Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Building...

When God speaks it's usually not to just one person.

 In 2001,Matt and I came up with a list of about half a dozen things we wanted to do with our kids before the oldest two headed off to college. High on the list was a desire to do an international missions trip. But how would that ever happen ~ it'd been more than a decade since our church had "missioned" anywhere outside of our county. By the fall of 2010 we began to look into other options. But then in 2011 we began to hear about this "new" type of missions that the general church had begun to develop.  I am pretty sure there was some Divine handy work, and not much later a special speaker came to our speak with our church. By early 2012 God was planting a passion in the heart of some people in Northwestern Illinois ~ and the vision of a Jesus Film trip was cast. A time was set, Spring 2013 (a great time to not be in Illinois). Three Zones were contacted, but for our group, only Northern Guatemala seemed to be a good fit. Fundraising began and in Sept 2012 the plane tickets were purchased. It's official ~ we were on our way!

Being a God that is not confined by time or space, God did His AMAZING God thing. HE began to work in ways that we could not even imagine in the hearts and lives of people we would only later come to know and treasure in the town of Fray.  There is a Nazarene Church in Fray, and a man that loves God named Roberto. Roberto began to have a heart ache for his unsaved friends in the village of Miguela. Miguela doesn't show up on any map; just a small village with about 135 homes outside of a tiny town in Central America. No running water, no electricity, no churches, no market ~ but it did have 1500 people that God had given as a special burden to a special man. So Roberto began to obey. He would meet and teach and shepherd a small flock; a few men he knew, and a handful of children.  By the Spring of 2012 God began to whisper to Roberto that "great things" would arrive in Miguela in  2013. He passionately instructed his people to began  to pray and prepare.

Six months later they got the news: a group of North American Christian brothers and sisters would arrive in early February with the Jesus Film. They rejoiced! They praised God! Then they got down to work. These locals understood in ways we could not that  in order for the people of Miguela to have long term spiritual success they would need a local church ~ in their home village, not 4 miles by foot down the mountain. The new Christians would need a building to meet and grow and spread God's good news. Others had come and gone before, but with no roots and support the seeds of faith had withered and died. This would not happen this time. Not on their watch.  A people who have little by our standards began to give. Not easy giving. Not "I won't go out to eat this week" giving. They gave in their surplus and they gave in their need. They gave in the same way that we read in Luke 21.

By the time we arrived, the land had be bought, the walls and roof where on and the floor was being prepared for cement. They wanted to surprise us. But really for me it was more of a lesson. Obedience and Stewardship. Would I have made those kinds life changes? Would I have acted so quickly on faith alone? How much clutter is in my life, and how much does it trip me up as I pursue what God has next? I didn't come home and sell all of my stuff and send the cash to Miguela ~ thou the thought did cross my mind. However, I am looking with fresh eyes at my blessings, and my responsibility.

God is not a socialist. His blessings vary. I may be simple, but I am not a one talent girl (see Matthew 25). Someday I will bow before my Lord and give an account. Thanks to a few of my Northern Guatemalan siblings, I can look at what I've got with better eyes ~ and behavior like a faithful servant.

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