Day 2 Posted by Jeff 1-30-12
As followers of Christ there are moments when your sense of God’s grace leaves you without adequate words, along with a transcendent joy that can’t be properly described. Even when your heart is at its fullest, you understand that you are only grasping faintest sliver of the joy that will be fully known in His coming kingdom.
Today was such a day and it’s hard to believe that we have the opportunity to be used of Him again in a similar fashion tomorrow.
It was a chance for me to personally reunite with Pastor Juanito who had ministered so powerfully to me during my last visit to Guatemala in 2010. Back then I had become extremely sick during our team’s first day on the job during a construction project. Juanito, whose English is just about as good as my Spanish, approached, and in words I could not understand, asked me a question. I nodded politely, not aware of what he intended to do next but before I could say a word this man I had just met placed a hand on my head and another on my stomach and began to pray with an energy and abandon that could be felt as much as it was heard.
I barely had the energy to sit up under his grasp and though I couldn’t understand a single word, the power of the moment sent tears streaming down my cheeks and had an impact on my life that is still with me to this day.
Our team was privileged to encounter that same kind of power again today as Juanito and missionary Chris Mooney drove us into the rolling hills outside of Tecpan where we would minister to the needs of two young widows and their families. Our mission was to install two new ONIL wood stoves which would single-handedly transform each family’s ability to cook their meals both safely and efficiently. Before our arrival meals were simply cooked in a low-ceiling, simple hut with little to no ventilation and presented a number of health and safety hazards.
Our first visit began with Rosalia, who cares for her five young children and her aging mother, Ramona under one roof. Rosalia’s husband had literally drunk himself to death on locally produced moonshine which is produced and sold cheaply throughout the area, bringing death and destruction to so many. It was hard for me to not picture the faces of my own children when I looked into the eyes of her own while they laughed and giggled as we played with them and shared candy. Rosalia’s own smile was easy and her humble gratitude was unbelievably moving, but underneath it all there was a sense that a deeper heartache loomed.
As our work finished we gathered with her family and shared some additional gifts with her while she told us more about her situation. Though extremely young, her hearing was gradually failing and she neither had the means nor the time to go to see a doctor. Her condition was appearing to worsen with little hope for a change. Immediately we began to talk about a solution and within seconds Juanito was on the phone, arranging for her to be seen by a physician the next morning. Rosalia’s reserved but ready smile returned and within the next minute Chris asked Juanito to pray.
As he did I paused to look up as Chris stood next to Rosalia, his hands placed on her head just above her ears. With her own head bowed and eyes closed, the quiet reserve was gone and tears flowed freely down her face in a release that struck a familiar chord in my own heart and my own eyes filled for this dear sister in Christ. They would fill yet again a few moments later as we prayed over the widow named Maria in the house next door.
The need is so great, but God’s love is greater still and overwhelms all fear and consumes all darkness as He uses us, His broken vessels to be His hands and feet to a hurting world. It inspires us to do more with a hope that one day King Jesus will return to banish the curse of sin and wipe away every tear from the eyes of his children. Our Redeemer is faithful and true.
Until then, “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially those who are of the household of faith.”
Never give up, for He will surely never give up on you!
In the love of Christ,