Monday, March 21, 2011

Guatemala - Day 8 (The Final Day - Journal Entry)

This is the final entry from my Guatemala journal. I hope it has encouraged you to read about God moving in the midst of the Pokomchi people, and I would like you to know that it has completely changed me. My passions, my calling and my life are being re-molded into what God wants me to be. I am now preparing to apply for Journeyman with the IMB to serve God somewhere in the world. Please pray for me as I pursue His will. :-)
Much love, The REAL Bowman

3/12/11 The Return Flight
-How heartbreaking it is to say goodbye to those you love, to leave a place you love, to leave the place where God was evidently working. I find myself incredibly emotional about returning to the States even though it is my home. I can't help but feel that I am not meant to stay there. I must pray, fast and seek the LORD about this, but I am considering the Journeyman program. It is obvious to me now that I am meant to be in ministry wherever I am. It is oh so hard though to want to stay in America.
My heart yearns for more than the mediocre life I am living now. Everything is just.... off. But I must pray for wisdom and contentedness too, for if I am to stay I must be prepared to humble myself before the mighty hand of God, that at the proper time He might exalt me (1 Peter 5). These are intense feelings, but at the same time are necessary, as I evaluate my work, location, relationships and passions.

Proverbs 4:20-23
"My son, be attentive to my words;
   incline your ear to my sayings.
 Let them not escape from your sight;
    keep them within your heart.
For they are life to those who find them,
   and healing to all their flesh.
Keep your heart with all vigilance,

   for from it flow the springs of life."
God at work through us.
-Last night Jeff spoke to us about the next step of the mission and his testimony.
Even though our work was hard in La Campana, we saw actual fruit to our work and that fueled us. Now is the hard part. We must pray. Pray. Pray constantly. Pray continually. Pray for the people. For their hearts. For the leaders. That they would want to know God in their "awamna". We must get our churches praying for the Pokomchi. For names. For Erma the burn victim - that she will be a testament to God's goodness and that she and her family will come to Christ as a result.
Pray for Benito - our smiling, thankful, helpful guide. That God will give him true joy and that that will be used to lead others to Him. That his boldness and excitedness would become focused on Christ. For all those who we could not help- the blind lady, the infertile couples, the children with rashes, the people with parasites - that whether God works a miracle and heals them or not, the they would be drawn by God to the TRUTH planted this week in the their hearts by the Bible stories.
Brothers in Christ. :-)
-I found Jeff's testimony to be incredibly encouraging and ridiculously similar to the way I work. :-) He has muscular dystrophy and for years Satan tried to use that along with past failures in ministry to keep him from being effective in ministry. The enemy kept saying "You won't be able to physically be a missionary! You'll fall, be an embarrassment to yourself, your family, your children and the IMB." One day though, Jeff realized that he was putting his condition above the power of God in his mind.
And with that realization came great miracles and 'God moments' in which He proved his faithfulness.
I love these guys! At the Arkansas House.
For years I have struggled with a call to ministry (music/youth/missions/whatever)  in light of my steadily deteriorating hands and constantly weak security of self. The testimony of Jeff just rocked my world. I realize how I do just what he used to do - elevate my problems over the power of God rather than wait for HIM to act. It is inspiring to watch him in his ministry. Jeff is truly a man of God and such an example to me. It has been very hard for people to understand why I am so frustrated all the time, and yet I met a man who encountered far worse difficulties- and now God is using him in Guatemala. It makes me wonder if He'll send me places. I want to go. I love people. I want real, deep relationships and want them to honor God. BUT I want more than that for my faith to increase. I want my actions to truly show that I believe God can and will use me. Yes, I will have it hard but Proverbs 4:20-23 makes it clear. God says " Listen to MY voice." There is life in His ways.
The coolest part is this though. Vs. 22 says that HIS words are "life to those who find them and healing to our flesh." Healing. I have never noticed this verse before. It is as if God is saying "Quit worrying! My strength is perfected in your weakness! My words are healing to You!" To add a cherry to the top of this spiritual sundae, this morning's devotion (which Jeremy read in both Spanish and English this morning in our room, completely blowing me away with it's perfect applicability) was Psalm 73:25-28.
           "Whom have I in  heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth
            that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but 
            God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
When he read those words I could just feel God reminding me of who was in charge. :-) I am now on a plane back to the States, missing Guatemala and the Thomas', but curious as ever as to what God is going to choose to do with me.
What happened here was life-changing indeed.
"The Word we study must be the Word we pray." - Brennan Manning

"The direct experience of God is grace indeed, and basically there is no one to whom it is refused."
- Ignatius of Loyola

The REAL Bowman

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