The coolest thing about missions is the feeling of having extended family around the world. There are times when I can almost feel them praying, serving and ministering - even though we may not have spoken for months. The God connection of believers serving the Lord in unity and in the truth of His gospel is the most amazing bond I've ever known.
Last week I took a team back to Guatemala, to the Adonai Baptist Church. Our travels were hilarious at times. One the way to the town, a mudslide blocked the highway, causing us to climb over the masses of mud and branches to an alternate bus. On the way home, a five hour delay on the runway gave us time to bond with other Baptist mission teams who had just finished a week of service in other parts of the country. Momentary inconveniences couldn't stop God's purposes for our team, and none of the traveling issues kept us from our goal of reaching out with the love of Christ.
I praise God that the purpose for our mission, a medical clinic, was a success and ministered to hundreds of people from towns around the church. I praise God that the team opened their hearts and shared their testimonies, conveying why and in whose name we had come. I praise God for the team of volunteers from the little church that came along side us and made this whole mission work. I pray that the Lord will continue to reap a harvest from the seeds we planted in the fertile soil of the Guatemalan mountain region...and that new believers will spring forth with newness of life just like the abundant crops color the hillsides.
God gave us the opportunity to pour into the lives of this little family (pictured below) in one of the valleys around town - two siblings, neither of whom could remember their age, or even care, shared their love with us as we helped meet their need for food. The lady pictured has been a believer for six years.
Needless to say, our Guatemalan family in the mountains brought me much joy last week. Our home church has partnered with this little church in Chiantla, and as we walked up to the gate of the compound, my heart lept with the joy of seeing our brothers and sisters in Christ. After all, we'll be spending eternity together! A year of being separated by land and sea brought much anticipation. I wondered how the church construction would have progressed, how the children had grown, and how my dear friends were doing. I was expecting to see that the Lord had done great things.
I was not dissappointed.
It was evident from the crossing of the threshold to the final hugs goodbye that the Lord is with this body of believers, growing new disciples and guiding His children into closer relationship with Him.