Jun 13 2013

Guatemala Day 4

This week has caused me to spend a lot of time thinking that the Apostles must have loved serving "together", and loved seeing what God can do when we work "together". 

"The more generous we are, the more joyous we become.  The more cooperative we are, the more valuable we become.  The more enthusiastic we are, the more productive we be come.  The more serving we are, the more prosperous we become." - Wm Ward.

That is certainly what we have seen on display this week, God has taken the generosity that you showed during the K-LOVE Pledge Drive and multiplied what Shoes For Orphan Souls is able to do in countries like Guatemala and others all around the World.  In 1 Corinthians, Paul talks about how important it is that we don't criticize one another, and say that we don't need each other, we most certainly do, this week has been proof of that.  Serving along side one another to accomplish things far greater than we could do alone is most certainly God's design.

This week has been particularly inspirational watching young people serve the kids and families that we have met in Guatemala.  Sydney, Betty, Christa, Elizabeth, Steven, Kristen, Elizabeth, Shelby and Sean are a group of teens and pre-teens that have worked long days and have done so with such joy that the rest of us have been inspired.  They have brought gifts and energy to our group that are so unique and special, they have been used by God to  show love to these kids in ways that only a young person could.  Seeing them and the kids at the orphanage in tears because they had to leave has been a great reminder that we should never look down on someone's youth, God always uses young people in special ways and has throughout the Bible.

We have also met college students who have given up their summer to serve as interns: Jessie, Kelsey, Rachel and Kelly have all said that they would jump at the chance to do this again.  Then there is Kristin, Sean and Steven, they really blew my mind when they shared on a bus ride back from the orphanage that they were all adopted by their parents from Russia.  This has been really special for them, getting the chance to serve children who were in the same place in life that they once were, has touched their hearts, but more importantly God has used their story to encourage the children who long for a family in Guatemala.  In 2 Corinthians, Paul talks about how God uses our hardships to encourage others, and we have certainly seen that this week, thanks to Sean, Steven and Kristen.

So find someone to serve with today, it may be a friend, your spouse, a church group, your child, or even a perfect stranger, like it was for us this week.  Making a difference doesn't have to be a huge undertaking, just find something you can do today to encourage someone else.  The joy that you find serving together is a memory that you will cling to longer than anything that you do on your own.  Maybe it can be sitting down and planning your own Shoes For Orphan Souls shoe drive!

For more information visit Shoes for Orphan Souls on Facebook and Twitter!

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Jun 13 2013

Pray for Colorado

Colorado wildfires destroy over 350 homes.

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Harmful chemical plant explosion in Louisiana.

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NASCAR Driver, Jason Leffler, killed in accident.

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New dads' dilemma.

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Jun 12 2013

Guatemala Day 3

Before you dismiss this with a "why should I care", let me challenge you with something Francis Chan said,

"Do you know that nothing you do in this life will ever matter, unless it is about loving God and about loving the people He has made." 

You may never set foot in Guatemala, but you should care about the people here, about these kids that we have been visiting in the orphanage.   Yesterday was one in which I was so overwhelmed at what we saw,  children who have been cast off by their families, for any number of reasons, just wanting a place to call home, and yet I was overjoyed at what I saw happening in the few hours that we got to spend with them.

So often we think that doing something for God has to be on this mammoth scale, for Him to be pleased, and yet it is in the small things that we offer,  in which we see God move.  In the Bible, how often to you see God make much of the small things?  He will take what we offer and do far more than we ever thought possible, which is exactly why we should purpose every day to offer whatever little we may have, to whomever God may put in our path.  The shoes that you gave during the K-LOVE Pledge Drive through Shoes For Orphan Souls are small, but they are accomplishing HUGE things here in Guatemala!  They are a reminder to these children that "I am not alone", "there is someone who loves me", and most importantly "God hasn't forgotten me".  With God there is power is in a simple gift.

On the basketball court I met Anthony, a 7 year old little boy whose toes were hanging out of his shoes, his chalk drawing told an amazing story, it was a simple house, but what it represented was far more telling, Anthony longs for family!  As I washed his little feet, I reminded him that he has a family; I pointed to all of us visiting and told him that we are his family and that we love him, in that moment tears filled Anthony's eyes, and a smile crept across his sweet, little face with a reassurance that he was not forgotten.

Then there was sweet little Crystal, she is 5, but is about the size of a 2 year old due to the malnutrition that she has suffered.  She stole my heart, Crystal has a tracheotomy to breath, and although she can speak, it comes out as the faintest of whispers, through the tube in her throat.  She would not let me go, other kids could have one arm, just as long as she had he other.  Within minutes, I became "papa", "daddy".   She loved her shoes, but what she loved even more than the shoes was the simple note inside that said, "Jesus Loves You".  Crystal would whisper "papa vamos", which translates to "daddy go there" and we would go to someone she was pointing to on the playground,  Crystal would show them the note, and then declare as loudly as she could through that little whisper in her throat, "Jesus te ama!" "Jesus loves you!" and then whisper, just as enthusiastically, "Jesus me ama!", "Jesus loves me!" as she pointed to herself.

The power of a simple gift… a pair of shoes, a simple note declaring Jesus' love, a little bit of your time.  None of these things cost a lot, or take a lot of effort, but God will use them to change someone's life.  Yesterday they changed Anthony's, Crystal's and mine.  So what are you waiting for?  Make your life matter today by loving God and the people He has made.

Thank you to Shoes for Orphan Souls and to YOU, for making all this possible!

For more information, you can visit them on Facebook and Twitter.

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