and was emotionally grabbed. I did not expect God to speak so strongly to me. I am accepted by the precious blood of Christ. Who am I to assume I have to prove to God, my family or myself that I am a Christian? It is by faith that I live in Him, not my works. Granted, fruit will come if I abide in Christ.
It is so interesting though to experience so much spiritual and emotional upheaval so quickly! I haven't felt culture shock, haven't seen anything truly crazy and haven't really interacted with others. I hold onto Proverbs 16:3 and 9 though "Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. The heart of men plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." It is not Steven at work here, but Christ.
- I forgot to journal about this last night, but as I watch the sun rise over the Guatemalan mountains while seated on the 2nd floor of a beautiful bed and breakfast place - Dona Lisette's - why not? So here goes-
Jeff Thomas talked to us last night about the Pokomchi and his work with them. He deliberately tried to get into the most closed villages and to minister to the most fearful people. We take our Christian roots for granted in America but here the Pokomchi have only know the pagan Mayan practices passed on through the years. They have never had the Bible preached in their homes and have never had prayer in the name of Jesus in their homes. So whether the Pokomchi realize it or not, huge leaps are being made and history is being made in their society - and God is allowing us to be a part of it. Oh what an honor!
Beauty of God's Creation
3/6/11 Early PM
-Nothing can explain how unforgettable the drive and arrival to the Pokomchi village was. After driving higher and higher, further into the mountains and further from society, we arrived at La Campana to an enthusiastic greeting. I had thought that they would be scared and would stay away, but lo and behold, men women and children greeted us as we drove up to the breathtaking mountaintop village. Both rustic and beautiful, the village is on top and side the mountain. All around are peaks, farmlands, houses, farm animals, faint laughter and melodies drifting to my ears, and the colorful confetti of women dressed in their traditional dresses and guipiles (pronounced "wee-peels") walking to and from their daily chores. My mind is overwhelmed and I am emotionally hit in the heart as I see these people and their contentment in their lifestyles. Even though they have no power or running water and live in incredibly simple homes, these people truly appreciate the little things in life, love each other, rely on each other and work with their hands for their livelihoods. Yet one glaring thing remains- these people are without Christ. And that breaks my heart.
Our amazing -God built- mission team
Our HQ Building in La Campana- just a shell
3/6/11 - Bedtime
-It is ridiculous to think about how decadent the average American life is in comparison to the lives the Pokomchi live. Yet even in their splendor they constantly complain and cry for more. More rot, more death, more of things that are temporal. Here the people are truly happy with what they have. They are content. And they are hungry for truth. Truth that only Jesus can give them.
-I need to be able to be content in Christ, I feel that. To be truly satisfied in Him. To recognize that my life hinges on Him and Him alone. Matthew 5:6 - "Bless are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled."
The heavens truly do declare the glory of God.
- I see the children watching us- their bright eyes analyzing everything that we do. And simply because we are not from here. We are strangers. Journeying far from home because we hope in the Glorious Unseen. We understand that God is not a God of religion but a God of relationship. As I read in "The Ragamuffin Gospel" - we are accepted by Him and we need to just accept that without trying to earn His grace. For it is by grace that we have been saved through faith and NOT by anything that we have done. My actions should reflect that and I should appear to be a humble sinner in need of a savior.
It was a grace gift to be there.


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