The first day of my frist Missions trip. Book of Hope Day 1. Guatemala 2004.
Sunday, March 7, 10:00 PM
Today we got up fairly generic cialis 10mg early after a restful night of sleep. The day started with an introduction to all that The Book of Hope was doing around the world. It is amazing that there are so many receiving this book around the world. To hear the stories of how God has used so many people in so many ways is astonishing and just brings me joy that we serve such a perfect God who has everything under control. We then practiced our skits on the roof. I think we did a good job of going over everything again and executing well. I took many pictures and a few movies of our practice time. It seems that none of our team remembered to wear any sunscreen, so now just about all of us have redness to show for that. After practicing we went to lunch at Piccadilly’s in the city. The food was good; I am still happy that my digestive system still is in place and working well.
We came back from lunch ready to work on our testimonies. I thought I was ready for this, but after hearing some words of advice I decided I should revise mine. Much to my amazement this is pretty hard for me. I cannot seem to get my ideas out in a short concise form. I know I’m not generally good at articulating myself and that it takes me a long time to get a complete thought out. But this time, I was really struggling. I will be in front of many kids tomorrow, so I will be reviewing early tomorrow to make sure I have this down and ready. We then went over the logistics of exactly how we should conduct a school assembly or a classroom presentation. We then learned the ‘Hello Song’. This song is a corny song meant to get younger kids attention so that we can share the rest of the message we bring and eventually the book. Finally we rehearsed what an assembly session would be like if we were given 20 minutes to present our material. All in all it was a very productive day and I think we are almost ready for the real time – but the real time starts at 6:30 in the morning. So we better be ready.
After dinner, we were going to go to this location where we could overlook much of the city. We started off the ride very happy and joyous that the day was almost over and excited about the week ahead. We were singing bits and pieces of fun 80’s, oldies, and other songs that many knew the lyrics to during the ride. But then came a big change for everybody on the car ride. We were slowed down by many nationals using flashlights to direct our van. As we slowed and follow the flow of traffic we got a glimpse of what had happened. We first assumed a fender bender – a typical US occurrence. But as we approached we saw that there was a woman on the road. There was no ambulance or anything yet; I don’t even know how that is handled here. As we drove past I looked out my window to see the woman. At first I wished I hadn’t; I looked down on her. We were only feet away from her body. As we passed I saw her, her face turned so I couldn’t see it, but I what I did was incredibly sobering. I saw her in a pool of blood, her body was completely lifeless. It was apparent that she had been run over. The thought of her being in the road in the first place is astonishing. The way the people drive here is completely insane. The road lines are only a suggestion, if that. But this road was either some 6 or 8 lanes of traffic. At first I dismissed this scene as something I have seen on the TV, not real. This wasn’t a real woman. She didn’t have a real mother, or real children that will never see her again. This wasn’t a real life taken from this world unto where God only knows. The rest of the car ride up (about 15 minutes) not a word was spoken in the van. This is not something you see in the US , not something you even think about might happen. But seeing the way the roads are here, and then also the amount of people that cross these roads so often; I feel this is not something that is a rare occurrence.
We then get to the place overlooking Guatemala City and get out and look over the city. The topic of the woman is brought up briefly while some are taking pictures. We then start of singing some praise songs. As we being to sing, it finally hits me that the woman was a real woman with a real life. And most of all that God loves this woman. We are now singing ‘Beautiful One’ – a song I have sang many times. But this time every word echoes so strongly in me. “No heart can fully know”, “We will never know the price you paid up on that cross”. As I attempted to utter these words – “no heart can fully know” I was unable. I began to cry, I did not know why. I didn’t understand it, I cannot fully explain this. I began to feel the love that God has for me in a real sense. It was so intense; I couldn’t do anything but stand there and begin to cry. I had this feeling that God was showing me only a small portion of his love for me. He was letting me feel just a minuscule amount of how much love he has for me and for every soul on this earth. This was more than I have ever felt before, just a small understanding of the love that exists and the extent in which it exists. I then thought of the woman in the road, and I could feel so much how God loved that woman. How He sent his son Jesus to the cross to die, to feel all the pain in the world. I could just feel God’s heart breaking for this woman. I feel as though she wasn’t saved. I feel like God let me experience as much as He know I could handle. But that he wanted to show me and let me experience just a touch of how much he loves each and every one of us and how much his heart aches and the pain and heartbreak he experiences each time he loses one of us to death. It took all of my strength to keep standing there. I couldn’t stop crying no matter how hard I tried. The rest of the group was singing and praying during this time. At the end I was able to regain my composure. But I still can feel the intensity of love that Jesus has for us. And then the complete and utter heartbreak he endures each time somebody dies who has not accepted the wonderful gift of life.
I hope that I will never forget this experience for it was truly sobering and moving. The feeling of unconditional, true, and unshakable love that God has for us is something I need to remember each and every day of my life. I now want to show the kids we will be visiting the love Jesus has for them. If they can see just even a small portion of what I saw, they will know without any doubt that He loves them and always will.
Kathy: John 14:12-14. Faith – we must approach God with complete faith that he will do what he ask. Jesus promises us that we will do great things just like He because of our faith in him. We need to understand that God promises to do what he ask when we ask in complete faith. Many times we ask God to do something in our lives but do not expect him to do it. Then we get disappointed that God didn’t answer our prayers. When we are in God’s will and are confident in Him, we can approach and ask God and he will answer us with joy.