When the world says no, but God says go.

According to my circumstances, my resources, my abilities, I shouldn’t be here in Guatemala. When I first heard about this month long trip, my heart beat so fast and I knew I was meant to be here. However, I began to face the fact that I didn’t have the money to come, I had a perfectly good summer long job lined up if I stayed at home, and my dad has stage 4 cancer. Everyone reminded me of this daily and how I shouldn’t go. I began to listen to them. However, God continued to gently nudge me. He told me to trust him. He told me that His plans for me were greater than my own, and that my small understanding of my circumstances can’t hold me back. I finally signed up after sitting in a coffee shop at school and reading a devotional on obedience to the Lord. Now that I am sitting here in Guatemala, thinking about all that God has already done, I can see why he told me to come.

During my first week here, my team took a bus and there was a young 18 year old Guatemalan man sitting behind me. I began to strike up a conversation with him and ask him about his life. I have never been super confident in my Spanish, but I believe God gave me the words. After a while of talking, I asked him about his religion, if he believed he was going to heaven, and if he knew Jesus. He said he didn’t know Jesus or believe he was going to heaven. After asking him if I could share my faith, I got to sit there and tell him in Spanish that Jesus wants to talk to him, wants to know him, to love him even when he feels like he doesn’t deserve it, and wants to spend eternity with him. I asked him what he thought about it all. He said he wanted to have this relationship with Jesus. We prayed together on that bus, and when I opened my eyes, I saw him crying. He finally felt the Love of Christ for the first time. If that man is the only reason I came here, it was worth it.

A couple days later, my group went on a prayer walk through a cemetery. Before we left, we prayed that God would lead us to the right people or place to pray, and I couldn’t shake that I saw a yellow bus in my head. Sometimes God speaks to us through colors or pictures, so I kept that in the back of my mind. The cemetery here is above ground, its huge, and there are a lot of Mayan sacrifices that take place here. When I walked into the cemetery, I could feel the darkness that surrounded the people and buildings there. A few girls and I walked near a black shack where people were burning sacrifices to the Mayan Gods, and when I saw that fire, my heart sunk. I felt so much sadness and pain because all I could see was the fire of hell, and I knew that those people didn’t know Jesus. We began to pray for those people and for God to somehow encounter them. After about 20 minutes a few ladies came out of one of the buildings. We talked with them for a while, and asked about their lives. They invited us to come back to their house and see the clothes their mom made. One of the ladies did have a large machete in her hands, but we still went. We ended up hanging out with them, dancing, trying on their clothes, and having a lot of fun. A little girl then cane running out with a big yellow bus on her shirt just like the one I saw when we were praying. At this point, I knew we were meant to be there. As they asked if we would buy something, a girl on my team said yes, but first let us share our faith. In that moment, we got to share the gospel in Spanish to about 10 Mayan people. People kept coming out of the woodworks and a small crowd formed. I can’t describe how it felt to be able to share the love of Christ with these people and have no fear. God gave us the words, and He worked in their hearts. We got to pray over all of them for their sicknesses, and it was an unforgettable experience.

Besides going on prayer walks and sharing the gospel, we have gotten to teach kids English at a school, pick up trash around the city, do a college and kids ministry, and so much more. God has taught me more than anything during this trip to trust him, and to be humble. He has taken my pride and brought me to my knees. He has brought an incredible community of women around me, and I could not be more thankful.

This verse is a verse that God has constantly been speaking to my team and I during this trip: Joshua 1:9
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

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