Monday, June 15, 2015

Another Parasite?

On the past two trips to Guatemala, I've brought home a souvenir. A little surprise guest. And not one that I like or enjoy. It's a parasite, and I didn't invite him on the trip home. But he came anyway.

He's a vicious little creature that can rear his head quickly at the end of a trip or even hibernate and appear a few days/weeks later. He can come in the form of chills, fever, headaches, diarrhea, vomiting, or a variety of other symptoms (once JT had one that mimicked a heart attack..that was a little concerning). I do not like him one little bit.

But getting a parasite is sometimes part of being in another country to share the Gospel. And I will take it. I will NOT be deterred from the mission at hand.

On this past trip, there was a night of discussion in the book of James. We talked about being people who don't just hear the Word but DO it. And all I could do was cry...ugly cry. Over 29,000 kids die every day, most of them from preventable diseases. How can we, as the church, sit by and do nothing? How can we call ourselves believers and do nothing? We can't.

So, how can I complain about a little parasite that causes pain, inconvenience and annoyance? I can't. It's nothing compared to what most of the world is dealing with each day. It is just a reminder of why we go to the nations. We go out of obedience to the call of the Father. Not for anything we will get (whether positive or negative)or anything we will give. We go because He calls us to go.

And we will continue to go. No matter the costs.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


One of the most difficult parts of a short term mission trip is re-entry. From the time I get up early on departure day until now, I am in a world that seems to dangle between Guatemala and the US. I'm an alien in my own country. It's a no man's land, and I am smack dab in the middle of it.

Physically, it's not so bad. I get more rest here (only in the summer) and I can spend more time catching up on some much needed sleep. I think I averaged about 4 hours a night in Guatemala mainly because I was thinking about something from that day or praying about a particular family or kid.

Emotionally, it's a roller coaster ride. As I sit in Starbucks typing these words, tears come to my eyes thinking about kids who have no safe place to lay their heads in Guatemala. I am sipping my skinny vanilla latte, and they are scrounging for food every day. I am adding up receipts from the trip, and parents are working 12-18 hours a day to provide for their families. I am listening to a little girl read to her mom, and kids in Sacjavilla are using 25 year old textbooks that they share in the school (IF they even get to go). I am staring at a bookshelf full of of books in a coffee shop, and I have walked into homes where no one could read. I have multiple Bibles in my home, and there are people in Guatemala begging for God's Word. I hear the little girl read a book on recycling, and my mind drifts to the people of the dump who recycle every day just to be able to survive. I can see an urgent care facility right across the street that I can simply walk into anytime while people in Guatemala cannot afford simple medical treatment.

Spiritually, I am asking God over and over again why I am here. Why was I born here? Why do I get the physical comforts of living in the US while others do not? Would I even know Christ if I didn't live here? Would I seek Him? What would my kids be doing? Could we afford a home or food or school? How would God show Himself to us? Would anyone come and tell us the Good News? Would we listen?

These are all issues and questions that I face every time I return from being out of the country. And I do not know the answers. I simply trust in the One who does. And He is trustworthy. He is sovereign. He is faithful. He is sufficient. And I will rest in Him.