as we drove in a warm, crowded van from the airport to the house we would call home for the next week, i tried desperately to take in every detail of what was passing by my window. i had seen that kind of poverty before in ethiopia, but somehow the miles of tin shacks and the scenes of young, wandering children still took my breath away. it’s normal there, but normal doesn’t equate to easy or right.
but after just minutes of observing those same children – many of whom were malnourished and sick – an astonishing reality burst its way onto the scene. despite lacking most of what we, as americans, would view as vitally important and necessary, these little ones weren’t at all miserable. in fact, they were so unmiserable that i would dare call them happy.
one way ministries and its partner church, iglesia jerusalen, have an incredibly unique relationship with several of the schools in guatemala city and the surrounding villages in which the doors to the schools are open virtually anytime for the church and volunteers to come in. in just the few hours we were there each day, we were able to get ourselves whooped in soccer, we played tons of games, and we even had a couple of dance-offs.
but apart from the good news of jesus christ’s death and resurrection, all the fun and games would simply be a meaningless waste of time. the team carefully and diligently wove the truth of the gospel into each interaction, and we left exhausted but with full hearts, knowing that every child there heard that god loves him so much that he sent his only son to take the penalty of sin upon himself on the cross.
as you join us in prayer for the schools in guatemala city and the surrounding villages, please remember to pray in these ways:
1. that the younger children would hear the gospel and choose to submit their lives to the lordship of christ at a young age.
2. that the children in older grades would also come to know christ and that they would make wise choices and use their growing independence and gifts for god’s glory.
3. and finally, please pray for the teachers that work with these kids each day. as many of you well know, theirs is a hard job, made far more difficult by a tremendous lack of resources (as evidenced by the school’s “kitchen” shown below). pray that, where needed, they would be receptive to the gospel that they heard throughout the week and that they would use their position of influence over those precious little hearts and minds to continually point children to christ.
“jesus said, ‘let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'” matthew 19:14