Don’t you just love to hear of stories of how God moves us, provides for us, and how He works in our lives and the lives of others? I do! I'll share a small bit of how God is doing just that...moving, providing, and working! God has chosen me to lead a team of ladies to GO to Guatemala to assist a missionary who is a member of our church family (Sharron Schafer). This leading and going is not something I could have planned, as I do not have the confidence to do such a thing. But God…
God moves us, but we must be obedient. Sharron is a missionary at Casa Para Niños Aleluya. Casa, a children's home located in Guatemala, cares for and raises 294 orphaned, abused, and mistreated children. I heard about Sharron before Christmas 2012 when a note was sent to small group leaders that Sharron would be coming to the states and would be available to share with small groups about what God was doing in Guatemala. I’m so glad that God moved me to reach out to Sharron and that I was obedient to the whisper in my spirit. That communication led to a group of 10 ladies preparing for a mission of assisting Sharron with sewing activities, an outreach visit to a Sewing Center that Sharron teaches at (this is another totally awesome God story), some fun and creative projects to share with the children, devotions, and the greatest honor will be sharing God’s love for those we come in contact with and sharing the gospel and glorifying God! See how simple it is for a mission trip to get started?
God has provided and continues to provide! All of our ladies have come up with their funds for the trip, and we have extra funds! How awesome is that? Not only has He provided financial support, but we have an army of prayer warriors and some of our prayers are already being answered! God is good!
God works in our lives and in the lives of others. Many of us have an idea and think, “Could this be used by God?” One of our team members asked if the children had pillow cases as she had been involved in a mission last year with a group of ladies who made over 200+ pillow cases for an orphanage in Uganda. When this team member asked Sharron if the children had pillowcases Sharron replied, “This is totally GOD! Yesterday, a lady from Arkansas brought pillowcases (100) for the Esperanza dorm (her quilting group had made them) and also money to buy the girls a pillow ($2.50 each here). She had them bring their old pillows to her and was amazed at how ratty they all were and how some girls did not even have a pillow! I sat in my sewing room thinking that it would be great if we could do that for all the kids. Lucy and I bought pillows for the new kids in Angelitos a few months ago and found some old pillowcases to put on them. I know this is asking a lot, but would it be possible to make pillowcases for all the rest of the kids here (even the boys)? If not, that is all right.” Our team got right on this and formed a pillowcase-making event! We made 105 pillowcases and plan to distribute them throughout the dorms each night we are in Guatemala and to pray over each child and the dorms they live in!
Numerous times as I have been thinking about and preparing for this mission trip, Satan has attacked me, making me feel inadequate, ill-prepared, and trying to make me feel like I’m not meeting expectations of what is required of me as a mission team leader. Recently as I had coffee with a new friend (who I met through my new ladies’ small group), I was sharing these feelings with her, and she was encouraging me. She started thumbing through her Bible for a Scripture that she felt God had for me. She was in Isaiah flipping through pages of chapter 40, 41, 42….and then I said, “Are you looking for Isaiah 55?” I have no idea why that came to me. She turned to chapter 55, and it was exactly what she was looking for! Praise God for His confirmation for both of us – her that she did have a word for me from God’s Word and me that He gave me the 55 so we could get where He needed us to be in order to hear His Word! (Don’t miss out when He is working – God never sleeps.) Here is Isaiah 55:8-11. It was exactly what I needed! We both were familiar with the first half of this Scripture but felt God was speaking to me specifically in the later part of the Scripture.
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
There is more that I could share; however, I’ll close at this point and plan on sharing more after we return to the States. Our team will appreciate your prayers as we travel to Guatemala in October. We will be at Casa from October 13-20, 2013. Please pray for travel mercies, good health, protection over our families in the States while we are gone, that hearts will be open to hear the message of the gospel, safety as we travel in Guatemala, unity among the team and sponsors for the children at Casa. Thursday, October 17, we will spend the entire day with Sharron at a Sewing Center where she teaches sewing skills to the villagers and shares the gospel message to the adult women who attend the classes. Please cover us in prayer as we travel to the village and team up with Sharron in this remarkable, God breathed ministry birthed out of an agency called Loving Arms.