A wonderful ministry trip for the Sunset Church of God short term mission team, Oct. 4-11, 2014
Under the strong leadership of Carson and Linda Daves, the first team out of Asheboro, N.C. to serve with Hearts for Heaven in Guatemala arrived two hours ahead of their hostess, Beth Briggs. Beth’s late arrival was due to a much needed back surgery for Roger that had been scheduled just two days ahead of the teams’ arrival. The team settled into their temporary home for their week, Las Casas, and were given a wonderful time of spiritual food the following morning at Fraternidad Cristiano.
Shortly after this time, the team experienced quite a cultural shock when we climbed the challenging washed out road into the squatter settlement, La Primavera. Praise God, the permanent paving stones have been laid for approximately 200 yards at the top of the main road in! Here we began the first of many Vacation Bible School times with the children God brought our way.
In the early stages of a flight abroad and the mix of a language most on the team are unfamiliar with, ministry seems a bit awkward, with unknown results. In the middle of this mix comes song time in Spanish, prepared Bible lessons and the fun of doing a craft…. not to mention candy at the door. Bingo! Communication began between the children we serve and team members: Carson and Linda Daves Sylvia Farlow, Ken and Stephanie Hatcher and their two children, Cameron and Jaxson.
Four more times of VBS followed there at La Primavera Monday and Wednesday. The children loved it and sometimes came to two VBS sessions in one day! Walter began our time with personal sharing that touched us all deeply. From there, he led us each morning up the streets of La Primavera to visit in the homes of the wonderful children that we minister to. They have so little and yet, they are quite content.
Both Tuesday and Thursday we ventured out to communities we serve in the rural areas of Guatemala. Each opportunity offered us a new group of children in which to share the love and hope of Jesus Christ. In one of these communities, San Antonio Buena Vista, Pastor Walter felt that 12 – 24 children responded to the call to come forward to ask Jesus in their hearts. In our home visits with Walter, another four individuals gave their hearts to the Lord.
We are often reminded that ministry is not measured in numbers. However, we are aware that folks very much want to know that there are positive results in a ministry like Hearts for Heaven. In the end, we are reminded that although we prepare to serve the Lord, we’re not teaching lessons, we’re teaching people! Also, if people don’t know how much we care, they couldn’t care less about how much we know.
Other teams like the Asheboro ministry team came to Guatemala prepared to teach “the least of these” by caring to take time out of their busy schedules and share God’s love. May the Lord see in each of us the desire to reach out daily and care for those He places in our paths!