Thursday, April 24, 2014

Where is home?

It has been a strange two weeks. I got sick for much of my last week in Guatemala so I was not able to work with the team after Monday. I spent two days in bed and then two more days driving but not working. I did not eat for about 4 days and was miserable. In spite of my sickness, the team kept working and they accomplished a lot. They finished the sidewalk and drive at the school, finished the playground did food distribution and poured Rudy's roof and three floors in his house. I was grateful to Merari for taking my place one driving when I could not.

On the 15th, I left to come back to Illinois for a few weeks. The CYCM Annual Promotional Banquet is on Friday and there is always a lot of work to do in the days leading up to that event. I figured that it made sense to come back and work here rather than stay in Guatemala when there were no teams. I jokingly told my Guatemalan friends that I needed to come back for a vacation because they had worked me to hard.

The reality is that I have come to think of San Lucas as home also. While I have family and friends in Illinois and I miss then when I am gone, God has also given me a second family in Guatemala. t is as hard to leave them as it is to leave Morris. Wherever I go, I am away from people that I have become very close to. It seems like I am always wanting to be with someone and they  are inevitably 2,500 miles away.

All of this has made me ponder life. We know that we are only here temporarily and that we have an eternal reward waiting. Unless we isolate ourselves and never build relationships, there will always be someone missing from our lives. If we have eternity, why don't we pour ourselves into building the Kingdom of God that lasts forever instead of building a temporary kingdom that will be destroyed. Why don't we choose a moments discomfort to build a treasure that an inheritance that can never be taken away.

Already this year, 2 more classrooms were constructed in Membrial, the driveway was put in, a playground was poured and then had play equipment build and the foundation for the new Church was dug. In Zapote, there was a clinic at the school that served 600 patients, The Food Machine received a good cleaning had the pump replaced and had work was done to balance the nutrients for optimal plant growth. There was a house and 6 stoves build and the Gospel was shared numerous times in many ways.

I will be returning to Guatemala in a few weeks and resume the work that we have been doing. There will be several more teams coming and by the end of the summer we should see the near completion of the Church and school in Membrial along with some good harvests from the food machine and other plant projects that Dennis Knutson helped us with in February.  I will be there approximately 12 more weeks. 

 If you would consider supporting me financially, as well as in prayer, it would be greatly appreciated. Checks can be sent to:
My Father's House of Prayer
C/O Guatemala Missions
P.O. Box 679 
Morris, IL 60450 
Checks can be made out to MFHOP. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Blessed Beyond Measure

Today was an amazing day. We have been working hard all week trying to get several projects wrapped up before the Hinton team goes home. Hood River, Fox River and Fairhaven were all here working hard and now we are finishing all of the work the other teams started. We were surprised today with a special thank you from the children at the school in Membrial. They had prepared a short program of song and dance. They presented thank you cards to several of the members of the current team and then concluded with the children coming and hugging everybody.

As I watched and then was mobbed by small huggers, my heart was just full of joy. How could I have ever planned such a blessed life. These children have seen me around their school but only a few have gotten to know me but yet the outpouring of love was amazing. They expressed such gratitude for the work being done that many were crying. Their tears led to many team member tears.

As I witnessed this, I really began to think about how blessed I am. I have two distinct things that occupy my time and I love them both. When I am in Illinois, I get to hang out with and great bunch of kids and talk about life with them. They share their triumphs and sorrows and I get to be part of seeing God move in their lives. I also have gotten to work with some of my best friends in this ministry over the years. CYCM and the people that I have gotten to know through it have been a tremendous blessing.

When I am not in Morris, I am most likely in San Lucas, Sacatepequez. This place has become my second home and God has given me many more amazing friends here. I have been able to work on many projects that help people and bring God glory. The Church that I get to work with here has great vision for God's desire for this nation and they continue to press on to see it fulfilled.

Not many can say they have found the thing in life that gives them fulfillment but thanks be to God, I have found two places that fill my heart with the God's love and gratititude. I am not sure how long I can split my time between the two but for now, I am thankful for the opportunities in both places. 

It is hard to leave the people that I love whether I am leaving the US or leaving Guatemala. When my time is up in a place, I get nostalgic and want to live in the past victories but when I get where I am going, I am fully involved in life there and settle in quickly. When I think about it, how much more blessed can a man be than to have two places where he is at home and loved. I am truely blessed beyond measure.

I will be here until April 15 and then returning to Illinois for a few weeks. I will return here to resume working with teams for the months of June, July and August.  I will need to continue to raise support for the work we are doing. If you would consider supporting me financially, as well as in prayer, it would be greatly appreciated. I need to raise about $4,500 for the last three months of this time. Checks can be sent to: My Father's House of Prayer C/O Guatemala Missions P.O. Box 679  Morris, IL 60450  Checks can be made out to MFHOP.