We had been invited to come by a group of churches in the area which wanted to support our ministry through a benefit concert. What you need to realize is this town is one of the poorest in the area, and many of the people barely make it. When there is no sugar cane to be harvested, many have no work. And they were concerned about Casa de Esperanza.
I had met Pastor Gonzalee at a Quincinera of a friend's daughter last May. All our guys had been invited and he got to meet them. He is connected with a group of churches in Esquintla, one of which is pastored by Brenda's (our house manager) dad, Roberto. So there are natural Guatemalan connections which brought about this amazing night.
I had no idea that two of the singers would come from so far away.
Both these young men paid their own transportation, and Pastor Gonzales provided housing for them.
Toward the end of the concert, those in attendance were invited to give an offering of food to be used at Casa de Esperanza. I sobbed as I watched these folks who have so little share what they did have with us. I wondered what their families would be going without so that they could bless us. I have never felt so humbled as I was by this outpouring of agape (Christian love).
I couldn't help but be convicted as I remembered the widow's mite. How often have I given of my excess and felt righteous and generous. These people were giving from their own resources without a second thought. I have often said that it is the poor who are the most generous. Once again I have seen this first hand, and have been broken by the experience.
|This is how many traveled, on a rainy night, |
to come to bless Casa de Esperanza
My prayer of thanksgiving
Father God, I come to you broken and humbled by the experience of last night. I can't begin to thank you for the many blessings we received. First, thank you for the willingness of the Guatemalan churches, our brothers and sisters in Christ, to love on our guys and partner with our ministry. I have long desired to find a way to make this ministry more "national" and less North American, and I praise you and thank you for doing this, as only you could. May our partnership glorify your name and reflect even more the love of Jesus and the presence of your Holy Spirit among the Christ-followers in this country.
Father, I thank you and humbly ask you to bless each of the people involved in the concert last night, from those who arranged for the hall, who brought the sound equipment, who sang, who prayed, who gave you glory. Let their light sign even more strongly in the darkest places of this nation.
Finally, I ask you to bless those who have so little and yet brought what they could to support and bless our ministry. I was humbled to see the Body of Christ being just that, your tangible presence here on earth. Thank you for these generous people, multiply the little they have to sustain them and their families.
Thank you for once again for once again allowing me to experience your presence in your people, and the hundredfold you have promised in Matt. 19:29 to those who have left home and family and friends to follow where you lead. Thank you for this life you have given me. In Jesus name, Amen