April, 2014

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Blessings

““Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3) The week has flown by and we are preparing to leave this wonderful place and these beautiful people. I can’t speak about their attitudes day in and day out; their life is hard. They are poor. They are not lazy. In fact they may work harder than most of us. They are just very poor. But I do know that when we show up they are happy. They are also grateful. They enjoy the smallest gift. A Lifesaver candy will bring a smile and a “gracias” and the gift of a home overwhelms them. They are poor, so they cherish the smallest things. This is also a lesson in spiritual poverty. This week has impressed upon me, perhaps more than any other time I remember, the beauty of being “poor in spirit.” When we realize that we are spiritually impoverished, that we have nothing, and are nothing without Christ, our entire attitude changes. We become grateful and overwhelmed by the amazing grace of our God and cherish the spiritual blessings we enjoy from Him. In fact, the kingdom of heaven opens up to us. This week, in the midst of their material poverty, some came to understand their spiritual poverty and gave their lives to Christ…families changed forever. They have inherited the kingdom of heaven and are rich beyond any measure. We will see each other in eternity and enjoy fellowship with them and the Lord forever. Spiritual poverty knows no social or economic boundaries. Without Christ we are all spiritually poor. Our pride and self-sufficiency keep us from realize it, but we should always be aware of our spiritual need. When we are, when we acknowledge our poverty, then Christ opens up to us all the riches in glory. What a great week. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3) The week has flown by and we are preparing to leave this wonderful place and these beautiful people. I can’t speak about their attitudes day in and day out; their life is hard. They are poor. They are not lazy. In fact they may work harder than most of us. They are just very poor. But I do know that when we show up they are happy. They are also grateful. They enjoy the smallest gift. A Lifesaver candy will bring a smile and a “gracias” and the gift of a home overwhelms them. They are poor, so they cherish the smallest things. This is also a lesson in spiritual poverty. This week has impressed upon me, perhaps more than any other time I remember, the beauty of being “poor in spirit.” When we realize that we are spiritually impoverished, that we have nothing, and are nothing without Christ, our entire attitude changes. We become grateful and overwhelmed by the amazing grace of our God and cherish the spiritual blessings we enjoy from Him. In fact, the kingdom of heaven opens up to us. This week, in the midst of their material poverty, some came to understand their spiritual poverty and gave their lives to Christ…families changed forever. They have inherited the kingdom of heaven and are rich beyond any measure. We will see each other in eternity and enjoy fellowship with them and the Lord forever. Spiritual poverty knows no social or economic boundaries. Without Christ we are all spiritually poor. Our pride and self-sufficiency keep us from realize it, but we should always be aware of our spiritual need. When we are, when we acknowledge our poverty, then Christ opens up to us all the riches in glory. What a great week. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Bro. Kevin Jenkins

Welcome to the Family

Today was another blessed day as we dedicated the 10 homes that God had allowed us to build- these homes are gifts from God, we were only used as instruments to bring glory to God.  My heart was heavy as the bittersweet time came for us to leave our new found friends- our brothers and sisters in Christ.
I know tonight my family will be safe in the confines of our home; they will be enjoying a good meal, watching their favorite television shows, texting or playing on their computers as they enjoy the comforts of our home.  I wonder what will my new family here in Guatemala be doing as the sun goes down and darkness falls over their mountain homes?  I can find comfort in knowing they will be sheltered from the elements and weather- no, they will not be watching TV or playing on a computer, but they will be at peace because God will be right there holding them in His loving arms.

As our week comes to an end, I can say I have been brought to my knees and have been humbled by my Creator.
Roger Short

 

A Shower of God’s Grace

What a week we have had.  It has been another awesome experience and each day brings new blessings.  We have built houses, a Sunday school room, a storage closet, and participated in a food distribution but none of these compares to the relationships that have been built.  In Christian love there is no language barrier.  I am so thankful for new friendships as well as continued relationships. 

Never in a million years would I have expected to enjoy a baby shower.   We came all the way to Guatemala and participated in a baby shower!  What a blessing.  Mike and Tatti are expecting their second child; an understood impossibility a year ago.  The look on their face when they entered the room was such a blessing and a wonderful conclusion to a great week.   In our culture an expecting mother will have multiple baby showers.  Tatti  has never had one and has never dressed their first born in anything but seconds.   In what we take for granted in our society brought so much joy not only to Tatti and Mike but to the team as well.  Who new?  A baby shower can be an awesome experience.

Jeff

Jesus Loves the Little Children (And Me)

What a wonderful day God gave us today.  God gave the crops here in Guatemala a much needed rain and He gave me the greatest of blessings!  God allowed me to serve the sweetest and dearest children- I was able to serve them lunch, paint their little fingernails (yes- paint their fingernails) and love on them and the greatest joy of all was they loved on me.  And of course, we jumped rope.  These children are so tender and precious.  Their beautiful eyes and smiles break any communication barrier that we have- God is good!  As I have texted back and forwards with my family this week, I have tried to remind them how good and how truly blessed God has been to us.  Aside from the birth of my children, grandchildren and great granddaughter, this mission trip has been one of the greatest blessings in my life.  I came here unprepared, not knowing what was in store for me, but the relationships with the children today has opened my eyes as to why I should be here.  We all should reflect every day, every hour, every minute, every second on just how blessed our families really are and thank God unceasingly.
“Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black or white, they are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.”
And we are all God’s children!

Roger Short

His Hands and Feet with A Jump Rope

God is good!  What a great day we had in the village.  Today we were working on a house and Roger offered a child a jump rope.  I smiled and said, “Roger, I’m not sure he know what that is.”  Without missing a beat Roger took the jump rope to show him how its done.  He taught a child to jump rope; however, he showed us how to be the hands and the feet of Christ.  I am thankful for humble hearts that are willing to do whatever it takes.  God is good!

Please pray for our team.  We finish up our projects tomorrow and prepare for the home dedications on Saturday.  We will be sharing the Gospel with forty families with the hopes of planting a new church in the community.

Mr. Campbell and His Four Ducklings

This year I had the opportunity to bring four of my seniors that I teach at my school to Guatemala. It has been a real blessing for me to watch God work in them this week from building houses to leading backyard Bible club to building relationships. God has also been working in me while I’ve been here as well. God has humbled me as I get to know these families that I’m building houses for. They have so little and yet are happy with the smallest of things. Their smile is contageous. It’s something that always stays with me until I return. I love the people of Guatemala and thank God for the every opportunity He gives me to return.

An Eye Opening Experience

With this being my first trip to Guatemala, I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew that we would be working hard, but I never truly realized what relationships I would form with the people in the village. Being able to speak Spanish fairly well, I was able to understand the people at a certain level and got the chance to truly converse and learn about the people and their culture.

 

There was a mother I met today who was fairly young, holding her baby in a sling. She was genuinely interested in who I was and my life back home. She was very kind hearted and laughed a lot, and was to my gratitude, very patient with me.  Through today I have truly been blessed by these people just by seeing them smile and laugh and so grateful for the work we are doing. I truly think that even though we might think that we are blessing them, they are blessing us so much more.

 

 

Carley Mullins

 

 

Today I had the opportunity to play with several Guatemalan children. The excitement in their eyes, and the smiles on their faces was almost overwhelming. I thought to myself, “They’re so happy with just a ball and a couple of jump ropes!” After spending more time with them, it occurred to me, the things that we gave to them were not what brought their smiles and made them laugh. It was the fact that someone took the time and energy to bring these toys and sit down and play with them.

 

            It was also amazing to see so many relationships built between complete strangers who barely spoke the same language and seeing different cultures come together. It was a very “eye-opening” experience I have been greatly blessed by.

 

           

 

Kari Thomason

 

Firecrackers!

Tuesday began with a great amount of uncertainty for me. I wasn’t sure what to expect with he language barrier and almost no skills in carpentry. Our task for the day was to build houses, but as Bro. Breck challenged us in our morning devotion not to miss the blessings of building relationships because we were to busy focused on the task at hand.  We had been warned that we were going to village that had little contact in the past, and that they would probably be shy when we arrived.  Any concern that we would not get a warm reception left quickly as one of the villagers set of firecrackers to celebrate our arrival.

We had a very successful day from a building perspective.   We completed 3 houses and made it almost to competition on 2 more.  Several of my personal anxieties were lifted as I learned that the language barrier can be overcome with a ball or frisbee, a smile and some hard candy.  I had a great time teaching a village boy how to throw a frisbee just by using hand motions.  The construction side is still a very much a work in progress for me, but we are blessed several team members who really know what they are doing.

I’m thankful for the team god has sent here.  There has been a great attitude the whole time.   Everybody has been where they were supposed to be 5 minutes before they were supposed to be there.  I do not remember one complaint the entire trip.

Another blessing for me has been getting to know some of our team members that I have gone to church with for years, but never really gotten to know.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Clint Townsend

Day One

Wow! What a great time we had today building houses for the families that live here.  Everyone was so receptive and grateful for the work we are doing.  We prepared five houses for the concrete floors.  We will return to those sites in a couple of days to finish them.  In the mean time we will be preparing the five other sites.

I really didn’t know what to expect.  I must admit I was very anxious before arrival.  But, then you see a real need for shelter for many families who really have nothing material at all.  In spite of that they are all very happy and smile all the time.

One thing that has really been heavy on my heart during this trip is the many innocent children that live in poverty.  May the Lord help us to help them in whatever way He leads.  Please pray for us and the people of Guatemala.

In Christ,

Stan Rector

Let The Work (Fun) Begin!

Thank you for your prayers. We have arrived safely. Everyone is doing great. We are all extremely tired. Pray for us to have a great night of rest and his Spirit of power and energy in the days ahead. We found out we will be working in a village that has never been accessed by teams. We are excited about this pioneering opportunity for the Gospel.

In Him,

Rev. Breck Ladd, D.Min.
Senior Pastor

Fairview Baptist Church
127 Airline Road | Columbus, MS 39702
office 662.328.2924 | fax 662.328.9824bladd@fairviewcolumbus.orgbladd@fairviewcolumbus.org> |
http://www.fairviewcolumbus.org