Swing Away

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Well, it happened again, I encountered another bout of homesickness.  It took me a day or two to recognize it but in the end, I’m glad it happened.  It all started Thursday when we watched a movie with some friends.  The movie is called Home Run, a movie made to highlight the healing power of the Celebrate Recovery program, a ministry that we were deeply involved with in the states and that we are trying to help our church in Guatemala implement and expand.  Watching the movie made me really miss our Friday night meetings back home.  The familiar faces, the crazy pastor, the small groups where we got to openly share our struggles, and everything that went with it.  Even the familiarity of the United States in the movie moved me with emotion.

I am slowly understanding more and more why it was strongly recommended that we stay here for our first two years without returning home.  Aside from the fact that we are now in our visa process and would have to submit a special application to leave the country in order to preserve the process, it would be really easy to go back to the United States and get comfortable again with our previous lives and not want to come back.

Saturday we celebrated Kids’ Day with our church and joined the 150ish kids for a few hours while they played games, enjoyed a clown act, and eventually destroyed a piñata. The time was priceless.  Missy helped out with a short class for the mothers that were there and in the end at least one woman came forward and brought about the discussion of a need for a women’s help program and they were able to announce to the women (which was unplanned, by the way) that the church would be starting Celebracion de Mujeres, the women’s version of Celebrate Recovery in the coming months.  Afterwards, Missy overheard some women talking about the start date so they would remember to come.  There was also a woman, after hearing the lesson about how to be a Godly woman, who decided to rededicate her life to Christ!

Meanwhile I sat and fought back tears as I watched 2 professional clowns engage the kids and teach them about the love of Jesus Christ.  It was as if God was breaking my heart all over again for Guatemala.  I felt overwhelmed with emotion as they taught the kids about how to resolve conflict, how to love each other, and how not to put “garbage” in their hearts because it makes them unhappy people.

2 children from the crowd stood up to recognize Jesus as their Savior.

2 children from the crowd stood up to recognize Jesus as their Savior.

Missy, being the wonderful counselor she is, reminded me of the very thing I was missing. Expanding the church’s Celebrate Recovery program is exactly what God showed us is what we are here to help with and what the leader of the Celebrate Recovery program here asked us to help with.  On Sunday, the pastor spoke about true faith.  He mentioned Noah’s unwavering faith of 120 years as he built a boat he didn’t know how to build.  He reminded us of Abraham’s faith to journey to a foreign land even though everything around him looked as if the following generations (at the time he had no children) would indeed not inherit the land. He preached about God’s faithfulness to us as long as we trust Him at His word.  As I sat and listened to the lesson, a flood of ideas and thoughts came to mind about how to help the church grow it’s Celebrate Recovery ministry to disciple and encourage men to be who God designed them to be.

It is our times of hopelessness and struggle and frustration that God uses to show us His faithfulness in our lives.  It amazes me that regardless of how much I study and teach about these things, when I get caught up in my own emotions, I easily forget how wonderful He is and that it isn’t up to me to accomplish these things on my own, rather to fully rely on God and He will lead the way.  I’m grateful for people in my life like Missy as well as those from the CR program who are always there to remind me of the Truths of God when I tend to get mixed up in the lies of the world.

5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:5-7)

 

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