Do not be afraid of sudden panic, for the Lord will be your confidence. Proverbs 3:25,26
Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Ephesians 6:10
Guatemala, Day 3: It’s been quite an experience here in Guatemala City and surrounding areas. Yesterday we visited Piedras Vivas (“Living Stones”) Church in Quetzal, Guatemala – about an hour away (through very heavy traffic). The church has a drop-in ministry that engages about 100 children and their families. Pastor Saul and his wife Esabel Chay have such a heart for children. She shared at one time her deep exhaustion and prayer to God at one time during the early stages of their work there. “Why do I care for these children? They’re not mine. I don’t have the energy. I just want to leave.” They had no facility, little help, and more needs than resources. But, she told us, God would not let her leave. They were in her heart and there was no way she could turn her back and walk away from them.
They currently operate a Saturday afternoon children’s program as well as a Sunday morning worship and Sunday School ministry. They teach the children Bible passages, songs and dances, and art. On the day we were there they recited Matthew 19:14 to us in unison, “Entonces Jesús dijo:—Dejen que los niños vengan a mí, y no se lo impidan, porque el reino de los cielos es de quienes son como ellos.” (Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”)
The tin roof and sides of the 2500 square foot building echoed with their songs and laughter. We took soccer balls, sidewalk chalk, sticker books candy and other gifts for the children. An art context yielded some delightful chalk drawings on the concrete floor of the building.
Both Pastor Saul and Esabel have a huge heart for these children. They are doing a good work for the cause of Jesus’ reign and rule in the hearts of these children. They embody the idea of these verses: Their strength is in the Lord. He is their confidence.
What a lesson for me! As is usually the case, whether it’s a mission trip or a vision trip such as this to see the ministries and opportunities and what God is already doing in places like Piedras Vivas, I come away encouraged, inspired, and a little guilty. More often than not I rely on God’s strength as a backup to mine. I’m probably not alone in that, and pray that we who call Jesus Lord would more often have that as a first resort!