Violence in Guatemala is a major problem. Some of you may have seen the story from the government run children's home. Over 30 girls have died as a result of a fire that they set in an attempt to escape this place. They were locked in their dorm rooms like prisoners. The stories of abuse and overcrowding have been hard to read. On Monday night many of the children decided to take action in response to their living conditions. They rioted and 60 or so escaped at least temporarily. The children were returned to their rooms and locked in. That is when the fire was started. I will not share the rest of the story here but will say that you can read about it all over the internet. It is the biggest story here currently. I will say though that it is just one more sign of the need for healing in this country that can only come through Jesus. The conversations that this team of women started is a step in that direction.
|Buses bringing people to celebrate|
After this team of ladies left, we dedicated the new property where the Church building will be built. We had people from Churches in Zapote, Santo Thomas, Magdelana, Membrillal and Chimaltenango come for the celebration along with 2 teams that were here and leaders from the community and from the CMA. They came on 8 buses and there was between 700 and 800 people. When this building is complete, we will have a much better ability to reach out and help meet the needs of the San Lucas area. It was an exciting day.
Our Fairhaven team from Pennsylvania and Ohio came next. Every year when they come it is a time for celebration. There has not been a project that Galilea has undertaken in the last 17 years that this group has not been a part of. Their history in Guatemala and their friendship are invaluable. This year they worked on numerous projects to begin the new Church building in San Lucas. They built a storage building with a living area for a guard. They removed many trees, helped establish the grade depth for the foundation, tied columns and footer grids and poured the first footers for the building. They also welded the new gates that will sit at the entrance.. Along with all of that, they encouraged all of us with their presence and their words.
Finally we worked with many of the senior class and some staff and chaperons from the Mckinney Christian Academy.. This group returned for a second year and they built three houses in Zapote along with a stove. They also went to the school and had after school activities with the kids for three days.They had opportunities for several to share their testimonies with the kids as well as play games and renew some friendships from last year. This group was generous in every way and I would like to thank them for coming and working with us
In the midst of all of this, God showed me a couple of things clearly. The first was for me personally. If I am not spending time working on my relationships, first with Him and then with the people that I am with, the work is not that important. It is in relationship that our work gains value. If my relationship with God suffers because I am to busy, I am no longer working with Him and it just becomes labor. The value is exponentially diminished because the one who it is for is no longer in the middle of it. If it does not build relationships with the people that the work is with and for, it also looses value. If we are not building relationship, how can we live in the unity that Jesus called us to. We have just begun to work but without any of the things that give our work value.
The second thing that He was showing me was a different mindset that exists between a son and an orphan. One leads to a type of prosperity and the other to poverty. A son knows that he has a father, is loved and has a reliable source of provision. An orphan feels abandon and needs to try and scrape by on whatever little they can claw out of the world. A son knows that their father has enough and that they do not need to be jealous of others. An orphan always feels like someone else's success has cost them. Orphans cannot rejoice at what someone receives because they feel left out. A son knows that all they have is a blessing from father and he is faithful not just to them but to all that will receive his provision. Not all prosperity is financial but it is all in a mindset that is content, knowing that their needs are being met by someone that loves them. Orphans,in spirit always feel like they lack something no matter how much they have. Their mindset locks them into looking at and comparing their worth to others and they always come up short. I sometimes fall into the orphan category and am grateful for all of the reminders that I am a son and have received a spirit of adoption.