Today we went into La Limonada, the Ghetto of Guatemala City. Those that dont know there are right at 60,000 people in a mile and a half radius. Five gangs in this small area battle against one another for superiority.
We went to this area this year with one primary role and that was to encourage our friends, the La Limonada teachers as they work so hard in pouring out to so many people and rarely make time for themselves to recharge. Tita and Kate, the two amin leaders of all 40 leaders do what they do all day long and then go home to 11 people living under the same roof that they have brought in off the streets.
Brings new meaning to me on no rest for the weary.
Each one of these teachers have stroies and crazy lives they go home to on top of teh craziness they see every day in broken children they minister to every day of every week.
So...it goes without saying they needed some time to be ministered to for a change.
We first met with Tita, the school leader and prayed over her. As we discussed with her, we were there to be the brothers and sisters that come along side a woman of God who is holding hewr arms up every day in prayer over the community of La Limonada. She needs lose friends like Moses did in Exodus 17 to hold her arms and Kate´s arms up to give them rest for a while. I believe that is why we were supposed to be here today.
After we prayed over Tita, we went up tot eh top floor of school number 2 where 40 plus teachers awaited our arrival along with a handful fo folks that work in the carpentry shop.
We were told right off the bat that we could not take pictures during this time as four gang members attending our meeting that have recently started working in the carpentry shop. Tita is rying to pour life into these young men. Yes, young men, they are littel boys trained at an early age to kill and do so.
She has a vision to pour truth into these boys in hope fo breaking the cycle of dystruction. One issue that came to our attention was the gang had already scared off one of Tita´s great teachers who had been threatened to have his head cut off and killed. So he ran and quit teh school job with Tita. Tita was devistated from this. Can make you stop adn think about the things we gripe about at work huh?
The focus of our time was worship where Amanda and Taylor lead us in Hosanna. What an amazing time to start teh time with. Then I shared a word from Luke 24 starting with verse 13, on the village to Emmaus. He is really gone, what do we do now? Just a reminder that we may be in a spot in our life where we think how could God allow this to happen to us. What I wanted didnt happen, and what I didnt want, i got. These two disciples, much like the teachers of La Limonada had faith but in times of pain may have lost their vision. We had hoped....becomes the phrase we use much like the disciples saying we ahd hoped He would be the one to free Israel.
Max Lucado gives us a great picture that when we keep our eyes on Him and realize even in the midst of a dusty road that He is with us and the very hand that gives us the bread of life on this road is in fact Jesus Himself with nail scarred hands, then our vision changees. Yes, I paraphrased that but you get the point.
After I shared several other scriptures and the word of encouragement, we had a time of them just resting. We sang over them. The Song For the Bride. Ít Talks about rest and returning to Him with our hurt and filthy rags being cleaned, that He is waiting to give us rest in Him.
That is exactly what they did too. Much like Tita did last time, I sang thru it several times at her request as they lie their heads down in rest and soaked up the scripture from that song in Isaiah.
Then our team walked around and prayed over them as many wept in crying out to Christ much like the scripture in Rom 8:26 reminds us. He truly heard their moans and the groans of the heart.
Our afternoon consisted of getting into homes and praying over many people on four separate teams. So many stories of how God revealed Himself. Every home we all entered showed such gratitude for us coming and praying for them. They love to know someone cares and that someone would care enough to stop and pray with them. They said they were blessed but we were the ones blessed. A reoccuring theme. So much hurt....
I wish we would have had more time with our friends to encourage them and give them oxygen to their soul but God had us for that time period adn we did what He wanted us to do.
We said our goodbyes to our friends. Tita hugged me and the last thing she told me before we got back in the van was, Rodney I feel so much better. Wow, thank You Father.
Friday night was amazing as always. We had CR with our friends Pastor Saul and his wife Laila. Great worship and a great refreshing time. We had a chance to pray over all the CR leaders. Great group of people. Never question the heart of a volunteer. How cool to see God moving in the hearts of the world thru CR.
Larry shared his testimony and it blessed them so much. Strong leaders here and back home adn across the world in CR! They want Larry to record it and send it to them. Lots of blessed people there to hear it. We got to hear from a man and a woman that have been thru the program as well, one dealing anger and one a wife of an alcoholic. Amazing words of hope from all of them!
Tomorow we visit the dump where the land was purchased for the future recovery center lead by Pastor Saul. Cant wait!
So much hurt in this world and yet we have to do what we can in our own influence to help. We can´t change the whole world but we can change the world we are in that touches our circle. He is the only one that heals but sometimes we are gifted enough to recognize when and if He is telling us to minister to someone in our circle of influence starting with our own family.
God takes the cracked pots that we are and uses it to bring hope to somoene just like us. We get to do this. Who do you need to reach out to today in your circle?