My daughter Whitney- living in love in Guatemala City.
I saw the Kingdom advancing in Guatemala. Over the course of a week our teams saw 1,745 people come to Christ. It was unbelieveble. I was struck again by the simplicity of the Christian life and how the Kingdom of God advances through people with a simple passion for Jesus and a love for others. We partnered with local churches and served alongside them every day. We shared the love of Christ with people in the parks, schools, workplaces, churches, alleys, shops, and in their homes.
My team served in an incredible church- La Familia de Dios Iglesia Buatista. Pastor Mario and his people are truly pursuing Jesus on the move in their community and they’ve decided to join Him in what He’s doing. They saw the need for medical assistance to those who cannot afford (many who’ve never seen a doctor before) and so they established a clinic once a month. We went into homes of women who had recently come to the clinic and because they were first loved by the people in the church they welcomed us gladly into their homes. We saw several teenage moms (two were 16 and pregnant with their second child) come to Christ.
Mario decided the best way to reach their community was for each person to share Christ in the context of established relationships (imagine that!). So they’ve established “Lighthouses”- small groups in homes designed to be missional communities to reach their friends and neighbors (sounds familiar). We were in on nearly every night.
Here’s just one of a million stories: Francisco (32 years old) was very concerned about his mother, Amelia. She had lost her husband and had recently been diagnosed with diabetes. He knew she has never received Christ. he wanted us to go see her so we went to her humble home and shared the love Jesus with her. I shared with her that Christ was at the door of her heart and He wanted her to open the door and let Him in (Rev. 3:20). She seemed resistant even though she clearly understood what Christ had done for her. In the midst of our conversation our translator, Maria, got up and left the room. I assumed she going to the bathroom and was thinking, “This is not a good time to leave!” A moment later there was a dramatic knock at the door. Amelia got up and answered the door. It was Maria! She said, “Will you let me in?” Amelia laughed and said, “Yes, come in!” Maria, paused and said, “Well, you don’t know me and yet you’re going to let me in?” “Yes”, Amelia said. Maria continued, “…and yet you know how much Jesus loves you and what He’s done for you but you won’t let Him in?” Amelia broke. Through tears she said, “I’m ready.” She threw her arms around Maria and the two wept in the doorway. We all gathered around and wept and hugged Amelia. I watched Francisco weep over his sweet mom as he celebrated her new life in Christ.
Time and time again we saw stories like this one (I need to tell more) and we were constantly reminded that God is always at work in and through people who are willing to displace themselves (whether across the sea or across the room) and join Him in loving others into His Kingdom.