Take a good long look at the picture above. What do you see?
For eight days, eleven members of Immanuel, Courtland and Immanuel, Gaylord reached out to and served the people of Las Cruces, Guatemala through relationship-building home visits, prayer, Bible stories and crafts, and sports activities. Their days were long and tiring, yet rich and rewarding. In fact, they’re already looking forward to going back next year to renew and build even stronger, deeper, and more committed relationships with their new friends in that far-away village.
Las Cruces is located in the hills of north-central Guatemala. Precipitation is a daily occurence. That was certainly the case on this particular trip. It misted every day until the last day, when it actually poured down rain. But the kids in the village (who by that time had come to enjoy daily sports activities with our missionaries) unanimously voted to ignore the rain and the wind and the mud, and play soccer anyway. So they did.
The picture above was taken afterwards. It shows Gina Harmening of Immanuel, Courtland and Tim Otto of Immanuel, Gaylord at their post-game best. They’re wet and winded and mud-covered, but they’re also smiling from ear to ear. Why? Because they’re missionaries! Because they’ve been building relationships and sharing Christ through word and deed. Because they’re learning and discovering that being intentionally engaged in the Mission of God is what they were made for!
Their “Live Generously” Thrivent T-shirts describe EXACTLY what they’ve been up to. Gina and Tim are living generously by investing themselves in the lives of the kids of Las Cruces, so that by all possible means the Good News of Jesus gets shared and experienced in ways that those kids can hear and understand. That’s mission. That’s making an eternal difference in the things that matter most. That’s why God made us and saved us all — so that we become intentionally engaged in His mission.
It’s not always neat, it’s not always pretty, it’s not always convenient, and it’s sure not always clean. Sometimes it can be downright messy! But it’s also the most rewarding thing we can be involved and invested in. Just look at the rain-soaked faces of Gina and Tim and say it isn’t so…