In the midst of doing God's work, building houses, feeding programs, prayer meetings, children's ministry, working at the special needs hospital, medical clinics, homeless outreach..... God is Huge. and Satan is angry.
The past two weeks have been trying, challenging, tiring, stressful, full of pain, and spiritual warfare. The details of the past two weeks would take weeks to explain and would accomplish no good if I were to re-tell the story. I do not wish to retaliate through re-telling the wrongs done;
"For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God... if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps..When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly."1 Peter 19-23
This has been the most challenging week since I've been here in Guatemala. Satan has taken notice of what we are doing here, and he is angry; he has been attacking. I have been physically, mentally, and emotionally drained. I have cried more in two weeks than I have in years.
However, while I feel so empty on almost every level; my spirit is full and is praising the Lord. I am thankful to suffer for doing good; knowing that God is working in me to develop perseverance; and is refining me. As I watched the world fail me, I felt God holding me. As many people know, I no longer an earthly father other than my stepfather (who is wonderful). However, I know deeply rooted in the heart of every girl is the desire to run to her daddy when she falls down, when someone hurts her, when she is scared, when she is desperate for help. As I have been in this darkness and trial, the joy that has come from the comfort and love of my Father God has been a joy that has surpassed all understanding. Sitting on the kitchen floor on Saturday with Grace (the other intern), Sonia (the lady I live with), and Antonio (Sonia's husband who is a pastor); all of us crying and praying.... crying and praying.... for 7 hours we cried and prayed. In the midst of the sadness and turmoil, even though tears streamed downed my face, my soul was at peace for I knew that God was near. I was so upset but had joy deep in my heart because I knew God was working. He promised me that he was in control. He continually reminded me that he loved me; that I was only a child, a child of God, and that he would protect and defend me.
I can't imagine this world without that joy and hope. When everything in you wants to quit.... when you feel helpless and small..... when you literally have nothing left...... there are two options: to see the agony and depression of yourself in this situation; or to see the joy in knowing that in my weakness God is huge. When I was younger, I used to always carry around so much pressure and stress. When things like this happened to me; I felt like I couldn't take another breath. How sweet it is to have someone to carry this burden for me.... a father who loves me and carries me when I can't walk.
God is more than sufficient for me. As things have been crazy, I have had the blessing to sit back and watch God work. He is in control. And I am already smiling watching his plan unfold, his good and perfect plan. From the moment I raised my head from prayer, God answered in wonderful and unconceivable ways. He began to unfold a new plan that is even better than the first. For the next two weeks, I will be able to return back to the trash dump and work with the people there. God (not by coincidence) has allowed this all to happen in perfect timing; Allie is arriving on Saturday. God also put other people, members of the body, in my path to help me. the family that I am living with has provided me with the wisest council, with love, support, understanding, and has always been quick to defend me. Grace Hasha, the other intern here, is a gift from God and my spiritual soul mate; I thank God EVERY time I think of her and I can't imagine this experience without her in it. Carlos, one of the guys who has been working with us, has spent hours praying with us and for us; has defended us against anyone who opposes us, and has shown us a beautiful and wonderful example of what it means to give your entire life and heart to Christ. My friends and family in the States have allowed God to use them to speak to me across the miles; have fought for me in prayer and with words of encouragement; and have wrapped me in love even when I don't deserve it. Pastor Saul and Layla.... (the minister and his wife from the church that Lakewood supports) have given loved and supported me, believed in me, prayed for me, and never asked questions- when I called them to ask for help, them immediately dropped everything and said, "We are coming to get you. We know you heart, we know you, we believe in you, we love you. You don't have to explain anything. We want you here with us." Wow.... I can't wait to see what the next few weeks holds. I know God is working. I know God is calling.
"For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God... if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps..When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly."
1 Peter 19-23
1 Peter 4: 12-19
12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And,
“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”[a]
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”[a]
19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
1 James 2-4
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Dios Te Bendiga- God Bless you!
p.s.- There are a LOT of huge updates that I need to share with everyone but I am still trying to work out the details! God has called me somewhere.... :) God is good!