Participant Perspective: Guatemala

Two years ago a team of brothers in Christ joined the work of Potters House in Guatemala City. Our task for the week was to renovate a house for the family of Hortensia Ramirez.  We jumped in, ripped the roof off the house and began scrubbing the walls removing 19 years of dirt and grime. Fresh paint on the inside and out and a new roof were in order, but we couldn’t stop there; Hortensia deserved so much more. The team pulled together to provide new windows, stove chimney pipe, a new toilet along with repairing the concrete floor in the kitchen area to eliminate standing water. The house transformation was amazing, but the investment in their lives was even more valuable.

Last year our team fought through an East Coast blizzard to make our way to Guatemala. We had been given the opportunity to build a new home for the Miguel family. Our hearts were stolen by Minor, Maria and their children; Wendy, Andrea and Hector. The masons had already erected the new cinder block walls and our task was to get the roof in place; prep, plaster and paint the walls (inside & out) and pour the concrete floor. I think we all figured the pump truck would meet us at the jobsite Wednesday morning, little did we know we were the pump truck! Three yards of concrete mixed in the street and carried by bucket into the house. Yeah – our butts got kicked but let me tell you there was no giving up with this team. We finished the house build with new windows and doors, shower and toilet and a concrete sink that must have weighed 300lbs! The family is now the proud owner of their own home, a secure place to raise their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.

guatemala-2014-052While these stories are great examples of the work being accomplished, by far this is not the greatest outcome taking place in Guatemala. Renovating and building houses is just our excuse to go….. Our purpose for being there is the gospel! And God has blessed with opportunities to share about His grace in Christ Jesus. The family members, neighbors and community leaders witnessed our love in Christ and gave us many opportunities to share the truth of Christ.

Along with arranging our work projects; the Potter’s House organized prayer walks and food distribution visits that gave us the occasion to meet people in their homes. Let me tell you about a few visits:

Monica  – 12 year old Monica lives with her family just outside of the city dump. She’ll forever be etched in my mind. After talking and sharing with her mom, something just did not seem right as I looked into her eyes. After we prayed for the family I approached Monica to ask her about what she dreamed about for her future. Her response was heartbreaking, “I don’t dream”. Literally, she doesn’t dream because in her eyes there is not hope beyond the city dump.

Celeste – A young mother whose husband works in the city dump; when we arrived you could see the anticipation on her face for our visit. She invited us into her home and she invited Christ into her heart. God used our entire team to minister to Celeste. To Him be the Glory.

Emilio – Emilio literally busted into the house as we were sharing the gospel with his 20 year old daughter. Embarrassed, she fled the room, but one of our team members followed her to continue the discussion. Emilio had been drinking, he was belligerent and vocal; and yet the presence of the Holy Spirit was very apparent. Confronted with the truth, Emilio dropped to his knees and asked God for forgiveness. We were all stunned as he poured out his heart to the Lord.

Juana & Mikhala – Two sisters, both of them living in the same house with a number of other family members.  The court system had just taken Juana’s five children from her – you could see the brokenness in her eyes. She needed a job and stable living arrangements in order to get them back. As a team we prayed for the family and encouraged Juana to trust the Lord to bring her family back together.

Over the past 2 years we have witnessed the Lord do an amazing work. And as much as He used us to be the hands and feet of Jesus, the Lord did an amazing work in our own hearts. Anytime you put a team of men together for a week; you can expect to be encouraged, challenged and transformed. No doubt, our time together each night as we reflected on what God has shown us, dug deep into the scriptures and opened up to one another in our weaknesses was special for us all. This is the place where we could be real with one another; this is the place the Lord showed us we were not alone, this is the place where we admired His handiwork in each of our lives. Clay in the Hands of the Potter.

We’re headed back to the Guatemala City dump to join God in His work.  Would you prayerfully consider joining us?

The trip is planned for Feb 4th – 11th. If you’d like more details or have questions, please don’t hesitate to give me a call. Here is a link to the page on Reel Life International’s website about the trip:

Trip details such as cost and important dates are included there.

David Walker

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