Rick – Closing thoughts

Another amazing opportunity to serve in Tecpan is now behind us.   Time flies so fast.

Thank you to all who were praying for our trip.   I know I had many specifically praying for the team to have good health.   I know it worked, because NONE of us had any of the much-feared intestinal issues!

This was my second “January J127 Mens trip”.    You really can’t compare experiences, but this one was truly phenomenal.   Each day we were amazed at what God had in store for us.

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The team gelled together perfectly.

Gale – Gale’s contributions at morning devotions were ALWAYS spot on!   It was almost as if his morning reading in Charles Spurgeon’s  “ Morning and Evening” (edited by the pastor of Gale’s church  “Allistar Begg”) was written specifically for our day that was ahead of us!  Gale had such insight and humility.    I was especially moved by his words addressing the church our last night.   He referred to Revelations 7:9-12…noting that there was a great multitude from another nation (Guatemala)……………….he said to the families that he didn’t know if it were in God’s plan for him to come back, but he knew that he would meet them again ONE day!

gale-juan morning

Dan – Another new team member added great flavor to the trip.  Our resident horticulturist,  always delighted in seeing the familiar trees and flowers.    We even adjusted placement of one of the stoves to lessen smoke damage to an overhanging peach tree!     Dan’s building skills were a definite blessing!   He and Juanito had a great day in constructing the base for the Bano!    At one point they both were singing praise songs, in Spanish!

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Brad – What a great team leader!    From his planning to the daily porch time with the families to uncover their needs, to wrapping up each day with “debriefing” to compare notes on what we experienced…his heart for Tecpan is enormous!    It is so moving to be a part of “Brad’s Tecpan-team”.    Reinvesting in this community and church is a blessing to the community AND the team-members!    Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this team!  TWICE!!!

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There were too many amazing moments to list.    To me one of the biggest highlights, Brad referred to in his post “Iliana”.  This family, who scraped to get by, took in an orphaned baby.   The sisters worked while in school to help pay for the little “brother’s” school, and to put food on the table.   Selfless!   Truly, James 1:27 in it’s purest form!    “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you”.  It was an absolute blessing to meet this family!

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The other image that will never leave me is seeing Chris pick up the woman who was crawling to the wheelchair distribution!    He was truly the “Hands and Feet” at that moment!

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The final night at church was both the best night of the week, and the worst.    It was the worst, because we had to say goodbye to our large new Family!    The amazing blessing that made it the best was that ALL the families we helped during the week that lived in the area were at church that evening.    We found ourselves on the receiving end of countless hugs and tearful whisperings of “Dios te Bendiga”.  (God bless you).   What a fantastic finale to the week!

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Pastor Juan (Juanito)  – An amazing man of God!     He serves his community and his church in such awesome ways!     We would work hard in the day, and each night he would lead his church with such passion and enthusiasm.   It is truly inspiring!     I am so honored to be able to call him “Hermano”  (brother).     His family is such a strong core of God-Loving people!   He is a Blessed man!

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It was truly a blessing to again serve alongside Chris Moony.   I often wonder if it is POSSIBLE for other missionaries to truly LOVE the people they serve as much as Chris.    He is always in the trenches with these families uncovering their needs.   He also isn’t afraid to challenge them with the issues they deal with.  But it is done with such LOVE!    The “porch time” we spent with the families this week was unforgettable!

reina-prayer

As I am back home again,  in the routine daily life, a large part of my heart remains in Guatemala!  How can you walk away from experiences like this and NOT be changed.   It is always a reminder to me how we should be more THANKFUL for what we are blessed with.    It puts it in perspective for me when we give a family in a ramshackle shack a bag of food (rice, beans and tortillas) and they Praise God for 5 minutes.   How many times have we unloaded the trunk with $100 (or more) worth of groceries and simply put them in the cupboard.    Most of us take our comforts for granted.    I need to work on that!

Dios te Bendiga,

Ricardo

Posted in 2014 Guatemala.

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