Saturday, October 20, 2012

Day One, Los Conchas, Guatemala

Work is underway in Los Conchas, Guatemala.  Roads are being repaired, schools are being improved, and homes are being restored.  But God did the real work today, mostly on the hearts of our team.  It was a grueling day of very hard labor.  Our hands were blistered, our backs were aching, and our feet were screaming, “This is just day one!?”

But all this went away when children who don’t speak English took us by the hands and called many of us by name.  When they wrapped their arms around our necks, they managed to grab our hearts at the same time. But that was only the beginning.  When a daughter asked us to pray for her sick mother and they both accepted Jesus as their Savior, when a dad who just lost his nine-year-old daughter took out his Bible and talked with our team about the hope he has in Jesus, that’s when the roads and the paint and the concrete slabs seemed like a distant memory.

It would be easy to lament the extreme poverty many in Los Conchas deal with every day.  It would be easy to say, “Thank God that this is not me,” and feel sorry for them.  But beyond the cinder block huts and the pitted tin roofs we found families full of love for one another, for God, and for us.

Team member Colon Pope has been to this village many times before.  Last night he said, “I’m excited about getting back to Los Conchas tomorrow. I have family there.”  Indeed he did. And now, we all do.

Leia Mais…

Friday, October 19, 2012

Eyes Wide Open - Guatemala Mission Journey

Eye's Wide Open
Brandon Abbott, Team member

We decided not to sleep. After all, we would leave for the airport at 3:45 AM, and there was still so much left to do. There was the obligatory Walmart run. The kids needed some extra quality time knowing Mom and Dad were leaving for nine days. There were boots to buy, bills to pay, and why is it again that I neglected to pack a single bag prior to the night of our departure?

Of course it would be our little secret. No one needed to know that we weren't Eagle Scouts on a Mission Journey. But we were too tired to realize that referring to the previous day's events as things that happened "this morning" or "earlier tonight" would find us out soon enough. It took about 4 minutes of conversation before that cat left the bag and we were demoted to Brownie and Cub Scout.

Of course I'm writing this on the plane because I can't sleep. Not that I don't want to. But if I do, the people directly (and I mean very directly) to my left and right will hear me snore. (By the way, this is Brandon, not Darlene.  She is silently sleeping two rows behind me.)

So I anticipate drooling through lunch, dragging myself into Guatemala, and enjoying the excitement that comes from going on the first mission journey ever with my wife. Can't sleep through that.

Makes me wonder though. Are my eyes really open? Am I ready for this trip? Am I prepared for what God can and will do in the next nine days? Am I prepared for what He can and will do in me?

I would hate to know I went for a spiritual sleep-walk through Guatemala and totally missed what God wanted to do through me.

Lord, give me rest, but wake me up. I'm in Miami. Next stop, Guatemala City. Help me see, with eyes wide open, your people and your purpose.

STATUS UPDATE: We made it through Miami. In the air en route to Guatemala City. We'll try to post pix and more later tonight. 


Leia Mais…

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Brentwood Baptist team in Israel

This is a photo of our Brentwood team on top of Mount of Precipice in Nazareth, overlooking the Jezreel Valley.

Leia Mais…