We started our day off with our morning devotional from Tom. He has been leading us the last few years. The message always seems to be what we need for the day. Today was no different. We talked about sharing the light of Christ with those around us. Tom shared the image of Christmas Eve service where a large, single candle is brought into the dark church auditorium. As the candle passes, people light their own candle from that one light which represents Christ. Once the whole church has lit their candles, the room is fully illuminated. This shows how when we as believers let our light shine, each one makes a difference. The world lives in darkness. Christ is the true Light. When we become believers, we are His light bearers. We are to share His love and light everywhere we go.
Our first visit was to the home of Clemencia. She is a 50-year old woman who has eight children, four older and four younger. She has had a hard life. Her husband was an alcoholic. He passed away 5-months ago from alcohol poisoning. While he had a negative effect on his family from his alcoholism, there is still clearly and hole left from his loss. Clemencia is doing the best she can. She makes tortillas to sell. She cannot leave the home to work and leave her young children behind. While Clemencia never attended school, her daughter Isabella finished 6th grade and had to stop because of finances. It is rare to find a young child who can make it when their parents didn’t go through school. She wants to go back to school, but it costs $50 per month. I am hoping someone reading this blog would consider supporting her. The $50 covers tuition and supplies. If you would like to help Isabella go back to school, please let me know.
One of the great treats of the trip s getting to spend time with Nick, Elizabeth and their son Jeremiah (J-Man as Tom calls him). They moved to Guatemala last year to work with Bethel. What a blessing they are. As Ben was translating today, he used the example of David and Goliath with the family. He asked Nick to be Goliath and J-Man to be David. everyone loved it. At the end, J-Man used a tennis ball to represent the rock that David threw at Goliath. In the first picture below, you can see the tennis ball as it is hitting Goliath’s (Nick’s) chest. The second photo is of Goliath (Nick) falling in death and defeat. Nick is a very good actor as you can tell by his facial expression.
We then visited the house of Reina. She is 28-years old. Her husband passed away 7-years ago from alcohol poisoning. Her daughter is 14 and her son is 10. Her 10-year old son Abner did not like school. He quit and went to work as a Mason’s helper. He works long hours and only gets $3 per day. We complain about our work day. When I was 10, I can assure you carrying rock and sand working long days was not even close to being on my mind. This young man leads a very hard life, but he does it to support his mom. I spoke to him about how responsible he was. He had his hand on his mom’s shoulder the whole time. We asked the mom where her heart was with God? She said “distant”. I asked why. She said because the bad things she has done keep coming back to her mind and making her sad. We explained that Satan will always accuse you of your past sins. We asked her if she wanted to change that and no longer need to worry? She said yes. We spoke of trusting Christ. I used the example I heard many years ago from Kirk Cameron in Way of the Master. He describes each of us in life as being on a burning airplane that is definitely going down. Your only hope is the parachute that is in front of you. You have two choices: trust that the chute will save you, or go down in flames? But, it’s not enough to just believe the chute will save you, you actually have to put it on and jump! It’s the same with Jesus. It’s not enough to just believe that Jesus “can” save you. You actually have to trust Him completely, abandon all other sources of hope and believe He “will” save you. Were they “ready to jump?” All three of them decided that now was the time to choose Christ. They didn’t wait for another day. So, today, salvation came to that home!
We finished the day by going to Pastor Juanito’s church and then having our annual church dinner later. It was like a family reunion. So many familiar faces. There is a lot of hardship in the people’s lives. Babies being born to very young girls. Boys abandoning their responsibilities for choices made. Death of loved ones and deep poverty. Life is hard for them. But, they have a true faith that brings them joy in the midst of that suffering. That is one of the things that makes me love these people so much.
We are doing more stove installs tomorrow. I know there many more stories to come.
Dios te Bendiga, Brad