God is at work in the Petén, Guatemala. He's the God of this city. He's the King of these people. He's the Lord of this nation…and there is no one like our God.
In one of this month's weekly devotions with the national staff, Rod shared from I Peter 4:7-11, reminding everyone that this world is fading away and we must keep our focus on the eternal purpose; and to serve with the unique giftings that God has given to each one. Vicky Johnson, a native Guatemalan who travelled from the states with her husband Russ to help at Hospital Shalom for a couple of weeks, did a wonderful job translating.
One specific ministry focus that we personally sense is the urgency to press in with daily intercessory sets of worship & the Word at the hospital. One day, while De was doing sets in the Chapel, Vicky & Nati prayer-walked the campus. I tell you what, we saw people respond to His Holy presence that week. God inhabits the praises of his people.
To add to the daily intercessory sets, we've been learning some of our favorite worship & praise songs in Spanish. God impressed on us the importance of worshipping so that it is understood by those who hear. Personally, we can worship in our native lingo and just have our socks blessed off, but if those listening don't understand what's being said, then to them it's just sound, or worse yet, an irritating noise.
Listening isn't enough. Hearing without paying attention won't accomplish much either. But when we understand what we hear, that's when God begins to work the awesome stuff of faith that ministers straight to the need as the hearer responds.
Sometime before we got back, Nati, one of the national staff members was put in charge of in-patient pastoral care (how awesome is that!). She is so bold for Jesus, and has a beautiful heart full of love for hurting people. If you could just see the way her eyes dance when she comes to find me to say that yet another person has accepted Christ! We have a lot of fun rejoicing together over what God is doing here.
That's right… there's no one like our God!
In addition to Russ and Vicky being here to help, there were two construction mission teams here this past month to help catapult forward the Neonatal ICU and Patient Ward Expansion Project. Rod was ready for them with a fresh set of as-built floor plans, a complete scope and sequence of work to be done; and all materials inventoried and staged for application.
The Wendell-Rich-Derrick-Catherine plumbing team got all of the rough-in plumbing completed and tested for both Phase I & II. (Shout Out!!!)
The fourteen-member Millwood team completed primer coat painting; began installing ceiling grid-work; installed and ran power to the light fixtures; insulated the ramp walls and installed the drywall; finish coated the drywall and primed the patient wards; framed/sheet-rocked and finish coated a drop-header in the main upper foyer, and did it all with a lot of skill, sweat and grace… and a good dose of laughs and smiles, too.
One of the highlights of the month was helping with a mobile medical clinic in cooperation with the Office of the First Lady of Guatemala. De coordinated the field pharmacy station for the outreach, which included inventorying and stocking meds and pharmacy supplies, both pre- and post-trip, as well as supervising the volunteers working in the station, and resourcing the necessary translators needed in the pharmacy during the outreach. We had a unique challenge in this village because the residents spoke only Kekchi, with very few exceptions. Three language groups collided, but God, the author of all languages, helped us get the job done.
Thankfully, baby smiles translate the same in every language!
As the steam rises and temperatures soar, we are continually refreshed by the peace of His presence and the encouragement that you are working right alongside. Thank you for your continued faithful prayers and support for the work God is doing in the Petén.
Rod & De Ishmael