Monday, July 13, 2009

It has begun...

Eleven days later the Lord has been faithful. Spanish. New Family. 4 new siblings. A new set of parents. Spanish. Completely new foods. New school. New teachers. Spanish. New methods of transportation. New methods of shopping. New climate. Spanish. New city. New faces. New clothing. Spanish.

He is still sitting on His throne. When I landed in Guatemala city and no one was at the airport to pick me up He was still sitting on His throne. When I got to my new house and realized that no one in my new family spoke a word of English He was still sitting on His throne and he whispered “I am the God of your tongue. Who gave you that mouth if it was not I?” When I began to get sick only 24 hours into my new life He was still sitting on His throne and He was speaking “I am the great healer. Fear Not for I am with you.” When we attended the Iglesia bautista in Jocotenango and I could not understand a word of my fellow Christians worship and I began to worry that my spirit would not be fed through corporate worship for weeks He was still sitting on His throne reminding me “I am the God of the nations. Watch and be amazed as the nations worship me.”

As I began to get sicker and eventually was taken to the hospital with a stomach virus and dehydration He blessed me through your prayers and after only two days I returned back to school. Thank you for your prayers and praise the Lord that we serve the great healer.

The small church I have attended now 2 times after this morning has around 7 adults and about 20 children. They are a small Baptist church, but they are very mission minded. They have taken the gospel to a village further outside of town that is relatively large but with no Christian ministry or church. On Saturday I went with them where they lead a “church plant service” for mainly children and their mothers. I was expecting something small because of the size of the church and as the children and their mother poured into the small crowded room with child-sied chairs, a dirt floor, no windows, and a tin roof my jaw hit the floor. The room was probably the size of a large American garage and as I looked around there was more than 100 children who had come to sing songs to our King and to hear stories from the bible. As I made friends with the children around me I learned that they look forward to this service every week. It is the “funnest part of our week. We love it when the church comes to visit us on Saturdays. All the children in our village know that it is the best part of the week and they are sure to remind their mothers to bring them.” As I chatted with the children about their names and their ages and what they had eaten for lunch (as my Spanish would allow haha)

I watched as a young girl, about 9 or 10 years old, aided a younger boy in and sat him beside me. I spoke to him with simply words and received only blank stares. In a few minutes I was obviously frustrated to not have been able to make him smile and the little girl spoke quietly. No puede oir. What? I asked? She pointed to her ear. He can’t hear I finally asked. She nodded. He was born with a fever she explained. He can’t walk either. He’s 7. I help him walk here on Saturdays. After a few minutes I got out my camera which was a huge hit with the children and I let them take pictures of each other which made them elated that I would let them use it by themselves. A picture was taken of the little boy and I held it to where he could see and I pointed to the screen and then pointed at him. Slowly but surely the biggest and sweetest smile I have seen in 11 days crept across his face. He was beaming. His sister responded with a huge smile and soon all of the children were pointing at the screen and pointing at him and smiling… He loved it.

It was a small feat for him to see himself and recognize himself on a screen as he is mentally challenged severely, but it was a large accomplishment for me and bonded his sister to me for the rest of the day. These are the children whom Jesus spoke of when he said “Let the little children come to me.” This young boy didn’t understand a word of the bible story nor did he know how to clap when we sang Glory a Dios, but he felt my love and all of the other children’s love through the simple reflection on a screen and time spent together in a hot crowded room.
Needless to say I am thankful to serve a God who is still sitting on His throne, who knows my days and each step I take. I am thankful to serve the God of the nations and that 7 adults in a small village could minister to over one hundred children in another village and I am blessed to be a part of it. I am thankful to serve the God of languages and feel his blessings when I open my mouth and am able to talk with my family at the dinner table. (Trying to tell them that my Cat Sampson likes to wear clothes and take bathes was a pretty difficult story to tell and although it may seem insignificant it is the blessing that I am already able to share with my family that has caused us to be able to have a bond already. Praise the Lord we serve a personal God)

This week I am going to speak with several other ministries in the city to see if I can be a part of their ministries during the week. One of them is a nutritional clinic that is an inpatient clinic for malnourished children that can be left there until they reach a certain nourishment level, but many times their parents leave false information and never return for them. The other ministry is an orphanage for abandoned street girls who have been abused and now live in a home for girls. I am hope to start volunteering by the end of the week.

I go to school from 8-12am. I ride a bus everywhere I go. I am learning to make authentic tamales from my mom. My younger sisters and I have enjoyed watching The Devil Wears Prada in Spanish on my laptop. We have a german shepherd named butch. I miss my family very much. I miss the comforts of America sometimes, but God has given me a peace that truly passes understanding about living in the center of His will and for now that is in a small Guatemalan Village named after John the Baptist.

I have posted lots of pictures on facebook. I have internet a couple times a week when we ride the bus into town
  • Pray for Continued ministry doors to be opened.
  • Pray that I would begin to make a small group of friends in my village and that the Lord may open doors for me to begin a bible study here in San Juan as there is no Christian church or bible study in my entire village.
  • Pray for good health as I begin to reincorporate foods back into my daily diet.
  • Pray that I would have opportunities to find out whether my family are believers (They are catholic, but I haven’t had any opportunities to find out whether they know Chirst personally.)
  • Pray for the church in Jocotenango and that their congregation would begin to grow in numbers and that their ministry in Alotenango, the other village, would begin to move toward an actual church plant.
  • Pray that God would continue preparing hearts in Colombia.
  • Pray that God would bless my language learning and that I would be able to learn quickly, absorb rapidly, and apply what I learn.

Thank you for your help through prayer in sharing God’s love with the people of Guatemala.

Habakkuk 1:5
Katie Trent

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Ending of a Chapter...

It's like the book when you take a week to read the last 4 pages because you don't want it to end. You get to the end and although you know there will be other books, as interesting, as enticing, and as inspiring, somehow you cannot help but sigh when you turn the last page.

And so it goes. I've come to the end of a chapter. The end of book 1. There will most certainly be a sequal. It will most certainly be filled with His blessings and His adventures. He has already written every word. The heartaches and trials are not only inevitable, they are promised. They are already written. The hours of laughter are sure to come. The days of uncertainty are held in His hand. He has written the sequal and I will begin reading the preface tomorrow morning.

This has been the best ending. If ever there were an ending to a book that I would love to read it is this ending to this book in my life. I have laughed and soaked in every word. I have taken mental notes of every precious word and note. The warm smiles and heartfelt hugs are the things that make this the saddest ending and the happiest ever after all in one book. But isn't that how God intended?

He has promised he has the plans for our lives, plans to prosper us and to give us a hope and a future. Did you catch that future part? He has written these great adventures. He delights in the closing of this book knowing the joys and growth that is to come. How great it is to be sitting in the hands of the one who wrote the sequal.

Am I scared? Most assuredly. Am I nervous? More than ever. Am I sad? I would be lying if I said no. We are always sad to see the things we love pass away and know that they will never be the same as today. Will I come home in a few years and still have a wonderful church family, an amazing group of friends, and the best family in the entire world? Yes. But we will meet again differently. There will be wrinkles in my mother's brow that are not there yet. There will have been weddings, and funerals, and births that I will have missed. I will have learned another language and lived without driving a car for 2 entire years. Will we meet again? Lord willing. Will we be the same? It would be a shame if the answer we yes. Progress demands change. And my friend, if there was anything I long for more is a life wrought with progress.

I've packed my physical life into suitcases, but my emotions could not be contained. I cannot control the fear, the sadness, the grief, the excitement, the uncertainties. I can only control my obedience. Little by little. One mile at a time. One minute at a time. And thank the Lord that the author demands nothing more than obedience to fulfill his novel masterpiece.

I will miss you all more than you know.
I will take you with me wherever I go.
I will pray that your life is filled with terrifying progress.
I will love you always.

Habakkuk 1:5

Pray for a good day of travel.
Pray for a great time with a new guatemalan family.
Pray that God would give me wisdom in choosing a church family and in choosing which ministries He has prepared for me.
Pray for language ability.
Pray that God would open my eyes to the needs of the world in a new and fresh way every day.