One month from now, we'll be driving up to this hotel in Tecpan, Guatemala...the "Don Pancho". It will be our home away from home for seven days.
The old saying goes, "Don't judge a book by it's cover". It's hard to tell from this sign what the hotel looks like. Is it small? Old? Cheap? A lot of questions come to mind. This hotel has taught me a lot about Guatemala over the many years we have stayed here while working in Tecpan. Just one look brings back a flood of memories. Most importantly, it brings a very real sense of anticipation. Here are some of my thoughts on the trip:
1. Most of us have stayed here several times. That means we bring some level of expectation to the week. Not just for the hotel...but for the whole trip. That can be good...and bad. I am thankful for the men who have traveled with us over the years. But, one of my favorite parts of the trip each year is seeing Tecpan from a new perspective. For Tom, this will be his first visit. I am excited for him. I am excited for us as his team members. I know that God will use Tom in a great way, and we welcome his wisdom and excitement.
2. Financial advisers tell us, "Past performance is no guarantee of future results." I always keep this close to my heart with Guatemala. Whatever has happened in the past, is no guarantee for this year. God starts us with a clean slate in many respects. New trip, new experiences and new growth. I wrote a blog post several years ago called "Growth Rings". Like a tree, this is another ring added to our growth as men and followers of Jesus. Whatever Jesus has in store for us this year will be just what we need. His Glory is our motivation! How can we be disappointed if that is our goal!!!
3. Waiting is the hardest part!!! No matter how many times I have done this, the anticipation and build up are the hardest part for me. I am a planner, and like to make sure everything is taken care of. "Did we pack the right things? Did we fund raise enough money for the projects?" I have to continually remind myself of what I mentioned in the point above. It's for God's Glory. So, I don't want to rush the next month away. There is so much we can be doing in the meantime. People ask me all the time, "Why doesn't God just take us out of the world the moment He saves us?" That is actually a much deeper question then most people realize. You have to start by asking, "Why does God even save you?" Is the purpose only to get you into His family in order to go to Heaven? Not primarily. He saves you to display His power and bring Him glory. He can take something broken beyond all "human" repair...our broken hearts, minds and souls, and make them new again. New life! He then uses us in this world to do that same thing with other people. Jesus said, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." [Mat 28:19-20 NIV] So, why does He leaves us here? To display His Power, bring Him glory and allows us the privilege of being part of the process. To go where He leads, spread His Good News and to make disciples for His Kingdom. What does this have to do with waiting for the trip to get here? Everything! Over the next month, we will talk to many friends, families and complete strangers about our upcoming trip. They will ask us why we are doing this. It will be our opportunity to tell them about the Hope of Christ for the people of Guatemala. It will be our chance to tell them about the Hope of Christ for them as well. God, give us the strength to share your name both here and in Guatemala. May we not squander a single day or opportunity!!!
Jesus, thank you that the trip is only one month away, and not more. I'm so excited!!! Thank you for this opportunity. Thank you for the men who we know are going, and those who may still join our team before we leave. Thank you for Chris and Donna Mooney. Thank you for Pastor Juan and his church. Thank you for the opportunity to meet Ursula's family and work with them. Thank you for our families who are letting us go away for a week. May we come home changed. May we come home with a greater desire and capacity to proclaim your Name to the nations! Praise Jesus!
Dios te Bendiga,