After 2 days of travel, delayed flights, Egypt's elections, Spain's airport strikes and being stuck in peak traffic in Guatemala City, we made our way to Panajachel!It's been an interesting journey this far. God's been preparing us and binding the team unity and love. We are all looking forward to the time here in Panajachel and what the Lord will be doing in and through us. In the next few weeks we will be involved in various projects, helping the local congregation and the surrounding community who had a rough year marked by natural disasters and ongoing mudslides. We will be helping in painting, digging a well, building a wall and removing rubble from the mudslide, just to name a few. In the evenings we receive teachings and are involved in the church's activities. Our first teaching tonight had me searching my heart again. Scripture says in Mat.6:21 "For where your treasure is, there will your heart also be." So, my question to myself and to you are - WHERE IS YOUR HEART? What takes up your time and attention. What are the things that you have set your heart upon? And most important, are these things of eternal worth and building into the Kingdom? As you can see, God is at work in us and there is much more that He is starting to reveal to us. Please keep us in your prayers and may you also experience Him speaking to your heart.Blessings
Debrief in Hawaii made me think about all that happened the 1st forty days of our journey, more specifically in which ways God has been busy with me. It is easy for me to become so focused on others, that when asked what God has been doing in my life, I really have to think about it. Not that He has not done something, I just become so focused on what He is doing in others, that I overlook His working in my life. I’m very thankful for a team leader who makes me think about these things…
I've only been in Egypt a few days and it's been enough to make me ask various questions and draw me deep into God's word. And I've heard so many say “I don't understand” - in conversations, expressions of their minds and in prayer. On our arrival in Cairo we had the privilege of seeing the city from the air at night. Thousands of lights of all sorts. Then we noticed all the green ones standing out... hundreds of them. As we drew closer to the ground we recognized the towers from which these green lights came...hundreds of mosques. Soon we were greeted with festivities and activities announcing the last days of Ramadan and the now familiar sound of prayers being chanted over speakers frequently every day. Once again I came to that point of “Lord, I don't understand”. Visiting the small town of Qussia, I stood on the roof of the Bishop's house and could count more than 20 mosques surrounding us. Every morning at 4h00 am we received our first wake up call for the day from them. While in Qussia, it was my first introduction to the Coptic Orthodox Church. A time of asking even more questions... to our host, to priests, to monks, to team members and most importantly to God (usually begin with “Lord, I don't understand”...)During all these “I don't understand” questions, I was reminded of a time in Bosnia i Herzegovina. We were standing at the ruins of the first church in Breza and the conversation turned toward history and the war. In reply to a comment that getting more information about that time might help us to understand better, the words silenced all of us for a moment... “you'll never understand”. I think it was because of the truth of this statement that we were silenced. We weren't able to fully understand what happened and what people had to go through during those days, or even the impact it has on their lives today. In the same way, I'll never fully understand the difficulties that the Church face here in Egypt.While sharing to the youth, they asked us what we felt when sharing the gospel with others this year. The words joy, love, excitement, etc. came to mind. Then they asked if we ever felt fear... Once again I realized I don't have a clue. I don't understand and I'll never understand, yet I know the God who does understand. The One who knows the heart of every man. The One who's been there since the beginning of time and who will always be there. The important thing about this time of wondering and questioning is not the questions, not the answers. It's the fact that it turns me to God.
During our time in the orphanage in a town south of Delhi, I've learned so much from the children. It's interesting how it always turns out that one's blessed hundred times more when you think you're going out to bless others. In the end we've all been a great blessing to each other. All of this happened while praying, playing and loving each other.