Day Two in Guatemala.
The hour drive from Antigua to the remote village of Chuluc winds through mountains and volcanoes. There could not be a more striking difference than the cobblestone roads of touristy Antigua and the dirt paths that weave throughout Chuluc. Under the narrow awning of La Escuela de Chuluc we gathered for worship. Songs sung in both spanish and english created a beautiful sound and then I preached.
The hours leading up to me standing in front of the villagers of Chuluc were filled with a mixture of emotions: fear, excitement, humility, reflection, unworthiness. How could I preach to them? What can I possibly say to a people living in such poverty? Honestly the overwhelming question floating around in my mind was, Who do you think you are?
It was a journey, a miniature journey in the middle of my larger journey here in Guatemala. The humility that I felt was holy and good. Humility comes from the Lord. The self doubt that I felt was evil and wrong. Self doubt comes from somewhere else!
Eventually I remembered my own journey in life. I remembered my darkest times and the grace of God pulling back into the light. God is a good God. I was humbled by the opportunity to preach, but God evaporated my self doubt. Because, at the end of the day, we are all in this crazy life together. We are all fighting against evil, all in need of forgiveness from sin, all of us eternally dependent upon the grace of God to speak us into existence.
Right before I began speaking our host Pastor Jorge said “Gloria de Dios.” Glory to God. I smiled. Because it is true. Glory to God.
So I preached, humble as I have ever been. I told the Jesus story of two builders. One of them builds his house on sand. The rain came down, the waters rose, and the wind beat against the house. The foundation was weak and the house fell. The second builder built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the waters rose, and the wind beat against the house. The foundation was strong and the house did not fall.
The only reason that I have not crumbled in this life is by the grace of God being my foundation. I hope everyone I have the honor to share the gospel with builds their foundation with Christ as well.
After the service, after we prayed over men and women that asked for prayer, we walked down a dirt path, in-between plots of vegetation and cornstalk huts. We stopped at a site that had been prepped for building a new house, a house that Locust Grove has paid for from it’s tithes. The new home will replace the crumbling home of Alfonso Perdoal. His ten children, wife, and mother live on dirt floor in a one room hut. They have three mattresses, some chickens, and rabbits. Their new home will have a concrete floor and keep them warmer in the winter months. At the construction site I was asked to bless the cornerstone of their home. I anointed with oil made from the rosemary outside of Locust Grove and prayed a blessing upon the foundation of their home.
Before the day was over, I sat on the floor of the home of Josephina Gomez. She’s 26 and very sick. Her husband wanted me to pray for her, so I did. I prayed for a lot of things; healing, strength, hope, mercy, life, joy, and freedom. I prayed and Jorge translated each word with elegance. And then I met her children. Beautiful, smiling little rug rats.
Pray for the health of Josephina Gomez, for the home of Alfonso, and for the life-foundations of so many people in need.
Humility is in abundance here in Guatemala.
Gloria de Dios.