Thursday, March 29, 2012

What in the world?

Okay, I can't believe it is already Thursday.  It has almost been one week since I got back, and boy was it a week.

However, I did see God work in the little country of Guatemala about the size of Tennessee in a unique short-term missions trip.  I went with a group of 24 teens and 6 leaders from Lazy Mountain Bible Church.  I hadn't met the majority of my team and definitely didn't know all their names.  However, after a special week full of prayer, service, worship, and the Word, these teammates are woven into my heart and prayers.
teaching songs!

At First!
Flashback.  The cars, the city, the weather, the dryness, the altitude, the shrubs, the bars on the windows, the smiles, the tuck shops etc,  everything was so similar to areas in South Africa, I couldn't stop making the connection. Even the poorest of the poor having CELL PHONES, just like Africa.  Crazy.  It was the first time since we left that I had anything to point others to about my experiences in Africa.  It was so refreshing!  Thank you Lord.

The first village was a community of recently displaced people who lived like at Joe Slovo in shacks.  They were removed from a sugarcane plantation where they used to be employed.  Now, with no land, they are surviving somehow.  Boy, did I love them.

What happened?
Sent to the front lines of cross-cultural ministry again was rewarding.  I was right there when people were hearing the Gospel for the first time, getting medicine to kill the nasty parasites.  I pray for missionaries all over the world doing these things, and it was a joy to be there.

The amazing power of the Good News of Jesus Christ coming to earth to redeem the people for all eternity showed up!  He is always there, but often our selfishness, sin, or busyness mask what He is doing.  Giving food & medicine while meeting other physical needs, Paradise Bound ministries lovingly points them to the Word of God that feeds the soul, and the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus that is enough to make people who were enemies of God into the children of God!

People watched the Jesus Film set up on a sheet hanging from a building, heard our praise songs, and then listened to many testimonies from the team (through translation of course).  Then our Guatemalan pastor brought God's Word and an invitation to follow Jesus.

Lessons Learned
Answered prayers, prayer, and power.  I love to share the hope I have in the Lord, however, I was now in a place where everyone spoke Spanish and my best charades couldn't cut cheese. However, I could PRAY.  Never had I spent so long praying for others.  It was a huge blessing.  My prayer for the trip is that I would be encouraging to the workers/missionaries that lived there.  God answered that as well.  They all were encouraged.  I also had a unique experience of knowing the protection from the Lord.  He is powerful.

However, that is NOT ALL!
I was glad to come back to Alaska.  God has called me here to be his witness.  And so, with prayer and power the children and I went and invited people to a parenting workshop on Saturday.  I was able to connect with someone right down my street.  Yeah!  I loved the quote from Oswald chambers (I think) that goes, "you can never be effective where you are not."  Thank you Lord for Palmer!