Posted by Brad
Two weeks from today, our team will be in Guatemala…praise God! It still seems surreal that we are going, but it is actually going to happen.
The question for us is, “What do we do in the meantime?” I would like to challenge all who read this with that same question at the end?
First of all, each man needs to beat the bushes in our circle of friends, and all who God will bring in our path. The more we talk about it, the more lives that will be impacted.
A couple of days ago, I encouraged each man to begin praying for the people we will interact with. We started with the family we will build for. We need to truly lift them up in our hearts and minds. We will pray for several groups as we draw nearer to our departure time.
Now, I want to move us to the next phase, and that is the spiritual strengthening of our group. When we are in-country, my plan is to begin each day as a group by studying a small portion of Scripture and prayer. Then, we will end our day with reflection, Scripture and prayer as well. Between now and then, I want to begin focusing us on Scripture. We will begin reading Colossians. It is one of the shorter books in the Bible, but one of the richest. In four chapters, Paul presents the full Gospel, and covers some theologically important topics (creation, sin/separation, Deity of Christ, etc.) This is simply meant to bring us joy and encouragement while walking through a book that has tremendous relevance to our trip (and our daily life in America).
Finally, we need to mentally prepare ourselves for our time in Guatemala. God has amazing plans for us. It will be joyful at times, difficult and tiring at others. I pray that none of us get sick, but that is always a possibility. Several years ago, one of the men got sick on the first full day we were there on the work site. He spent the next day in his room recovering. It made all of us wonder why this was happening. The thing that kept him going was the knowledge that God was sovereign and had plans for him. The next day, he was eating Doritos and back to himself. The rest of the week left him in such awe, it left a strong impression on his heart that has continued to grow to this day. He has gone back with me again, and intends to go again. Bottom line, what seemed dark and disillusioning, God used to build his heart and faith. This is the kind of thing that happens in Guatemala. May God give us the strength to rest in Him the entire week!
So, between now and the time we leave, we need to spread the word about the trip, pray for the people we will meet and work with, dive into the Word of God and finally begin to prepare ourselves mentally for what will happen in-country.
My challenge to each person reading this is, “What could you be doing in your own life in the meantime?” First and foremost, make sure that the reality of your salvation in Christ is true. You can’t be effective and help others until you are saved yourself. A lifeguard can’t save someone when he is personally drowning. Second, go tell others about this Good News. God has made a way for every human to be made right with God, to bridge the separation that we all find ourselves faced with. But, people have to hear about this, before they can believe. Third, pray for the people around you. The people who make up your friends, family, coworkers and even the people at the grocery store, are all there for a reason. God brings the people into your life for a reason. Pray for opportunities and your personal boldness. Pray for their hearts and decisions. Finally, prepare yourself for the reality of the world we currently live in, and the one you will spend eternity living in. The world we live in is harsh and cold at times. But, there is a Hope that changes all of that. There are only two potential worlds you will find yourself spending eternity in, one is dark, lonely and terrifying; one is full of love, joy and peace. Burying our heads in the sand and trying to ignore that reality is useless. There is only one right choice to make. May God give us the strength to choose living for Him, and making the best of our time between now and then. What will you choose?
Two weeks to go!!!