Thursday, April 28, 2016

More than a helper, a “QUICK Helper!”

More than a helper, a “QUICK Helper!”
When we say, “Lord use me!”  Do we mean it?   Will we be obedient…even on short notice?  Today was not my average Thursday. Mrs. Baker, a teacher at Anchorage Christian Schools asked by best friend Mickey and I to speak to her ninth grade Bible class about our experience on our first missions trip to Guatemala.
In preparation for this speech/message, Mickey and I had one day to figure out not only what to say, but also how to keep 14 & 15 year olds interested in the information being presented. We were praying specifically all day for this to go smoothly and for God to give us wise words to say.  There was so much we could say and wanted to say, however, we desired to use the right words and stories to get the most out of this opportunity to share.  What could we say to compel these 14 & 15 year olds to desire their own mission trip, to simply have a desire to serve?
Here’s where the trouble began; right before the time came to get started on sharing, the slide show wasn’t working properly!  In that worry we began thinking of what else we could do, within three minutes of the first class arriving the slide show began to play without flaw!
We started out a little bumpy with our wording and getting tongue tied, but God gave us the peace of mind and a peace in our hearts, from then on the message went fantastic! My Lord was and is a Quick Helper and I am learning who He is every day.

The Lord came through, we spoke well with each other, sharing great heart felt stories of what we learned and answered questions from the students. We give Glory to God for the way today worked out, it wasn’t our doing. I am simply God’s hands and feet. (Jeremiah 3:23)  I pray I will continue to let what I learned in Guatemala not only serve me, but others.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Foreign in U.S.

Foreign in U.S.
Some of you might be thinking What! Shes not from the US?!”  Yes, I am…let me explain myself.  Have you had a group activity and noticed the new girl, or possibly you’ve been the “new” girl at school or even a church.  Have you ever felt as though didn’t belong?  Most of us would say “YES!” That feeling is what I’m trying to portray here.
It’s a challenge to get people to understand how 10 days in San Pedro could change me so much. When we landed in LA after leaving Guatemala the most treasured relief to being back in the United States was the ease of going to the restroom.   I know right! How odd!  In Guatemala, you’re not allowed to flush toilet paper… EWW!  Reason being, the sewage has metal spikes that intertwine together and when the water and waste go through, it can pass by.  However, when toilet paper goes down it gets caught and hangs on the spikes and soon piles up.  Our group, in a sense bonded over that difficulty.  When we landed, we were all in the same boat of transitioning from not flushing paper to being able to flush paper again!  We laughed and joked to point of tears.  It was difficult to adjust back to being allowed to do such acts that you were told not to do for almost two weeks!
For me another adjustment was speaking English and not having to use my own creative sign language to communicate. While shopping or talking with the locals of San Pedro, we became pros at hand motions.  The simple act of buying M&M’s® could have been mistaken for a short play.  Through conversations and our own little Spanish class at the end of each day, we became better at asking everyday questions in their language.
On a more serious note, the fact that I couldn’t have what I want when I want is something that I was starting to adapt to. This is another concept that is difficult for me to adjust back into is; is that everything is so abundant here in the United States.  That doesn’t seem like it should be a difficult concept to adjust back to, but it is.  It’s a huge blessing to be in America, yet living in the midst of such poverty helped me grow closer to the Lord.  The struggle is, growing closer to the Lord, when by all American Dream standards; we don’t “need” him.  
I found myself thanking Him for: Clean water, roads without potholes, trash cans, the people who clean our streets, ability to flush waste, and the laws that make boundaries for most, and even power tools!
Power tools didn’t even cross my mind on my way to Guatemala for something to be thankful for. Yet God taught me to appreciate the convenience of such stores and tools that can speed up sanding, painting, and washing.
While fixing up the clinic we started by doing everything with our bare hands (no gloves) or with simple tools that involved a lot of muscle and what we call “elbow grease” We washed with our hands, sanded with sand paper by hand, stacked heavy rocks by hand, mixed cement with such a tool that we might as well been using our hands. As a girl who has had power tools at her disposal, I am very grateful for such inventions.
The materialistic items are the easy things to say thank you for, because you can use them or see them. The spiritual lessons are the hard ones to figure out.  I can’t “see” what changed in my heart, and I can’t “touch” the change that happened inside me.  So to put it into words is challenging.  Let me attempt to do so. 
 The big picture of the change that happened inside me is, I have a bigger heart and more love to give.  However, I find myself disappointed at the complaints people give, they are such minimal inconveniences compared to what I witnessed in San Pedro. Those people have nearly nothing, yet are willing to give me, essentially a foreigner; a stranger, bread or ice cream.

The Guatemalans had such a Christ centered attitude. The level of Christ-like attitude and heart is SO inspiring and contagious that I pray that I could be blessed in such a way.  Honestly, what I realized is that we, whom have so much, are the needy people.  We have too much of all the wrong things.  For now, while my heart is still in Guatemala, and my body is here in the U.S.…my mission will be to figure out a way to live like I’m on a mission trip daily…needy for Christ.  GuateSquad