Guat in 12 Days!!!

Hey guys! This has been on my heart as we count down the days toward our trip.

Since I learned that I was going to go to Guatemala, God has really showed me that He has a plan for what is going to happen while we are down there. He has a plan for all of us while we are down there, He what will happen to us, good or bad. He knows who will hear the Gospel and ignore it, but also who knows the Gospel and take to heart and want to learn more about Him.

“No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.”

Luke 8:14 (ESV)

-Sydney

Quick Reminders

I just felt called to share a few verses that have been on my heart in preparations for the upcoming trip.

 

Romans 8:38-39 –

38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Phil 4:6 –

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Ephesians 2:8 –

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

Romans 12:1 –

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.

 

Remember to be constant in prayer and living in love, grace, and compassion.

 

We leave in 2 weeks from tomorrow! Can’t wait to see what the Lord is going to do.

 

-Hannah

Feb 11 Devo

This is going to be short but sweet…

 

1 John 4:18English Standard Version (ESV)

18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.

 

Guys lets love each other so much that we don’t fear what each other think about us if we mess up or fail. This kind of love is perfect love. We need this type of love and unity in our group…

 

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

 

Now I’m sure y’all have heard this one before. Remember that loving each other isn’t just a feeling. You can feel anger toward someone and still love them. Thats because love is an action and needs to be done not just a feeling.

 

39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

And finally guys… this is what JESUS says is the second most important commandment. I don’t know about you but to me that seems pretty darn important. So guys lets go on this trip and love one these children but also focus on loving one another and loving each other perfectly.

 

i know this is not the 11th but still… love has no limits right 🙂

-Davis

The Real You

From the numerous missions trips I’ve joined, I’ve discovered that I have often fallen into the trap of pretense and artificiality. I have gone on these trips needing to maintain an image of having it all together and doing the next best thing (known as pretense) and then come off the trip expecting people to see me as more spiritual for having gone on the trip (known as artificiality). May the words of A.W. Tozer be an encouragement and challenge to you as it has been for me:

Pretense is “the common human desire to put the best foot forward and hide from the world our real inward poverty. For sin has played many evil tricks upon us, and one has been the infusing into us a false sense of shame. There is hardly a man or woman who dares to be just what he or she is without dressing up the impression. The fear of being found out gnaws like rodents within their hearts. The learned man fears to meet a man more learned than he. The rich man sweats under the fear that his clothes or his car or his house will sometime be made to look cheap by comparison with those of another rich man.

“To all the victims of the gnawing disease (of pretense) Jesus says, “You must become as little children.” For little children do not compare; they receive direct enjoyment from what they have without relating it to something else or someone else. Only as they get older and sin begins to stir within their hearts do jealousy and envy appear. Then they are unable to enjoy what they have if someone else has something larger or better. At that early age does the galling burden come down upon their tender souls, and it never leaves them till Jesus sets them free.

“Another source of burden is artificiality. I am sure that most people live in secret fear that some day they will be careless and by chance an enemy or friend will be allowed to peep into their poor empty souls. So they are never relaxed. Bright people are tense and alert in fear that they may be trapped into saying something common or stupid. Traveled people are afraid that they may meet some Marco Polo who is able to describe some remote place where they have never been.

“Artificiality is one curse that will drop away the moment we kneel at Jesus’ feet and surrender ourselves to His meekness. Then we will not care what people think of us so long as God is pleased. Then what we are will be everything; what we appear will take its place far down the scale of interest for us. Apart from sin we have nothing of which to be ashamed. Only an evil desire to shine makes us want to appear other than we are.

“The heart of the world is breaking under this load of pride and pretense. There is no release from our burden apart from the meekness of Christ. To men and women everywhere Jesus says, “Come unto me, and I will give you rest.” The rest He offers is the rest of meekness, the blessed relief which comes when we accept ourselves for what we are and cease to pretend. It will take some courage at first, but the needed grace will come as we learn that we are sharing this new and easy yoke with the strong Son of God Himself. He calls it “my yoke,” and He walks at one end while we walk at the other.

“Lord, make me childlike. Deliver me from the urge to compete with another for place or prestige or position. I would be simple and artless as a little child. Deliver me from pose and pretense. Forgive me for thinking of myself. Help me to forget myself and find my true peace in beholding You. That You may answer this prayer I humble myself before You. Lay upon me Your easy yoke of self-forgetfulness that through it I may find rest. Amen.”

Taken from A. W. Tozer’s Pursuit of God.

David Crowder Song that sums this up Tozer’s challenge well:

22 DAYS!

Friendly reminder that we’re Guatemala bound in 22 days!!!

I’m not sure if any of you have read the book “Kisses From Katie”, but if you haven’t…I STRONGLY encourage you read it! I read it over summer and it set my heart on fire for missions. I picked a few quotes from the book that I think can be applied to us and our trip.

“People who really want to make a difference in the world usually do it, in one way or another. And I’ve noticed something about people who make a difference in the world: They hold the unshakable conviction that individuals are extremely important, that every life matters. They get excited over one smile. They are willing to feed one stomach, educate one mind, and treat one wound. They aren’t determined to revolutionize the world all at once; they’re satisfied with small changes. Over time, though, the small changes add up. Sometimes they even transform cities and nations, and yes, the world.”

“Lord, on the days where helping just one more person seems like too much, help me to choose you. On the days when Satan whispers ‘You can’t save everyone, why are you trying?’ let me choose you.”

I absolutely love these passages because sometimes I feel discouraged thinking about what little ole me CAN’T do opposed to what I CAN do and what I’m called to do.

“It may take place in a foreign land or it may take place in your backyard, but I believe that we were each created to change the world for someone. To serve someone. To love someone the way Christ first loved us, to spread His light. This is the dream, and it is possible.”

This passage stuck out to me because sometime I easily forget in the mess of my crazy, busy life that I’m called to love and serve people in my own backayrd and not just 2 weeks out of the year on a mission trip. It’s so easy to put aside other people when I have sturggled of my own, but that’s what i’m called to do and what I must do to live like Jesus would.

& lastly, for the worried parents (like my own) who just need some reassurance…

“We are not called to be safe, we are simply promised that when we are in danger, God is right there with us. And there is no better place to be than in His hands.”

I can’t wait to embark on this journey in just a few short weeks with all you precious people! 🙂

His Will, Not Ours

As we are a little over a month before heading to Guatemala, I’m excited for the amazing opportunities that the Lord has in store for us and for everyone that we are reaching out to, purposefully or not. This year, as I am returning to Guatemala, I have prayed constantly to be intentional with every action, thought, and word. I want to be filled with the Holy Spirit so I can be used to impact someone’s life. I can get caught up in the mindset of the ultimate goal being to change the entire village of Chinatal into a village declaring the Name of God. However, He may be sending me to impact one singular person’s life. And that would be it. Minimizing my plans, but maximizing His. So now I pray for His Will to be done and not mine. Wouldn’t we rather have the One who is Omniscient and Sovereign to choose what is best, rather than us who have a narrow perspective of what should and should not be done? That is where I will find my comfort and perseverance when I am discouraged and uncertain of my effectiveness doing His Work. Even though it may be subtle and unknown, His Plan is greater than I could ever imagine.

Proverbs 19:21 –

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”

-Hannah

February 1st

Follow me one step at a time. That is all I require you. In fact, that is the only way to move through this space/time world. You see huge mountains looming, and you start wondering how you’re going to scale those heights. Meanwhile, because you’re not looking where you’re going, you stumble on the easy path where I am leading you now. As I help you get back on your feet, you tell me how worried you are about the cliffs up ahead. But you don’t know what will happen today, much less tomorrow. Our path may take an abrupt turn, leading you far away from the mountains. There may be an easier way up the mountains than is visible from this distance. If I do lead you up the cliffs, I will equip you thoroughly for that strenuous climb. I will even give My angles charge over you, to preserve you in all your ways. Keep your mind on the present journey, enjoying my presence. Walk by faith, not by sight, trusting me to open up the way before you.

-Psalm 18:29, Psalm 91:11-12, and 2 Corinthians 5:7

  • this devotion was from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (day February 1st)
  • Skyler

 

you hem me in

“O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭139:1-5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“you hem me in”

if these words are comforting, I don’t know what they are.

we are so prone to fear. fear of what might happen. fear of failure. fear of rejection. fear of pain. fear of uncomfort. fear.

but we have no reason to fear because the lord “hems us in”. he protects us with his strong hand. he holds us tightly in his arms. he wraps us in his love.

these four words give me a great deal of comfort. I’m so thankful that I have a father and a savior who “hems me in”. who protects me. and promises the best for me because he loves me

next time were prone to anxiety and fear, just remember we serve a God who loves us so much that he “hems us in”. live in that peace and freedom today!

 

-Meredith

Faith, Trust, and Bible Stuff

In this day and age as middle-upper class Americans, it’s easy to fall into the trap of being complacent because of our lack of poverty. Often times, we feel like we don’t need God to take control of our lives, because we think we have it under control. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

“I am the vine, you are the branches. The one who abides in me while I abide in him produces much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

 

Jesus himself tells us that without Him, we wouldn’t be capable of anything at all. Even our talents are given to us by the Lord (see 1 Peter 4:10-11).  It therefore seems fitting to praise him and serve others with those talents, which is part of what we’ll be doing in Guatemala. But serving people who have a different culture than us can be intimidating, especially with a language barrier in the way. This is why it’s important to remember that God is in control. Apart from Him, we can do nothing, but with Him, we can do anything. We just need to have faith, and trust that God will be with us and guide us along the way.

 

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV)

His Presence

Psalm 139:7 -12
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.

It is amazing how quickly I forget or doubt the reality of this truth! Sure, I sense God’s majesty when I look at the mountains, or am in awe of His vastness when I look up at the stars. I feel especially close to him when I sacrifice something or serve in a way that is out of my comfort zone. Or, I feel a spiritual high after a great night of worship at an event. But, “if God is present at every point in space, if we cannot go where He is not, cannot even conceive of a place where He is not,” why do I not also sense a closeness to Him in the daily, mundane things of life? Does God intentionally hide himself for some reason?

Look back at Psalm 139, who is the one trying to run and hide? The truth is, I am the one hiding. I am the one fleeing from Him, and then I am surprised by the moments when I catch a glimpse of His Presence. God is always present. As a Christian, Jesus is always with me, since he dwells within me through His Spirit (John 14:18-20; 15:5-9). The problem is, I become so focused on life: my responsibilities, my family, my time on Netflix, trying to make a name for myself, that I forget that Jesus was with me the whole time. My problem is that I am so selfishly focused on me.

“To speak of being near to or far from God is to use language in a sense always understood when applied to our ordinary human relationships. A man may say, ‘I feel that my son is coming nearer to me as he gets older,’ and yet that son has lived by his father’s side since he was born and has never been away from home more than a day or so in his entire life. What then can the father mean? Obviously he is speaking of experience. He means that the boy is coming to know him more intimately and with deeper understanding, that the barriers of thought and feeling between the two are disappearing, that father and son are becoming more closely united in mind and heart…We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts.”

“O God and Father, I repent of my sinful preoccupation with visible things. The world has been too much with me. You have been here and I did not know it. I have been blind to Your Presence. Open my eyes that I may behold You in and around me. For Christ’s sake. Amen.”

All quotes are from A.W. Tozer’s Pursuit of God
Pence