Blog by Tess Scholz
My time in Guatemala is wrapping up. I have been here for about 2.5 months and only have 4 days left until I head back to the States. I am so grateful for this time and the way God has changed my heart over these past few months. I remember when I first arrived complaining to God about the three suitcases I brought with me, because they basically contained everything I own in life. Oh the American in me gets the best of me sometimes. We think we need more things… better things… more money to buy more things. But God was so gracious to raise up circumstances here in Guatemala that gently, yet swiftly humbled me. Circumstances that changed my grumbling heart to a grateful heart.
One of the first of many circumstances He used was when I visited the home of one of my students, Henry. I remember walking into his house for the first time. It was 8 by 6-foot room with a dirt floor that slept a family of 6. There was no kitchen, no bathroom, just a tiny enclosure. The walls were pieced together tin and ripped plastic sheets that were attempting to keep the heavy rainfall out. The floor where the family slept was muddy due to the gaping holes in the plastic tarps and there were no beds to be seen. My complaining had been silenced in a moment.
Prior to Guatemala I spent three years in Brazil. I was surrounded mostly by the wealthy there. But I know God was strategic in giving me a season among the poor. Not poor by American standards, but poor by the world’s standards, which is much more severe. In Brazil, I spent much time in the Church praying and worshipping, which was needed and so beautiful. But this was a season of pouring out what had been poured into me in the previous season. Guatemala was a season of being the hands and feet of Jesus in practical ways. I got to feed those who were hungry, deliver food to families who literally had none, help build the beginning of a literacy program that will be used to break the cycle of generational poverty, love and mentor future Guatemalan educators and teach English to kids from the local dump.
And as I reflect on my time here, I am overwhelmed with gratitude that God has given me the opportunity to love Jesus in a way that we can only do when we are among the poor of this world. In Matthew 25 Jesus makes it clear how we can love, honor and care for Him. Matthew 25:44 says, ““Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”” I am so grateful that I got to love Jesus through loving the poor in Guatemala. I pray that God will always raise up circumstances for all of us to love Jesus through loving the “least of these”.