Ahh, here we are again. Guatemala. A place that is very near and dear to my heart. I first went to Guatemala when I was 14 years old. The previous year God has rocked my world in the best kind of way, and I walked out of my first missions trip thinking – THIS IS WHAT I WAS CREATED FOR.
Not patiently waiting, basically dying of agony to go on another missions trip, 14-year-old Hannah was ready to “save the world” in Guatemala. Cause God told me I was going to be a missionary and I was going to save everyone, cause duh.
Almost TEN YEARS AGO (gross), that trip still means so much to me. Heck, every missions trip I have been on means so much to be. But it’s something about those beginning stages of walking in the purpose and destiny God has placed on your life, that means so much. I was so naive. I thought WAY too much of my own abilities to reach people. But I had a heart for God and I wanted to go wherever He called. Wanderlust is a real thing, and this chick caught the bug. And still, haven’t shaken it.
So fast forward to 2017 and we are back in Guatemala. I would have never thought as a 14-year-old chick, just being apart of the team, I would one day be leading the entire missions department of our church. As one of my favorite chicks *u know who u r ;)* in the world likes to say, “God is so nice!” Seriously so fun getting to live life with and for God. Try it. Promise it will NOT disappoint – stay the path and just stick it out.
I loved this team. Man, what a passion to tell anyone and everyone about Jesus. I don’t know about other people, but being in full-time ministry, I can get so caught up in doing the “things” of God, that I can forget to stop for the very thing God sent His Son to die for, which is people. I challenge and encourage you to stop for someone today. You never know how much they may need it.
That is what this team did in Guatemala. They stopped. They listened. They sat in homes. They prayed, wept, and rejoiced over people. We saw Jesus.
One moment that left me never the same was a home visit. We were in the process of building a family a house (which was SO FUN btw), and our host told me that we still had some food bags left over from the previous day and they had found a family that was in need of one and we could go give it to them if we wanted. IF WE WANTED?! Heck yes, we wanted!!
I grabbed some women and we jetted over there so quick.
It was a tiny community of houses, all linked together by tarps and metal scraps, but it was peaceful and you knew there was joy here.
We walked in and this family of 8 was living in a one room house. One room as in, the bedroom, closet, living room, dinning room, foyér, home office, laundry room, and kitchen all in a one room house.
We met the eldest daughter, Naomi. An 18 year old chick, which hopes and dreams of making something of herself one day. Her mom wasn’t there yet, because she was out selling cheese to make money for the family while the other kids were at school.
We stayed and waited for her mom, and as we did that we had small talk with Naomi – none of us knew barely any Spanish so we just let Carol (queen wonder woman translator of the world) do all the talking.
A few moments pass and we hear the running steps of Naomi’s mom come barging in. I mean, it was her house – she can barge in all she wants! We were the intruders, haha!
So we introduce ourselves and ask about her and her family and how they are doing. She slowly begins to open up about her life and some things she was struggling with. She shared that her husband is an alcoholic and left them. So it’s her and Naomi taking care of the rest of the kids.
A single mom of 8. Can you even imagine?
We give her the huge bag of food that has all different kind of things in there that will supply them for about a month. The Momma could not stop crying. She was blown away by the generosity of our team – which actually is the generosity of our church giving financially so we can do things like that. What I love is that when we gave it to her, Jamie (team member) said that this wasn’t from us, but God brought us here to give this to you. MORE TEARS CAME.
The Momma shared with us and said that she was praying JUST THAT MORNING that God would show her or remind her in some way shape or form that He would supply all their needs. She just needed a sign, a little thing, and BAM God brought us to her house to give her this GIANT bag of food. God is so nice. 😉
In that moment, it’s like my eyes were seeing God move for the first time. I’ve seen God move in miraculous ways, but her desperation and devotion to God blew me away and I left there thinking that I want a faith like that momma’s. God can do anything.
We asked her what her greatest need was and how we can pray for her right now. You know what she didn’t say? She didn’t say to pray for her to make more money or for them to live in a nicer house… she prayed that her children would come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. King of their hearts. Shepherd of their souls.
My mouth went to the floor. I couldn’t believe it. Because asking for God to bless you and give you wisdom to govern your finances is not wrong – AT ALL. But this woman knew where to place her eternal value . She wanted to see her kids have a relationship with Jesus just like she did.
Carol (queen of the world translator) turned and asked Naomi is she knew Jesus. Naomi shook her head. Then I started to get nervous. What is she says no? What is she is like “you freaks, get out of my house!!” All the doubts and fears of her saying no to Jesus flooded my mind. I hope you are laughing at the ridiculousness of that sentence – CAUSE IT IS RIDICULOUS.
EVEN IF SHE DID SAY NO (which she didn’t – hehe spoiler alert) – WE WERE OBEDIENT IN SHARING THE GOOD NEWS THAT JESUS HAS SAVED AND REDEEMED US ALL. There is a thing called planting the seed in someones life and it’s a real thing. So even if she did say no, we would have walked out of their with our heads held high knowing that we did all that we could do, and full of faith that God is doing to do all that he can do – which is soften hearts. He’s so good at it, and I am not. So I was going to let him do his thang.
So Carol shared her story. Her God written story of redemption. Naomi seems nervous. It was so precious.
Carol’s story was very similar to Naomi. A father consumed with addiction to alcohol. No father figure in their lives. Lost. Confused. Hurt. Angry. But Carol found Jesus. She found God as her Father. She found freedom and she found hope and is living in it. She literally is queen of the world in my book.
She told Naomi that God was offering that for her too. Hope. Freedom. If she wanted it, she would pray with her right now and watch Jesus come into her life.
Man – I knew God was smiling so big. He was so proud of Carol. I know it. Heck, I was about to get saved all over again with her story.
Naomi nervously, with tears in her eyes, said YES. Ugh – it was so awesome!! Letting Jesus come into your life and being King of your heart means laying down your own personal agenda for a much greater one with God. Nerves are natural. But she was obedient. God is honoring that!!
Carol prayed with her, we rejoiced and wept with them! It was an incredible thing! It was a miraculous thing! God was beginning to heal the broken areas in her heart!!
But what I love more than anything is her sweet momma weeping over the faithfulness of God in one short, random morning. Because let me tell you something, God hears. God knows. God is working e v e r y t h i n g out for YOUR good because He IS good. If it can happen for this precious Guatemalan momma, it can happen for you too!
When people say God will supply ALL our needs – they really mean it. Even the physically and spiritual and sometimes – it’ll all in the same hour. 🙂
Never the same!
Next up – HAITI (coming… idk when hehe)