Reclaiming the Hope in Guatemala

Thoughts from Erica during her week with the family team

I think I have always been a strong believer in hope. Maybe it's because I'm a dreamer, but maybe it's because I see the world for what it is-- a series of opportunities waiting for the perfect moment. Nonetheless, I don't believe that one can fully understand hope until one has stood in the face of destitution. 

I understand that my previous statement was a little paradoxical, but my time here in this amazing country has shown me that the light of true hope springs forward from the darkest places.

I have seen people worship and seek God's Word with the utmost sincerity, despite the burden this world has placed on their shoulders.

I have held dirt-brushed children whose precious hands and beautiful faces show the scars of a jagged past that I know will one day be reconciled with a glorious future. 

I have witnessed former strangers, but now brothers and sisters in Christ, truly laying down their lives for a fierce love of their people, community, country, and foremost of their gracious God. 

I have heard a language I am not fortunate enough to call my own manifest the good news of a grace that reaches beyond circumstance to meet us on our darkest hour. 

I have talked with Guatemalans whose intelligence, faithfulness, humility, love, and hospitality shine out brightly amidst these destitute streets because they know of the golden ones that are to come for us in los cielos.

I have kicked a ball with children I had never met and may never be fortunate enough to meet again, yet in that moment had the assurance that my God is forever faithful and merciful. 

I have smiled watching the joyful work of men, Guatemalteco and Gringo alike, so invested in the LORD that the tiresome bending of a wire becomes a simple act of grateful worship. 

I have wrapped children in my arms whose definition of touch is far from loving, and I have prayed that in the name of Christ simple moments can have the power to change the deep cycle of hurt my dear friends have known. 

I have been encouraged that God's church is still alive as I see my teammates serve in their unique ways-- giving unexpected compliments, serving spoonfuls of delicious food, and twisting tools carefully despite their drained bodies and hearts. 

I have found that laughter has no language barrier, that smiles need no translation, and that the living Spirit in the body of Christ does not require the assistance of a translator. 

I have walked rocky streets down green covered mountainsides and have never been more assured of one thing: Our God is a God who brings hope. It lingers over the work of joyful hands, the play of impoverished children, and the song of a foreign language. 

The light of hope is breaking through in Guatemala. I pray for the day it shines on this place like the noon day sun. 

Lord, my words aren't enough. I'm a broken stone. So lay me in the house You're building.