We can fulfill Matthew 25: 31 – 40 in our homes, in our neighbourhoods, outside our church, with our friends, with our families, with strangers, in our workplaces, in Victoria Park, in a parking lot, in a McDonald’s in Regina or in Guatemala City. We can love Jesus by serving the greatest and the least around us. We can serve him by encouraging one of our political leaders. We can show Jesus’ love by asking the teacher of our children if there is anything we can pray for them for. We can. We can serve Jesus right where we are.
My friend Dave is often reminded of a saying a pastor once shared with him, ‘grow where you are planted’. I like that saying. It applies to so many areas of our lives.
On Sunday 4 members from our team of 17 that went to Guatemala shared about their mission trip experience. It was tough to only choose 4 to share their stories, because everyone has a story to tell from the trip. If you know some of the team members from our trip, then I invite you to ask them about their experience. Below are 4 stories from our trip from 4 of our team members.
I loved Guatemala. It’s amazing to see how you can go somewhere for a week to love on people and you come back having received so much love. We would play with the orphans and tickle them, they hated getting tickled, but it was still fun to wrestle with them and just love on them and see God working in their lives. Colson Schulz
I loved working with the orphans in Guatemala. From the first morning we arrived at the orphanage in Guatemala, I could barely wait to go and play with the kids. Every time I heard their voices I would head down the cement driveway to go and play with the kids. One orphan that I really clicked with was Anna. There were two Anna’s at the orphanage so she affectionately became known as Anna Dos. I loved playing with the kids. The youth boys on our team were so great with the kids. Emily, Solveig and I loved playing with all of the kids. They impacted us as much as we impacted them. It was a great trip. I miss Guatemala, the slums, the orphanage and our time there very much. I look forward to going back. Krista Illingworth
While in Guatemala, I had the privilege of delivering two quilts that Greg’s Auntie Babs had made. The night before we went to the slums, I asked Jesus to please show me who to give these blankets to. I knew that the need would be great, and that they could probably go to just about any home and be appreciated; however, I knew that He had two homes in mind and I just asked that He would make it clear. The following day as we walked through the slum, a beautiful grandma in indigenous dress asked me if she could have one of the blankets that I was carrying. I thought that was about as clear as it could get and happily gave her one. She was so glad to receive it. There was nothing greedy in her request and she received it with such humble gratitude. As we walked away, her granddaughter buried her face in the quilt, deeply inhaling the clean scent. What a difficult place for such beautiful people to live.
We went to a few other houses and prayed for people. In the last house, there was a father of 11 children who had so much pain in his feet that he could no longer work. Pastor Cory prayed for healing. As he prayed, he washed the man’s foot and then asked for a towel. When it became apparent that there wasn’t a towel around I remembered the blanket. I was so excited as I bent down to give that blanket to dry the man’s foot. The image of the woman who bent down to dry Jesus’ feet with her hair came right to mind, and it was such a beautiful moment. It wasn’t until afterwards that I realized why the image was so strong— it’s because it was Jesus’ feet! Matthew 25:40 “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to me.” The feet belonged to Jesus, and the blanket was personal and beautiful— just like the woman’s hair. How amazing that we encounter Jesus by feeding, clothing, and caring for “the least of these”– the overlooked and ignored. These are not opportunities to be missed! To encounter Jesus in this way is His gift to us as we give for Him. Ulla Hovdestad
During burger bus ministry in the streets of Guatemala City, I asked the Lord for a clear word for someone I was to pray for. As I explained on Sunday, this is something that I have been practicing for a few months now- hearing God’s voice. I know that He loves to speak to his children so I am convinced that He would love to give me insight as to who I am to pray for. With this in mind, I spent a moment asking him for something and He gave me two hints; the name “Maria” and an image of a women selling corn. I now knew what to look for. As we were almost done, in my peripheral I saw a women selling corn. I immediately jumped up and told our leader Pablo, that I needed to pray for that women. Pablo gave me permission and followed me out of the bus to the woman. As a I walked up to her corn stand, the first question I asked was: “What is your name?”. She replied “Marita”. “Close enough!” I said. Praise the Lord! I explained to Marita that the Lord had given me a specific image of her and He wanted me to pray for her. I continued by saying that God loves her so much and desires a relationship with her. I told her that he is doing whatever He can to pursue her. Finally, I asked her if there was something specific she needed prayer for, and she said that she had epilepsy. I told her that I believe God can heal her of that, and that we would pray and believe for healing right now. We prayed, believed she was healed, and were on our way. Nick Kelm