I had the chance to witness one of the most precious things last night. It was during the send-off service for our Operation Central America trip. Each team had a chance to share their prayer requests and then all of the parents and supporters of the teams came up to lay hands on the teams and commission them. The commissioning involved a time of prayer. What I heard was awesome. One dad prayed, with tears in his eyes and voice quivering for his son. He thanked the Lord for the incredible opportunity that his son had to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others. I loved hearing the passion in the voice of that dad. He communicated love in a way that his son will never understand until he is a dad too. Another dad prayed passionately in Spanish. His son went as a student last year, and goes as a leader this year. The dad made sure that his son grew up to know other languages, and was so proud of what his son was doing. He gave a dignified and most appropriate gift to us when he prayed in the native tongue of the land where we not stay. Thanks to all of the parents and supporters who made this trip possible, and who showed love in such tangible ways last night. Keep praying for us!
You know, we really serve an incredible God.
I am writing from a computer room in a seminary in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Our plane landed about three hours ago, and it has been a long, but very good day. All 59 of us have our bags, our ministry bags, and great attitudes. I could not have been more proud of our students today. They had great attitudes, made God look good wherever they went, and all seem very excited about what lies ahead.
I was not really sure I would be feeling this good about twelve hours ago. We were supposed to leave from door number five at Wooddale Church at 12:45. I was finishing up a few last minute things in my office and got to the door right at 12:45. I found 58 people ready to leave, over 100 parents, and no bus. We had triple checked everything with our bus company to make sure that the bus would be at Wooddale at 12:30, but there was no bus there. I phoned the bus company and they could not find our driver. God was good. We had enough parents present, with vehicles to drive the entire team to the aiport. We had more than enough time to board the plane, and my wife Cyndi reminded me that maybe God had something important planned for the money that we would have spent on the bus to take us to the airport. Our eyes will be open.
We flew from Minneapolis to Houston, and then from Houston to Guatemala City. We had one student who had never flown. It was fun to watch his reaction to the flights.
We will be leaving early tomorrow morning for the six hour ride to the rain forest of Campur, Guatemala, where we will have no access to cell phones or the internet. So, my next entry will be on Thursday, at the earliest. The weather here is rainy. It has been raining for the past week, and they do not expect it to let up. If you pray, please pray for safety for us, especially the service team as they hike to their construction locations. Pray for team health, for team unity, for strength, and pray for the church services that will be taking place this week. I will be preaching in Campur tomorrow night. The sermon will be translated from English to Spanish, and from Spanish to Queche Mayan. The total time of the service will be near three hours. Pray that our students will have enough energy to make it through, and that they will have enough energy to use the gifts that God has given them to be a blessing to others.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the safe trip that you have given us. Protect us. Use us as your hands and feet in this land. Teach our students through the beautiful people of Guatemala and Honduras. Help our students to understand and know You better because of the time that they spend here. Help them to be more like Jesus every day. In the precious name of Jesus, amen.