When I take time to consider the wonderful ministry in which God has asked Willene and I to be apart of, I am often reminded of the times He has used a place called La Barranquilla to encourage us. The truth is when we become discouraged, because life seems to happen more frequently here, we are quick to be reminded the situation could be far more difficult. Interestingly enough God does not use it to remind us of how much better off we are or what we have in reference to what others don’t. He uses it to remind us of all the friends we have there, the smiles on the faces of the children and the gratitude we receive as we travel there weekly. I think about how the sun seems to always shine brighter there and the cool breeze makes it’s presence known. We see the Holy Spirit at work in the lives of the people working diligently to save the lost. We are different because of the work of Christ in us and others will be different because of the work Christ does through us. When I consider all in which Christ did for me I see things much differently. I see La Barranquilla as a field ripe for the harvest a place in which Jesus would have willingly passed through proclaiming His Gospel, Preaching Repentance of Sins and Offering Life Eternal Through Him. A place so worthy of His time and consideration He chose to use us- a family of foreigners and you the bride- the body of himself to ensure they- the people of La Barranquilla knew He loved them!
You may be asking where is La Barranquilla? It is located in Zone 1 of Guatemala City, a Red Zone (do not enter), one of the many slum neighborhoods in the city. A place where people live but a place most do not want to be. In 2008 Lakeside Baptist, a church from Salem, Virginia opened the door for us when they provided a clinic to address the medical needs of the community. This year Hickory Grove Baptist Church, came from Charlotte, NC, demolished a dangerous pedestrian walkway and built a new bridge. We are grateful to say the least because without this we would have never been able enter an open door and walk across a bridge meeting the people exactly where they are…In need of a Savior!
¡Que Dios les bendiga!
Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28