It has been 9 months since I last posted any articles for World Reach Missions although what we do has been on my mind every day. My best friend and ministry partner Willene has been faithful to keep everyone apprised of all the latest news from the highs and lows to the comical moments in between. As I reflect over the last several months I would be less than honest if I told you coming to Guatemala has been easy. This month marks the second anniversary of our commitment to follow God’s leading to this country. Over the last two years when anyone would comment about the sacrifice our family would make my quick response would always be, “well we don’t consider this to be a sacrifice, it is a privilege to serve our Lord.” I never thought I would have to re-examine the relevancy of that statement and I never considered it would be a teachable moment in our ministry. I have been a committed follower of Jesus Christ for 11 years and have pursued Him with passion, conviction and unshakable faith, so I thought.
The phrase “life happens” is an all too familiar slogan many of us use trying to mask the discomfort and pain we feel when the circumstances of life usher in an unexpected challenge or trial. I have invested a considerable amount of time reflecting on the events of this past year as they have impacted our lives; the unexpected death of my brother, the challenges associated with raising financial support and believe it or not ‘culture shock’. If you would have told me 12 months ago ‘my plan’ would have changed and my life would look the way it does today, then asked me, “would you still have gone to Guatemala?” What would I have said?
God reminds us of what the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity (fear), but of power and love and discipline” (I Timothy 1:7). Even in our weakest moments, when our faith is shaken and our security is stripped away we can still rest in God’s promises knowing He has given us the spirit of power to surrender to His will, the spirit of love to share His Son, and the spirit of discipline to pursue Him with all our might.
Our days in Guatemala are filled with times when we just look at each other and say “only in Guatemala could this happen” and there are days when we see the mighty Hand of God do exceedingly great things. Knowing what I know today would I have still come to this place? Peter’s confession of faith to Jesus says it best, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. And we have believed and come to know that You are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68-69).