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Understanding the Mission

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(I hope you guys are able to comment now, somehow I can't get it to work.)

Perhaps it is about time I start writing about my first mission trip to Guatemala. A dear friend gave me a phone call the other day and mentioned my blogs; he’s been patiently and kindly waiting to hear more about my trip. I have been home for about two months now from Guatemala, and I think it is due time to divulge some of my experiences and inner most thoughts on where my faith took me August 2008.

While it wasn’t the second coming of Christ, it was the first experience of Christ in many of the lives I encountered. Nor was it so horrible and nightmarish to come an inch worth comparing it to the new Rambo movie! But I will say that my ideas of what mission work was like were off – and so were my fears.

As Christians, we are sometimes the only way people get to experience who Christ is. It is the Holy Spirit living in us and moving through us that people see. In our walk, Christ should be so alive in us that He is all the world sees when they view us. A lot of times we think of Christ, and we think of the huge miraculous things He did. This is fine, because we cannot forget the mighty power at work in Christ. But we cannot forget His human side. A pastor that I know explains it thus: “Christ wasn’t so Heaven bound that he wasn’t no Earthly good.” What I am saying is that we cannot forget what Christ would have us do: “To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction…” James 1:27

When Christ walked the Earth, He did not set Himself up and apart from the needy nor flaunt His royalty. He served with love and humility the broken and needy. He touched the untouchable (Matthew 8:1-4) and loved where it seemed there could be no love. He went where ever the Father commanded Him.

To be like Christ was our job in Guatemala. Our job was to love and to serve and to do whatever God willed us to do.

It would seem that my life is only subtlety different because the changes that have taken place are not of the physical kind. It seems easiest to talk about the down time I had in Guatemala where mission work was not on the list of things to do those days. But my favorite days are not those which I hiked up volcanoes, bartered for my hammock or went zip lining down a tropical valley. My favorite days are those which are the hardest to talk about.

Of the reasons that I do not like to talk about Guatemala is that my words do not do the experience of God’s work any justice at all. To what may seem so small of actions to the world, were the biggest blessings and miracles to the littlest of children and to the poverty stricken families, and even to the team itself.

Before I left to Guatemala, my vision of missionary work was based solely on the ideas of constructing houses, bringing babies back from the dead and huge-crowd evangelism. While these things are definitely not bad, the mission field I experienced was quite different than what I had given myself over to believe. The entries following this one will explain selected experiences and I will try my best to share with you the story of God’s work in La Gomera, Guatemala City, the lives of the Guatemalans, the team, and even myself. God was so multi-faceted and always at work on so many different levels. We came to teach, serve and to love, and we were also taught, served and loved ourselves. I think that this mission trip was not just an opportunity for God to use me to aid others, but for Him to help me grow a little further into the person He would have me be. If I was a quiet person before Guatemala, perhaps today I am even a little further more introspective in some regard, and a lot louder in other areas where it counts.

You will not find me boasting of what we did to serve God’s people. I don’t like talking about the trip because I would hate for people to think that we’d want any credit for what God has done. In being humble I am perhaps not sharing the fullness of what God has done, but I will break the ice with an article following this entry, written by Ami, the missionary we met in Guatemala who aided us in more ways than we can thank properly. Her article was written shortly after our team returned to the States. It is her view on the two week long trip. After the article is posted, I will introduce the team and get into specific details from my trip.

I pray you will be blessed by reading and that God gets all the glory from what I write. It may not seem like we did anything huge, but as long as we touched hearts and lives, it was all worth it. As Ami said, “They came to love, and that was enough.”


  1. Virgil's Avatar
    Well, you got me hooked to reading your blog.
  2. mtpspur's Avatar
    It has been a joy to know there are people that God has raised up and given a servant's heart to do His will and seek not their own glory. Looking forward to more. Love Rich