Wednesday, June 24, 2009

No puedo esperar para Guate!!

I can't wait for Guatemala. For those of you that don't know, I'm going with The Village to Guatemala this September. Words can't begin to tell you how excited I am. I have been wanting (and trying) to go to Guatemala for.....about 3 years now. People keep asking me why that specific country. I honestly don't know why. When I was at DBU I hung out with my Japanese girls constantly. Because I love Japan, people expect me to go back there. Although I do love Japan and the Japanese people, and going back would be great, that's not where my heart is. I've never been one to have a passion for a specific people group. God gave me the gift of compassion, so naturally, if I hear about a need, I want to go there. But there are needs EVERYWHERE. Down the street and around the corner, there are 60 children whose needs have to be met by people other than their parents. If I walked down the street about 6 blocks, there are more than 34,000 people who are looking to anything from drugs and alcohol to boyfriends and girlfriends to meet their needs. People here and overseas are living on less than $1 a day, fighting for survival. In Japan there are well over 34 million people worshipping over 8 million different gods, looking for their needs to be met. In Guatemala, about 2/3 of the population lives in poverty, and unfortunately there is a very controversial baby-selling business that has been going on for several years now (I found this after I had to write a 20 page paper over interracial adoption). In Mexico, thousands are being robbed and murdered and the entire country is being turned upside down and run by drug cartel. There are needs EVERYWHERE.

So I have been asked, why Guatemala? Why do you need to go there when there are needs right here in America? Well, this is true. There are needs in America. It really wasn't until I moved to Denton that I realized this. I am so thankful to go to a church that pushes and challenges its body to live missionally ( because it's biblical). Because of my good friend and pastor at the Denton campus, Beau, he really challenges us to love our city, to have broken hearts for our city, and to meet the needs of our city because God has placed us here as missionaries. Every week after we take the Lord's Supper, we are always told, "Go out as missionaries this week." Although I've been frustrated at first for the past three summers because I've wanted to go to Guate, God told me differently. I want you to be a missionary here. But I'm here ALL the time. I want to go somewhere else. But everytime He was faithful to continue to break my heart for the city He placed me in, to love and meet needs here. And I have so loved and enjoyed my summers here. I wouldn't change that. And I know He has used these summers to prepare me for September now. And now I understand why He wants me to go in September. It's a long story but some things have changed with our church and the connections we had in one city in Guate. Used to, they went and worked in the orphanage all day and then went back to wherever they were staying. But guess what? Now, we are going to be living at the orphanage for a week. Eating, sleeping, laughing, loving, teaching, playing, with them 24/7. And on top of that, I get to meet my little girl AND her parents that I sponsor through Compassion. We've been writing letters back and forth and I can't wait to meet her!! I don't know why He broke my heart for Guatemala. It was so random to me too. Some of us are senders (support financially), some of us are prayer warriors, some of us are connectors (linking and partnering overseas), and some of us are goers. I don't know why He asked me to be a goer. I didn't ask to be one. In fact, I distintcly remember being about 7 years old and hearing a missionary family in church (the way it was presented was not good) and telling God, "I will never do that. I will never go anywhere." I can just hear Him going Haha. Oh really. We'll just have to see about that. And I remember sitting in the Rainbow service at Super Summer when I was 15 and feeling that calling to go somewhere, and fighting it saying, "But I can't eat weird food. And I've never been so far away from my family before. And I can't speak their language. No, surely you're not asking me. I told you I didn't want to do it. Please don't make me." And He made me. And now I'm hooked. I think because of the love I have for orphans and traveling internationally, in some way, I will always be a goer. But I've been blessed to see friends go and me stay, and although that was hard and different, I really loved both sides. So pray for me and my team of 12 as we prepare for Guate. Go out as missionaries this week.

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