Note: In the middle of writing a blog yesterday, we lost internet connection! I am sure my dad is keeping score of how many days I miss!
The familiarity of summer is officially over as we worked with our last summer team. As we have watched everyone else return back to the normalcy of school, we are excited that serving in Guatemala is our new norm.
We are also aware that if we do not guard ourselves then we can become busy serving God instead of knowing God. In Jennie Allen’s book, Nothing to Prove, she writes about how Satan seeks to distract us and lose focus from knowing Christ. “If I were your enemy I would intoxicate you with the mission of God rather than God Himself. Then you would worship a cause instead of Jesus. You would burn out from striving. You would think that success is measured by the results you see. You would build platforms for applause rather than to display God. Then all your time and effort would be spent on becoming important rather than on knowing Jesus and loving people. The goals would be to gather followers, earn fancy job titles, publish books, build big ministries rather than to seek the souls of men and the glory of God.”
We fear that people will see good works and not Christ. We fear that when we see or hear the needs of the people then it will simply be “another sad story.” We believe serving and loving people is simply a by-product of knowing Christ and seeking a deeper relationship with Him. There are moments God has used to give us a burden, passion, and vision for the people of Guatemala. For me, one of those moments is when my dad returned home from his first Guatemala mission trip in 1998. The excitement from working with the people to the vegetation to meeting Tom Compagner was quite ridiculous! I was convinced he had lost his mind. I never predicted that it would be the trip to set a fire in his heart for the people of Guatemala. I can vividly remember working with a group of kids in a village when I was 16 years old and knowing that God was beginning to give me a passion and burden to serve in a foreign land. When we returned to Guatemala after having kids, the trip to El Tejar dump was more than Soy and I could take. Watching the kids play in a trash dump broke our hearts on levels we were not prepared for. All of the sudden, we saw the children through a father and mother’s eyes. They were no longer just poor children, but they were our children.
I am aware that as you are reading this the normal response is “If I was in a third world country it would be easy for to stay focus on my relationship with Christ and serve people without hesitation.” Yet we struggled with it when we had secular jobs in the states. Life is busy. I am judgemental. I lose focus. I had to be intentional with allowing God to show me that my students were created and loved by Him, not just test scores. My co-workers and the people in Wal-Mart are not annoying, but people who are seeking the love and salvation found only through Christ. We want the joy and salvation in Christ to be contagious regardless of where we are living!
“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings,becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:7-111
We want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection!
Doesn’t everyone eat taco soup at 9 a.m.?