This is the final post in a six-part series describing the people we met on a mission trip to Guatemala. We struggled to say goodbye to these faces that have been etched permanently into our hearts and minds. We promise to pray ... we long to return.
A group of our team went from home to home in the poorest part of the village and allowed the villagers to choose a fruit tree. The tree was planted in the rock-solid soil in their yards. The villagers eagerly chose from the lemon, coconut, mango, or orange trees. They stood by with pots or buckets of water to pour on the tree as soon as it was planted. This small gift meant so much to these families!
After the tree was planted, the GFBC team gathered near the home of the family and shared the Gospel – the reason we planted the trees. We shared the story of our heavenly Father who loves them enough to provide fruit trees, medical care, and food. The people eagerly put the salvation bracelets on their wrists. The team prayed with each family, begging God to bless these families and allow them to truly know His love.
This was repeated over and over … family by family … the trees were planted, the Gospel was shared, and the families gathered to pray.
God was very near! He was glorified!
We had the opportunity to worship in the church that was built last summer. What a joy to see the women and children fill the seats inside the open air facility. Boys climbed a tree in the back of the church and perched on a tree branch as their “church pew” during the service. Other boys climbed into the back of a pickup truck and worshiped from there! The sounds of babies and children filled the air. Some toddlers were allowed to walk around during the service. But the people listened and responded, and God was near to us.
As the music began with guitars strumming and voices raised in praise to our God, we were reminded that it’s not knowing the words or knowing the melody that defines worship; it is our hearts in unity before the Father creating that sweet fragrance of pure worship to our King JESUS.
As we sang, we recognized a few phrases … Cristos … Alleluia, … but we recognized much more than words. We felt the Spirit of God moving in a mighty way and tears swelled and spilled onto my cheeks.
Worshiping God in Guatemala was pure … It wiped all the surface clutter out of the way, and we were escorted into HIS presence to stand before our God! Our total focus was on Him!
It was a very good feeling to be standing in worship, staring into a landscape of magnificent mountains, hearing the beauty of the different language encircling us, and recognizing that God is with us there! In fact, He had drawn us together and as we drew near to Him, He surrounded us with His presence. We experienced pure worship!
While serving, our pastor was asked if he would baptize some young men at Kelley’s Place, the home for special needs children. He was thrilled to agree!
Kelley’s Place has a therapy pool, and the physical therapist met us there to baptize the boys. It was an amazing time of seeing the joy on the faces of these two teens who had limited mobility. The boys were in wheelchairs when we arrived. They could not walk or sit up, so they were placed on an aqua mat. Pastor Mark and the therapist went into the pool, and others helped to lower each boy lying on the mat into the water. Each came out of the water smiling! What an amazing sight!! Their joy was evident without the need for words!