Twenty-three GFBC members spent last week serving at Hope of Life in Zacapa, Guatemala. What a joy it is to share with you some of the people we met during the week! FaithStories will focus this week on the beautiful faces of the men, women, and children of Guatemala.
Our first night in Guatemala, we enjoyed a fiesta with delicious foods as well as singing and dancing from the children of the orphanage. A special treat was music from Jose, the first child rescued by Carlos and Cheryl over twenty-five years ago. When rescued, Jose was given food, clothing, medical care and a place to live. But more than that, Jose received unconditional love, and he was introduced to our loving Father. He was no longer without a family because he recognized himself as part of the family of God. Today Jose is a handsome young adult who sings for the glory of God. He is an excellent photographer. He encourages the children who come into Hope of Life, telling his story of being rescued and finding love at Hope of Life. He participates in journeys to rescue other children, documenting the events with his photography. What an amazing God we have who takes the brokenness of this world and makes beauty from the ashes! Jose is an example of the beauty of God’s redeeming love.
As I listened to the beautiful children sing and dance during fiesta, my mind wondered about their story. Is there a “before” picture of swollen malnourished bellies, yellowing hair from parasites as a result of drinking contaminated water, and skin stretched tight over bony arms and legs. As these girls and boys dance, I see well-developed self-esteem in each. They hold their heads up high and make eye contact with the audience. They smile when the applause breaks out. They meticulously perform the dance routines, singing words of praise to our Heavenly Father. Their costumes are top-notch, colorful, and fit each child perfectly. These children are cared for with excellence. They are truly loved and they know it. It beams on their faces!
Dear Father, please continue to bless Hope of Life as well as the many employees … Those who cook and clean, the nannies, the moms and dads, the interpreters, those who administer the Child Sponsorship program, those in administration and leadership … bless them and provide their every need. Give the leadership wisdom to make godly decisions. Bless the volunteers that come to work on mission trips. Be with the children and let them know Your love for them. Thank You, Lord, for allowing GFBC to be a part of Your work in Guatemala. Amen.
For I was hungry, and you fed me.
I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink.
I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.
I was naked, and you gave me clothing.
I was sick, and you cared for me…
I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these
my brothers and sisters,
You were doing it unto me! ~ JESUS in Matthew 25: 35-40