Monday, July 30, 2012

What I've Learned

 May 2008
I started going to Casa Aleluya in Guatemala over four years ago. I went for the first time a few weeks after I graduated high school. Back then, I not only was different, it was before my face surgery and I even looked different. Guatemala changed me that year and I've never been the same.

When I went for the first time, I fell in love with not only the kids, the small part of their culture that I experienced, but with the idea that maybe I could be helping someone who really needed it. I know that there are a lot of people here in the United States that I could/should help, but God called me elsewhere. And in the "global" culture that the internet has allowed us to have, I know it's okay for me love serving there. I can't forget about the people in the United States, but I'm not scared of the people who wag their pointer fingers at me and say, "You need to serve in the US!"

I also know that the children at Casa Aleluya are very well taken care of. I know that they have people there who love them. And that's part of the reason I love going back. They see my face again and know that once again, I've taken time and money out of my life to invest into theirs, and I get to become one of the people that they share their life with.

But for the kids who don't know me, I am not there for a special type of friendship. I'm there to serve them. Whether it's painting their building, scrubbing the floors, sewing a curtain, or just cleaning out the fridge in the visitor's building, I am there to enrich their lives. And for all of the long-term missionaries there, it's my greatest privilege to bring them cake mixes so that they can bake a cake for their kids. And it's my greatest privilege to do whatever they ask, because they are the ones left to love those kids long after I've returned to work at my desk and sleep in my own bed.

As I have gone to Casa Aleluya over the years, I look back and see the places where I could have given more. But I mostly remember the incredible times where I've seen the Lord at work in the most common of places and common of conversations. And I remember the number of people I personally know who have been transformed by serving for a week. As we engaged in serving together, not only did they grow, but their relationship with the Lord took a much deeper dive. Everything became a joy to do and every experience deepened their appreciation of the extensive work that God did in creating each of His children as different people. And when we see the face of God (since He created us in His image) in the broadest of spectrums, we can't help but worship and be in awe of the expanse that is our infinite God. 

So in October, I'm hoping to lead another group of servants to Casa Aleluya. I can't wait for what the Lord is going to do. I'm praying that we will all learn more about ourselves, the Lord, His people and our relationship with Him as we go to serve some of the most precious people in the world. You don't have love the kids the same way that I do, but I bet you will. You don't have to love every moment of the week, but I bet you will. You don't have to be the best dirt mover around, but I bet you'll try. You don't have to be perfect at the tasks assigned to you, but I bet you will. Because you'll be "working as unto the Lord." All you have to do is be open to the Lord's calling and to the work that He wants you to do. He will guide and direct, and we will be blessed by the way He is moving in Casa Aleluya.

Here are the songs we did in NewSong on July 22nd,
"Lay Me Down" by Chris Tomlin from Passion:White Flag
"God is Able" by Hillsong from God is Able
"Lord, I Need You" by Chris Tomlin from Passion:Awakening
and for the offering song, (and absolutely one of my favorites!)
"Fires" by Matt Redman from his album 10,000 Reasons (a great album)

If you were in NewSong yesterday, July 29th, Jim talked about not being able to sustain our own passion for the Lord. He talked about how only the Lord can sustain that. The song we did on the 22nd for offering, "Fires", is a great song about that idea. It says, "God who keeps our fires burning/.../You can move the highest mountain/You can keep our dreams alive/You're the joy of our hearts/and You're the fire in our eyes." How true is that of us! Only God can keep our dreams from being smashed and only He can put that fire in our eyes. That zest for life and unmovable joy can only be traced back to Him and His fountains into our lives!!

On the 29th we worshiped together, singing:
"All My Fountains" by Chris Tomlin from Passion:White Flag"Awakening" by Chris Tomlin from Passion:Awakening
"You Alone Can Rescue" by Matt Redman from Passion:Awakening
"Set Free" by Chris Tomlin from Passion:White Flag
and for the offering song, JD helped me out with
"Steady My Heart" by Kari Jobe from Where I Find You

By looking at that set list, you can certainly tell who I've been worshiping with over the past few weeks!!! All of those albums and artists are incredible and if you're looking for someone to listen to, they are the worship folks!!!

I sincerely hope that you will think, pray and talk about coming to Guatemala with us in October. It's a great week of service and fellowship. An informational meeting will be this Sunday (August 5th) after the 10:40 services, in the gym. You aren't committing, but you can bring your questions and learn a little bit more about what will happen on the trip!
Please feel free to email me any time (before we leave in October, of course!) about going with us! We'd love to have you join,  even if you are reading this in September!
My email is and I always love it when you all drop me an email!!
Have a great week!

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