Thursday, August 20, 2015

Miracles at Shama

Our partner church, Iglesia Adonai is planting a church and holding services for kids and women every Sunday afternoon.in the community of Gerona, right outside of Guatemala City.  There is a beautiful Christian camp there called Shama. As we are blessed to know the owners of this camp, our ladies team was able to join the women’s ministry team from Iglesia Adonai to host a retreat for women from both communities. Twenty ladies from Adonai and Gerona arrived on Friday afternoon for a 24 hour retreat. Upon the arrival of the women from Gerona, the ladies from Adonai greeted them with corsages, and our team placed beautiful gifts on their bed, at the table for each meal, and in the services.  After the warm welcome and corsages, their first stop was a Mary Kay makeover. While walking them through this process, Ruth and her team spoke life over them. After makeovers, the ladies got their hair cut and styled…and of course had their nails painted! You could see the beauty they have inwardly and outwardly shining through…and the best part was THEY saw it as well!
With a fresh makeover and beautiful dress, each lady was escorted down a red (pink) carpet at the entrance and into the dining room where the tables were beautifully set with real linens, candles, and flowers.  Many of these women only eat tortillas or rice each day so the meals at Shama were a treat; however, it was difficult for us to watch them take our leftovers and bag them to take home to their families.
During worship, some of women from Adonai joined Angela and our worship team, which was a sweet surprise and gift to worship with them.  God provided Angela everything she needed as she led us into the presence of Jesus.  After beautiful moments of worship, Kristi spoke at our evening session and added an invitation to accept Jesus for anyone who had never made that decision. While at first no one responded, as we were praying one of the women from Shama, Aracely, shared that she wanted to accept Jesus and become a Christian!  Over the years in which we have visited this camp and used it for various ministries, we have come to know Aracely and her family, and she recently attended our first Threads of Promise sewing ministry in Gerona.  I believe that it was the relationship with Oneida and the other ladies from this program that led her to this moment where she wanted to know Jesus personally.  A miracle—one of many on this trip!  As we drifted to sleep that night we heard the laughter of women.  Some were sleeping in a bed for the first time, bathing in a shower instead of a sink, with hot water instead of cold.  Not only were their bellies full, but also were their hearts.  As were ours.

On Saturday Leslie shared her lesson, and Kaitlyn taught the women to worship through sign language to the song “I can only imagine.”  They loved it!







At our final session a woman from Gerona asked for prayer for a bacterial infection in her leg. For 15 days she suffered from it, and the medicine didn’t appear to be working.  Swollen, red, and very painful, the leg began to heal right before their eyes as Kristi and Leslie prayed with her over the infection.  As the infection went away the swelling went down, and the redness disappeared.  God is amazing!



 In the final service, I shared about forgiveness of others and of ourselves. As we walked the women through the process of identifying people that they needed to forgive, it was a painful time yet full of liberation and freedom.  Our service concluded with us joining the ladies from Adonai in washing the feet of the women and praying for them.  



I wish I could adequately describe all that happened.  There is so much. God did SO much, and as we reflected on all that He did we realize that this is just the beginning.  God created a special bond with our friends in Guatemala, and we began to see them being a light in their community. They were claiming that community. Instead of letting fear hold them back, they were walking in boldness and sharing the love of Jesus with their neighbors with the authority that He has given them.  Delmi wants us to return, and so we will begin the process of asking Jesus when, what, and how.  Our desire is to combine with the Women’s Ministry Team at Adonai and host a conference for women in the community next year.  I want to personally thank you for your prayers and support of these women.  I fully expect to return and see them walking in the truth that God has spoken over them – they are a light in their community.