Safely we all arrived in beautiful Guatemala. God was so good in his provision for the travel of the team and getting all of our supplies into the country without any trouble. Every year we carefully plan and open our hands to watch as the Lord takes what little we have and multiply it. Sometimes it resembles the vision in our heads but most often God takes the thought and desires of our human hearts and shakes them around and it’s always beautiful to see the outcome of His desired plans shining through every volunteer and every aspect of the trip.
Joyfully we have spent the last few days set up in the clinic seeing multiple patients. Some are new faces eager for hopeful outcomes for which they have traveled (some as far as 3 days). Others are beautiful repeats from previous years ready for the next step. It is quite an awesome thing to experience each and every person that walks in. In the eyes of the first timers is a mixture of hope laced with a little bit of fear as they cautiously listen to every word looking for a glimmer of anything that may help them to trust the people who are evaluating their children. It is such an honor to have the opportunity to earn the trust of this community and to pour out love on them as Jesus would. For the patients who have returned for the second time there is so much amazement as we see the results of the giftedness that’s been used in so many ways through numerous volunteers to remove the shame that the patients and family often feel. The relationships that have been built through a love for this community and the tireless efforts of our mission partners at Avis, it is so evident that God is doing a great work here.
As the patients were finished being evaluated they were given final instructions as to what comes next and most importantly a team of volunteers surrounded and covered them in prayer. Standing together prayers were offered up to our mighty God in multiple languages displaying the absolute beauty of Gods people unified through Christ. Represented by different languages and all from different places there was no doubt the Lord heard one voice, each time, the voice of His people created in His image asking him to step into the layers of requests that only he can bring resolution to.
There were pages upon pages of pictures colored with patiently waiting children, lots of hugs and even wonderful acts of kindness as one of our volunteers massaged the hands with soothing lotion of the radiant mommas waiting for children to be seen.
Meanwhile over at a local school another part of our team was prepared to walk the students through the Gospel and teaching hygiene. They got off to a late start and were quickly reminded that we are not the ones in control. Although the starts often feel chaotic and you’re left with amnesia over what your plans were once you actually begin, God is no doubt magnified through any of our weaknesses. We were humbled to remember that it isn’t us, but He who does the equipping we are simply to be faithful to go. Simple things, most of us take for granted, save lives in areas such as these. Looking at over a hundred smiling faces and hearing the voices of the children praying to the one true God was overwhelming. To know that as a team we were able to plant a seed that will be watered and that God will continue to grow is such a blessing. Along with the teaching came many games, eager faces and some really tough basketball games. What a surprise to see how tough these kids are on the court! It really doesn’t matter what you did with them as long as they have your attention. They were thrilled to learn english, copy sentences and play soccer. Our hearts were full and so thankful as we left ready to return the next day to continue to build on the new friendships we had made.
At the same school two of our volunteers were busily putting together a water system to provide clean water for the students and teachers at the school. Assisted by the school maintenance man, Carlos, new friendships were forged through laughter over broken spanish. It’s nothing short of amazing how the Lord allows people to communicate even with language barriers. It truly shows that love does conquer all.
As a team, we are looking forward with anticipation as to what the Lord will do in the next days and week ahead. In the words of one of our volunteers “we are thankful for every smile, every tear and every screaming child we experienced today.” His presence is so evident, his love is so great and his grace so abundant and man are we thankful that we get to be a part of the work he is doing here in Guatemala.