Posted by Brad
Today was our last full day in Guatemala. We woke up to the volcano named Fuego putting on a display. The smoke plume was very high. We saw pictures from much closer to the volcano with fire and lava spewing from the top. Hopefully our flights will not be delayed tomorrow.
We checked out of the hotel and headed for the wheelchair distribution in Chimaltenango. It’s always special for me when we do the distribution there, because the church we hold the event in is next door to Bethel’s wheelchair shop. So, we always get to visit before and after. Bethel has an incredible staff.
Many of Bethel’s staff are in wheelchairs themselves. It encourages my heart when I see them working on wheelchairs in the shop. The cool part of today was that one of the men from the shop who is in a wheelchair, helped fit people into their wheelchairs today. I have to wonder what the people who were being fitted today thought as Ruby helped them? It had to be encouraging for someone to see another person in the same circumstance help them get their wheelchair.
Have you ever wondered where dreams come from? I’m sure there is some physiological explanation. Quite honestly, sometimes I don’t want to know where my dreams come from or what they mean. But, I’m not talking about that kind of dream. I’m talking about looking forward to the future. Having hope or a plan. Thinking beyond our current circumstances and daring to think things are possible which may not seem a reality right now.
In all my years visiting Guatemala and working with families, there is one concept that seems impossible to your average person, and that is the ability to “dream”. When I ask people what their dreams are for the future, 99.9% of the people off all ages say they have no idea what I’m talking about. At dinner tonight, Chris said a profound statement. Basically, when people are simply trying to survive, the idea of looking beyond the here and now is difficult. Many have never left their village. Most have had very hard lives, family members dying, dad’s that abandon them, not enough food, and personal illness or disability. They simply do not have the luxury of looking very far ahead in life.
But, is this the way it is supposed to be? Did God design us this way? The answer is “no”, it should not be this way. In reality, dreams come from God. He has designed us for a purpose. Our purpose is to glorify Him in all we do. Therefore, if He wants to receive glory, He will give us the dreams, thoughts and plans necessary to carry out His will. When we dream and ultimately carry out those plans, because the dream came from Him in the first place, He gets all the glory. For most Americans, we begin “dreaming” from a very early age. Unfortunately, many of our “dreams” are self-centered and try to fulfill goals that only benefit ourselves. As Chris said, even if we listen to God’s plans that He plants in our hearts, we kick and scream trying to resist His will.
Going throughout this week, we have been working with people who absolutely have no good reason to dream. But, I am convinced they do in fact dream. All of the people we fitted for chairs today dreamed of receiving the gift of mobility that came to fruition today. The single moms who have starving children dream of being able to feed them. Children who have failed a grade because they cannot understand the work dream of not failing out of school.
As for me, I believe God has put many dreams into my heart for Guatemala. I dream of children not being cold at night, having enough food to eat, clothes to wear, safe place to lay their heads. I dream of people recognizing God’s love for them and placing their faith and hope in Jesus Christ. Where did this come from? God placed them in my heart. So, as we accomplished our projects this week, God has received all the glory.
As we were setting up all the wheelchairs this morning, a man was brought inside laying in a rusty wheelbarrow. Where is his hope? A wonderful dad who has no bladder or bowel control came over with his wife and young daughter to receive his wheelchair. I could see the hope in his eyes. Rick and the guys worked with people who had a joy in their hearts and eyes. Laughter came easy for some, while speaking at all proved elusive for others. In it all, God was glorified today. Fifty-one wheelchairs were given out. More importantly, 25 people decided to give their hearts and lives to Jesus today. Now, those 25 people will begin living on a journey where God will begin to shape and direct their lives in a way they have never experienced.
After the distribution, we visited with our old friends Luki and Juana. Luki and her three kids have had a difficult life. But, they have a hope in Christ that is strong. They told us today that they are hosting church services at their house for 28 people from the local area. Wow, that is amazing!!! Her youngest son loves computers and robotics. He is in the 10th grade. He has a hope of finishing his education and getting a good job. We then visited Juana. She is the woman that lived in Kentucky for seven months getting eye surgery to correct a stem cell deficiency. They are hosting an after school tutoring program on the upper level of their house. I’m so happy for the 15 children who receive help each day.
We then made the drive to Guatemala City. We are staying at a hotel near the airport. We all fly out in the morning.
Thank you for all of your help and support. This week has been everything I “dreamed” of, and much more. I thank God for giving all five of us the privilege of coming here to serve Him.
Over the next week, the other guys and I will re-enter life again with our families. I will encourage each man to write his thoughts and put them on the blog. After each man has had the opportunity, I will close out the blog for this year by passing on my closing thoughts.
Please don’t stop dreaming. God has plans to use you to bless others and further His Kingdom. Please don’t resist His calling and purpose. Serve Him with all of your heart. He will show you what He wants you to do.
Dios te Bendiga,