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"Preach the Gospel to all those who need it"

We continue our series on Isaiah 61 and how it relates to the ministry of Caroline's Promise.  
In our last post we shared our new Vision and Mission Statements:

Vision Statement:   

"A world where hope grows and communities thrive"

Mission Statement: 

"Growing relationships that nourish individuals and communities to be whole 
and thrive in Jesus Christ" 
Claudia's Mom at the 2015 Women's Retreat
I met Claudia's Mom in 2015 as our team was hosting a women's retreat in the community of Gerona.  In a powerful move of God, a serious infection in her leg was healed right before our eyes.  We met Claudia the next day and  that Fall we were able to find sponsors for her and her sister, Fatima.  As the years passed we continued to watch them grow in their relationship with Jesus.  
Claudia's first child sponsorship card
At a medical clinic in 2017 I was updating information on all of our kids and asking them how we could pray for them. 
 I'll never forget the look on Claudia's face as she shared her most urgent request.....

"Lisa, please pray for me that I will continue to grow in my relationships with Jesus.  He has called me to be a leader in the community of Gerona and I want to be the best leader I can be.  I want to tell people about Him."
Claudia with her Mom and Melissa
I remember sharing the story with her sponsor, Melissa who committed to do more than just support her financially - she committed to pray for her.  
This summer Melissa was able to travel to Guatemala with us and meet Claudia for the first time.  Although it was awkward at first, Melissa was able to stand back and watch Claudia and her impact in her community.  It was obvious to all of us that she was created to lead.  

This past November I was scrolling through photos on social media when I saw Claudia with our young adult leaders.  They were several hours from the city, hosting a Vacation Bible School for children in a rural village.  I immediately messaged Yessika, one of our leaders and learned that yes, Claudia was with them and teaching children ages 0-6.  

In that moment I realized just how much God had been using the ministry of Caroline's Promise and the partnership with these young adult leaders.  We invested in them.  They invested in Claudia.  And now, she was investing in children in another community.  Yessika helped Claudia share what Isaiah 61 means to her:
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed and commissioned me to bring good news to the humble and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up [the wounds of] the brokenhearted, to proclaim release [from confinement and condemnation] to the [physical and spiritual] captives And freedom to prisoners.... The Lord has anointed me and told me to preach the gospel to all those who need it.
"I know there are a lot of people that need to accept God in their hearts and to know that each one of their battles He has it in His hands and although I know that the enemy wants to repress them, we must believe that He will be with us and that He will motivate us and give us the courage to do everything he asks of us; do not grieve in the midst of afflictions! 
I think that since a young age God had a purpose for me, because I wanted to be a teacher of children since I was a child, and I never thought I would go this far.  I just thought about doing it around my community.  I feel surprised by what God is doing and I trust in the promises that God has for me.
What I liked most about this new path is to feel that I have a family in Christ as well despite not having my family close by .. I know that there are people who despise children, but I am motivated by the verse that says "Let the children come to me" and not only do I want to preach to them but also one day reach adults and young people who have not heard the message of salvation."
WOW.  Just WOW.  What else do I need to say?  Claudia is living out Isaiah 61 and preaching the gospel to all who need it.....not just in her community, but in other parts of Guatemala.  
I remember being on a trip to Guyana years ago.  I was really struggling because my heart wanted to be on the mission field full time but God was not saying "yes" to that desire.  During that week in Guyana He called one of our team members into full time missions.  Her name is Angie and she is still serving in Guyana today.  At the end of the week He used her experience to show me that His plan for me was not to live on the field full time - but instead, to take people and expose them to the need.  
He promised me that out of my obedience He would call people into full time missions.  
I just didn't envision that He would call the same people that we were ministering to.   
Claudia with young adult leaders on their mission trip
It just confirms once again that Isaiah 61 is for all of us.   
And it takes all of us.   
When you sponsor a child, pray, go, or give to a project - it all becomes part of creating
"A world where hope grows and communities thrive"

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