Amazing gift…answer to prayers!

Posted by Brad

I wanted to let you know there was an amazing answer to prayer tonight.

I emailed a friend about our need for funding for the additional 10 wheelchairs.  He immediately responded that he would love to sponsor the chairs…praise God!

This is a great relief as we move into our last week before we leave!

We will be in Guatemala one week from today!

Brad

One week to go!

Posted by Brad

One week from today, 4 men from Kentucky, Iowa and Ohio will be flying to Guatemala. We are truly so excited about the trip.

We do have a financial need that you may be able to help with.  Our initial plan was to give 20 wheelchairs at our Bethel distribution.  We recently found out that there are 10 additional people we can help by giving chairs to.  This is a great opportunity for us.  But, we only raised sponsorship for 20, so we still need the funds for those chairs.  Each chair is $125, so we need $1,250.  If there is any way you can help us, please contact me immediately.

We cannot wait to go and work in Guatemala.  One week and counting!!!

Dios te Bendiga,

Brad

What to do in the meantime…

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!!!

Brad

The team grows

Posted by Brad

Every year, Holly and I talk about how God never ceases to amaze us in building the team.  From Jeff in Ohio, to Rick and John in Iowa; every year brings excitement and new people.  Each person adds so much.  I always look back and say how I can’t imagine the trip without each man who has gone.

Rick and I have been doing a lot of planning on this trip.  For a while, I wondered if it would only be the two of us.  I knew God had plans, but it would take time.  Rick invited one of his good friends from Cleveland, and Gale decided to join us.  Gale, Rick and I spoke on the phone the other day.  Gale mentioned he liked to ask questions and learn new things. Chris Mooney has always called me “Captain Question” because from the time I get off the airplane in Guatemala, until we leave, I never stop asking Chris questions (I think it takes Chris a year to recover from me).  Knowing that Gale asks a lot of questions, I think Chris is in for a double adventure.

Now, God continues to work His plan out before us.  Rick and John are in a Bible study group.  One of the men in the group is Dan.  It sounds like he has much to offer our team.  He is expediting his passport application, and should have it back in plenty of time.

So, our team now stands at four.  One from Kentucky, one from Ohio and two from Iowa.  Will there be more?  Only God knows, and He will only reveal it when the time is right.

God is truly Good!  He is gracious beyond compare!  I am thankful for the men He is leading, and I am grateful to each of them saying “yes”.  I look forward to all God has in store for us as the time approaches for the trip.  There may be many twists and turns, but it all works together for our good, and God’s Glory!

Dios te Bendiga,

Brad