Saturday, December 29, 2012

My Thoughts on Dating...

This is such a hard post to write, because dating is such a tough subject in today's world. So many girls think that they have to have a boyfriend to be cool. Fortunately, I decided a long time ago that I do not want to be what the world considers "cool." So many girls think that it is a bad thing to be single, because the world is telling them that it means no one loves them, so they date a guy that really doesn't love them anyway. They compromise their standards in order for someone to like them, and they usually end up getting hurt.

My parents did not allow me to have a boyfriend until I turned 16, go figure we moved to Guatemala nine days after that where I knew no one.

I'm not gonna lie, there were times when I hated that rule. Now I am so thankful for it. It gave me an excuse to not have to worry about if a boy liked me, and instead find my worth in God. I got to spend my time finding my talents, getting good grades, and growing my faith. The rule that I hated so much, truly made me what I am today. I honestly believe that if my parents had let me date any boy that said I was cute, I wouldn't be doing what I am now. I wouldn't know that I love to write and speak Spanish. I wouldn't know that my passion is for the least of these, because I would have spent all of my time talking to some boy, instead of figuring out who I am, and how God can use me.

As Christians, our relationships are held by a higher standard- God's. When we promise our heart to God, we have to trust Him to guard it. We also need to remember that not only do our parents have rules for our relationships, so does God. His rules are so clear when we read our bible, but sadly, many people today look at His word as guidelines, rather than the commands that they are. God has these rules for a reason, as did my parents. Its because they know whats best for us. And while there may be times when you don't like the rules, one day you are going to appreciate them.

Because one day when you stand at the alter with the man that God hand chose especially for you, a man that puts Jesus before anything- you will know that he was worth the wait. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The unforgettable Christmas gift

At the risk of sounding like a scrooge, I'm just going to go ahead and say it- I hate what Christmas has turned into.

 I haven't gotten on Facebook very much lately because it just make me sad. Everyone is talking about the gifts they got, and I can't help but think of the kids who can't even afford Christmas dinner, or worse yet the kids who have never heard the reason Christmas exists.

Some people have even posted about how much their presents costs as if this is some kind of contest to try to outdo everyone else with how much we can spend. I can't help but think of the people who will never in their lives come across that much money.

And then there are the people who aren't thankful and who complain because they didn't get what they want. That's what makes me really sad... I want more than anything for them to understand.

I can't help but think that Jesus is watching all of this with a broken heart too. We've turned the celebration of His birthday into some kind of horrible contest of who has the best gifts. And in the race for the best presents we barely even give Jesus a second thought. My prayer is that we would remember the real meaning of Christmas. Its not enough to just hashtag #CHRISTmas after talking about everything you received. Christmas is not about presents, its about His presence.

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given... And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." - Isaiah 9:6

That, my friends, is the greatest gift we could ever receive! And even better, its free- freely given to you and to I, but it cost more than you or I will ever be able to understand. And that is why I wrote this post- because I don't ever want us to forget the price he paid. 

Father God, I come to you with a heavy heart. I am sorry for what my generation has turned your son's birthday into. Forgive us for making it about us instead of a day to bring glory to you. Help us to make a change Lord. Let us give you all of the glory. Let us remember the real meaning of Christmas. In your son's precious and holy name I pray. Amen

Monday, December 17, 2012

"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store.
Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more." -Dr. Suess

This Christmas season is looking very different that the ones I remember as a little girl. I remember decorating our house with tons of lights to out-shine our neighbor. I remember buying and wrapping expensive presents to put under our tree and give to people who already had it all. I remember how on Christmas eve, we would sit by our huge tree and read the Christmas story (nope, not the one about Jesus, the one about Santa.) Then we would put out cookies and milk and head off to bed dreaming about what he would bring us this year. On Christmas morning we would wake up early and run downstairs to see an abundance of presents covering our living room.

We were celebrating Christmas for all of the wrong reasons. You see, we weren't really celebrating the birth of our savior, we were celebrating ourselves. 

This year, my family isn't doing any Christmas presents. It's kind of hard to justify spending $50 on a present when you know families who barely make that in a month. So, we are spending this holiday season as a family, celebrating our King.

Pretty much everyone knows that the first part of Christmas is Christ. You will even see a lot of people writing it CHRISTmas, but what they may not know, is that the second part has a meaning too. In Spanish, the word "mas" means more. Now, because I know that Jesus is multilingual, I think the term Christmas means something to him. Its not just a word someone made up for his birthday, I think it truly means that we are supposed to have more of Christ. I challenge you to do that this Christmas season. Have more Christ, and less Santa and presents. More of him, and less of you.

"He must increase, but I must decrease." - John 3:30

One of the things that Jesus seems to have a passion for in the scriptures, is helping the least of these. How about about this year, in honor of Jesus' birthday, give a gift that honors Him. Give HOPE to the least of these. Hope for this life, and the next. Buy a brick.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

What I've learned as a homeschooler

I used to think that homeschoolers were weird. I was right. We are pretty different.:)

When I was in public school, I never really fit in. I tried.  I tried buying the name brand clothes, but there was always someone prettier. I tried being athletic, but I wasn't the best. I tried being smart, but I was never the top of my class. What I have come to learn, is that no matter how hard you try, there is always going to be someone better, and you are never going to know who you truly are until you decide that its cool to be uncool. When you decide not to follow the crowd and just be who you are- that's when you will be the best- the best at being you.

I remember when I first decided to start homeschooling, someone told me that was going to make me unsocial. I told them that if the things others were doing to be social after school- drugs, drinking, having sex, and making it seem like God doesn't exist were what they considered social, then I prefer to be unsocial thank you very much. :)

At home we always joke about how I'm the valedictorian, cheer captain, soccer captain, school president and the homecoming queen in my school of one. While of course we are just kidding, it kind of makes me realize how silly all of those titles can be. Most of the time, its just a popularity contest. While many of these things are good things- and there are many talented people who work hard towards these accomplishments- sometimes, people act like its the end of the world when they are not chosen. I have come to learn that you just have to be yourself. Because, while you may be the valedictorian and homecoming queen in your school- you could move anywhere else and not be. True happiness means discovering who you are and what God has called you to be. Because I'm pretty sure when you stand in front of God one day and He asks what you did with the life He gave you, He'll be more concerned about what you did to make Him known than what you did to make yourself known.

"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.  For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever." -1 John 2:15-17

Along with being unsocial, many people think homeschoolers lounge around in their pajamas every day, not accomplishing much. This may not be a complete lie, because I can do my school work in my pj's, but I promise you that most homeschoolers learn a lot. I have come to terms with the fact that I will never be a math scholar, but I am getting more real world experiences than I would get just reading a textbook. I get my business class from when I have to translate for lawyers and accountants and when I make spreadsheets for Village of Hope or take "field trips" to the bank to help with financial matters. I have gotten the privilege of  working along side doctors and dentists translating for them and learning from their knowledge. They have taught me about cysts, surgeries, diagnostics, cavities, pulling teeth, and so much more. I've assisted carpenters, plumbers, and electricians and my Child Development class is the real deal. I've learned about adoption, attachment and prenatal care. No carrying around fake babies for me, we work with the real ones.

But what I love best about being homeschooled is- nobody can kick Jesus out of my school. If I want to put off my science in order to spend extra time reading my bible, I am pretty sure my teacher would be okay with that.

My name is Addisyn Block, I am a homeschool nerd- and I'm thankful.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Once you choose hope, anything's possible.  ~Christopher Reeve

Friday, November 23, 2012

Dry off your tears and get to work

"Oh those poor children."

I tend to hear that a lot.

Many times, people hear the story of a person and feel bad for them. They're sympathetic of their situation. Hearing their story may even bring tears to their eyes, they might gasp and wonder why bad things happen, and they may even say a quick prayer that God would intervene, that the child would receive food or care or whatever it is that they need.

But, what I have come to realize is that sympathy is not going to do anything to help that child. Neither is pity. You have got to do some thing about it.

If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? - James 2:16

You can wish that the needs be met, you can even pray, but if God is calling you to be His hands and feet, then we need to be stepping up to the plate and doing something to fix the need.

We can't just sit back, expecting everyone else to do it while the child goes to bed yet another night with an empty stomach, because unless your compassion compels you to move, its really not compassion, its sympathy. And there is a huge difference between compassion and sympathy.


feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.


 You see, compassion doesn't just say, "Oh, that poor child." Compassion says "Let's do something about this!" Compassion has a strong desire to alleviate the suffering. It doesn't just sit back and wait, it takes action. It doesn't shed a tear, but then turn its back, pretending that it doesn't know, thinking that someone else will take care of it.

Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know, and holds us responsible to act. - Proverbs 24:12

 So dry off your tears and get to work.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

 At twelve years old Roody is the caretaker for his six younger siblings. His mother has to work, and his dad is usually drunk, so Roody takes care of the family all day until his mom comes home. Roody is the one who makes sure they do their homework. Roody is responsible for finding something to eat when they run out of tortillas, and he is the one that comforts his siblings when they are sad. Roody and his family live in a nearby village called Chituc. They live in a one room house with dirt floors, aluminum walls, and a tarp for a roof. Their kitchen is a metal garbage bin that they put hot coals in. Roody shares a bed with four of his brothers, and his only sister sleeps on the floor. The 8 month old baby sleeps on a corn sack that hangs from a wooden beam on the roof.

(Roody and another boy from Chituc)

Recently we helped Roody's family by building them a stove, giving them a Mattress so that Roody's sister didn't have to sleep on the floor, and giving them a bassinet so that the baby didn't have so sleep in such a dangerous position. The entire family was so happy to have these things that most Americans take for granted. They were thrilled to have these simple things that we consider necessary. They were thankful.

(Roody's family)

In  America, not only does every member of the family have their own bed, we buy the extra soft mattresses. We buy elaborate headboards and comforters and pillows that match our rooms, and then we get new ones every few years, because they get old. 

Not only do we have stoves, but we have electric ones that start with the push of a button so that we don't have to wait until the fire is hot enough. And on top of that we have ovens and microwaves and grills, so that there are even more ways that we can cook our favorite foods to our liking.

Not only do we have baby beds, but we then buy matching bedding, and more blankets than a child could ever use. We buy mobiles that spin from the top on the bed, and then we buy portacribs that we can take on vacation. 

I'm not saying that it is wrong to have any of this stuff, but what is wrong is that we are always wanting more.
  (Roody's brother Bryan)

This week, we will all sit around the table with our family and friends and eat more food than it takes to make us full, to celebrate Thanksgiving. We will talk about the things we are thankful for, like our church, and our freedom, our job and our family.

(Roody's house)

The idea of something like this is impossible to a kid like Roody, not just because they don't celebrate a feast between the pilgrims and the indians in Guatemala, but rather because they could never imagine having that much food.

But the worst part is, the day after we all say how thankful we are, we get up early and stand in line to buy more things that we don't really need. We trample over other people and fight we the things that we want.

 I challenge you to pause for a moment this week and be thankful for everything you have, don't just be grateful on Thanksgiving, but on Black Friday too.

Friday, November 16, 2012

She stumbled down the hill, looking weak and desperate. Her body so thin and feeble that she was barely able to walk. She was starving, looking for anyway to get food for her and her family of twelve, so that they didn't end up eating dirt again to ease the pain in their stomachs. Then she saw it, the mispero tree.

At the exact same moment that thirteen year old Rosa was considering taking some of the small rotten fruits, my mom and I came around the corner and spotted her. We had been out walking and talking. We saw her from a distance and immediately I knew that God had put her on our path for a reason.

She looked at us, scared to death.

"Are you okay?" I asked.

She nervously looked down to the ground. "Do you think that I could take some of these?" she asked pointed to the rotting fruit.

"Do you need help? Can I get you some food?" She looked up and me, and I could see the pain and the fear in her eyes, and the dirt around her mouth like she had just been eating it.

We ran back to the house grabbing all of the food and the clothes we could find hoping that she would be there when we went back.

We brought her everything that we had, and she looked at us, emotionless, like her life had been so hard that she was now numb to the world.

My heart breaks thinking of Rosa, wondering where she is and if she's ok. I can't help but think of how that could have been me. I could have been the thirteen year old girl barely surviving, fighting for life and trying to find food.

Precious Father, 
Help us not to forget. Help us to remember how blessed we are, and help us to not forget about those who aren't so blessed. I don't understand why its like this, but don't let us be so wrapped up in the questions and the overwhelming number of stories like us, instead let us do something about it. 
In your holy name I pray. Amen

 This was supposed to be posted on August 23rd, but my computer crashed, so here it is now!

 I cannot believe it has been a year since we hopped on plane and moved to Guatemala. Some days I feel like we have just begun, while other days I am left asking myself, "Has it really only been one year?" While this has definitely been the hardest year in my 17 years of life, it has also been the most rewarding. My faith has been stretched to to limits farther that I imagined. I have experienced so many things in the past year, and I have learned so much. So, in honor of my first year, here are 25 things I have learned in Guatemala.
1. Spanish. I never would have imagined I would know this much Spanish, yet I have a long way to go. I have a whole new appreciation for the foreigners that come to America.
2. Even though there is a language barrier, kids are kids no matter what. You don't necessarily need words to play with a child. The best sermons are lived, not preached.
3. Skype can either be your best friend, or your worst enemy. While it is great to be able to see and talk to your friends back home, the majority of the conversation is usually spent asking, "Can you hear me now?"
4. Being called fat is a good thing, it means you have food.
5. When you play signs, don't lean back, or you may break a chair... or four.
6. Americans are so blessed, beyond what we even imagine.
7. You can, in fact, live with leaks in your roof. I have six in my room alone.
8. Avocado popsicles are not as nasty as they sound.
9. Retaining walls are really important when you live on a mountain.
10. Don't drink the water. Trust me it is not worth it, unless you like spending all night in the bathroom, but the green pills can usually fix that.
11.Terracotta. Yep, terracotta. Very few of you will actually understand this one, but those of you who do will laugh.
12. Fireworks are great at any time of the year.
13. I now know how to make a tortilla, but mine will never be as good as Elsa's.
14. Some friendships can break the language barrier.
15. You can fit more people into your car than you would think.
16. McDonalds is way better here. This may or may not have something to do with the fact that I miss American food, but regardless, Guatemalans take their jobs at McDonalds here seriously. The bathrooms are actually clean, and you can get waited on.
17. It is ok if things do not happen on time, they rarely ever will be in Guatemala.
18. Going along with number 17- be flexible!
19. Blessings come when you least expect it.
20. Its the little things.
21. I seriously have the coolest people in my life.
22. All you need is a little bit of faith, and God will blow you away with what He can do.
23. Always keep toilet paper with you.
24.Sometimes it may seem likes its impossible, but nothing is impossible with God, let Him handle it.
25.Don't ever doubt what God can do, he will probably prove you wrong.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Back in Bloggerland

 After over two months with a crashed computer, (Thank you to some awesome friends who were able to fix it.) and a month in the states, I am finally back in the blogger world. The past three months have been crazy! We were able to visit friends and family as well as speak at churches. We have been doing everything we can at Village of Hope to be able to take in kids. Here are so pictures from the past few months,


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Faith in Action

Check out what's going on here at Village of  Hope, and don't miss out!
Being here on the mission field is something we never take for granted. The people we meet, the lives we see changed, the opportunites we are given to be God's hands and feet are truly a privilege.
  A privilege we'd like to extend...

What if you could, in just one day, have the opportunity to give HOPE to a child in Guatemala while impacting the life of a widow in your own community?
What if you could live out James 1:27 and not only touch the life of an orphan and widow-but the lives of those in your own community as well? 
Would you say yes?

 We are excited to announce a
(drum roll please)
(Trip includes airfare, incountry transportation, and lodging at Village of Hope for one)
To get your name entered for a free mission trip to Village of Hope Guatemala you must:
 Organize and execute a Both Hands project by Dec. 1st, 2012. (For every $1,000 you and your team raise you will get one entry.)
*To allow for funds to come in drawing will be held Feb. 1, 2013

 "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
 James 1:27

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

She gave..

Even after almost a year of living here, I am still amazed by what I see, and this week has been full of eye-opening things. We were able to see some precious children of God receive wheelchairs and sit upright for the first time in their lives. You can read about that here. We also had the privilege of visiting a community that was struggling to survive in the middle of nowhere. We seriously had to cross 3 rivers just to get there, and we visited a young mom who will soon give birth to her baby in the middle of the garbage dump. But what amazes me even more than the poverty is these people's hearts. Though they don't have much, they are willing to share what they do have.

Take Elsa for example...

I had the blessing of going to Antigua with Elsa and her two boys, Alexander and Jorge Manuel, after church on Sunday, and what I saw just about brought me to tears.

As were we walking the streets of Antigua, we saw a skinny little girl with a missing hand begging on the streets. So many people passed her by. They would cross to the other side of the street to ignore her, or they would look the other direction, anything so that they could avoid this little girl. And then I saw Elsa, who owns very little in this world, look into the eyes of this little girl, and give. While she was only able to give a quetzal, which isn't worth much, to Elsa, to that little girl, and to God, it was huge.

Now, you have to understand, that Antigua is a very touristy place. Most people there could have afforded to give to this little girl, without ever even missing the money. Antigua is full of tourists and people on mission trips even, who could have, and should have done something, but they were too wrapped up in buying their souvenirs and taking their pictures, and so out of all of those people, it was Elsa.

Later, as I was talking to Elsa, I told her that I had noticed what she'd done, and that she was example for us all. She replied, "God has blessed me, so I want to bless other people. I wasn't able to give much, but hopefully she will be able to buy some tortillas with it. It's not okay with me to let someone starve when I have been blessed with food on my table."

Elsa is right. It is not okay to allow anyone to starve, when we eat more than we need, and yet so many times we are guilty of just that, and I don't think its very pleasing to God. It's one thing for a child to go hungry, it's a whole other thing for a child to go hungry, while our plates are overflowing.

I pray that God would help us to, like Elsa, give until it hurts. To realize that God had blessed us, not so that we can keep it to ourselves, but so that we can bless others. That God would show us the need, and that we would act. That He would open our eyes to the world around us, and break our hearts for what breaks His.

Monday, July 30, 2012

"Como se dice amigos por siempre?" They asked.
"Friends forever." I replied
This conversation kinda broke my heart, my friends were telling me that we were gonna be best friends forever, but they didn't know that within a couple months, I would be gone...

Moving has definitely been hard for me, while I absolutely love it here at Village of Hope, I've been completely torn about leaving the people that I'd met after such a short period of time.

Last night as I was reading my bible I read this, "Early the next morning Jesus went out to an isolated place. The crowds searched everywhere for him, and when they finally found him, they begged him not to leave them. But he replied, "I must preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God in other towns, too, because that is why I was sent."- Luke 4:42-43. It think that at that point, Jesus felt a lot like I do now. I don't think that Jesus really wanted to leave the people that he'd met in Galilee, just like I didn't want to leave the people I'd met in Eagle's Nest. But Jesus also knew that God sent Him here on a mission, and that there was still work left to be done. He was needed elsewhere, and while no one wanted him to go, he had to fulfill his duty. And that's kind of where I'm at right now. God has me here for a reason. There is work to be done.

If Jesus had stayed in Galilee just because people might miss him, he wouldn't have been able to do so many of the things we read about in the Bible, and there would be so many people that didn't know Him. His father had a plan for him, and it included leaving some friends, and making new ones.

I think some times, God sends us places for short time, to make our mark and then leave. Sometimes He just needs us to plant the seeds, and then let someone else help them grow.

It doesn't mean that we should forget about the people we meant, I'm pretty confident that Jesus didn't just heal people and then forget about them. I believe that He would pray for them even after He moved on to the next town, and so that's what I do too. I may not be as close to them as I once was, but they are still my friends, and I will never forget them. I will continue to pray for them, as friends should. Just like I do for the friends I left in America.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

"Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'" -Matthew 19:14

Lately, we have been spending a lot of time in a little village called Chituc. The kids there are precious, and it amazes me that even though they have nothing, they are full of such joy. They get so excited every time we come, begging us to kick a soccer ball with them, or play tag, or throw them up in the air and tickle them, anything to show them that they are special. So we do, we run around chasing them, and we throw them up in the air until our arms are sore, and we whisper Jesus loves them, because they are special.

They are special because Jesus loves them, He chose them.  And I believe that when he said to have faith like a child, he meant children like these. Even though they have very little in this world, they put their hope in Jesus Christ. They don't know where their next meal will come from, or if they will be able to afford school next year, but they trust in Jesus, knowing that he will provide all of their needs.
"Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?"-James 2:5

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

If you had the cure for cancer, would you not tell the world?

Well, we've got something even better- the cure to sin which equals death.

We have Christ.

When we have something as amazing as this, we are really being selfish if we don't go tell the world!

If you had the cure for cancer, the first people you would share it with are those who are suffering from cancer. The same for us, we need to share Christ with those who are suffering in sin. Its not enough to keep it to ourselves or only talk about Jesus with only those who already known Him. We need to be taking the cure that we have to the ends of the earth. To the lost, broken and abandoned. To the ones that no one else loves, because Jesus would love them. To the orphans and widows, to the drunk and imprisoned, to the HIV/AIDS.

As Christians we should strive to be like Christ, and he didn't say, "well, I think I've done good enough," after telling just 12 people. He was always striving for more. Every day, we need to look for ways that we can share Jesus. Whether its by smiling, giving someone a ride to church, providing food or a home, or spreading the world to the ends of the earth, Jesus should be in every aspect our of lives. People shouldn't have to ask our religion, they should know by the way we live our lives.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I can not even begin to explain how great it was to be with my home church last week. To be with people that love and support our family. It was great serving with them, worshiping with them, ministering with them, and just playing with them. We had tons of fun, working hard, and playing hard. They are already missed!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

As I walked through the National Cemetery of Guatemala, I saw the different types of tombs. There were the tombs of the rich, above ground buildings with beautiful statues honoring those that had passed.

Then there were the tombs of the poor, stacked on top of each other, some with just a number written on them, because the family could not afford a plaque, others were surrounded in flowers, but still less than half a foot of space in any direction, from another tomb.

And the poorest of the poor, those who could not even pay for a space, were tossed over the side of the mountain.

As I saw this, I couldn't help but to wonder if these people knew Jesus. It really didn't matter if they were rich or poor.Whether their earthly bodies were resting in an elaborate grave, or over the side of the mountain was no longer important if they didn't know Jesus, because we cannot buy our way to Heaven...

 I wonder how they lived their life. If they had the chance, what would they do differently? And where are the now- in paradise partying with the Heavenly Father, or suffering in Hell?

It makes me think about my life. I don't really care where I will be buried, or in what kind of tomb. I want to die knowing that I have made a difference for the glory of God. And when I die, I want to be welcomed into Heaven's gate and hear, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Saying Good-bye

As we get ready to start our new ministry, The Village of Hope, one of the hardest things to do it to say good-bye to all of the people I've met at Eagles Nest. Even though I've only been here 10 months with these people, I have fallen in love with them, and its so hard to leave.

But, I hold on to the fact that God is bigger than distance, and even though we are farther away we can still be there for each other, and one day we will be with each other in heaven.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

"You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

To me, this verse means that we're supposed to do more than just exist. God didn't create us just to take up space on earth, He wants to use us to make a difference in His kingdom. We have a purpose. 

Whenever I walk into my bedroom at night, and my little sisters are already asleep, I can't see anything, but when I turn on my ipod, it lights up so that I can see enough to know where to walk. In the same way, in a dark world full of sin, we are the light, pointing people on the path to Jesus. If we are Christ-followers, our candles shouldn't be burned out and dark just like those who aren't Christians, and we shouldn't hide our light either. We need to use it for the glory of the One who made us. 

In the verse before that, Jesus calls us the "salt of the earth." Meaning that we're supposed to flavor up everything we do with a little bit of gospel. We're not supposed to be boring and flavorless, Jesus wasn't. He liked to spice things up by doing things that other people didn't necessarily agree with, but He did them because the Father said to.   

We are called to stand out and be different, to make a difference. We're not supposed to be shaped and influenced by the world, but to go out and shape and influence the world. 

So, think about it today. How can you make a difference in your world? What can you do to be the salt and the light?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Village of Hope

I takes a village to raise a child... and it takes HOPE to change a life! 

The other day we went to visit the home of three kids who attend the manna feeding program as well as the school. Two of the kids are deaf, and the other one does not speak Spanish, only Kachiqel, the Mayan language.


 (Estela and Candelaria)

We struggled to carry cement blocks up to the house way on top of the mountain, so that they could have a stove. It was a tough hike, and we slipped and fell in the mud many times while trying to walk up the small, steep, mountain paths. By the time I got to the top I was sore and blistered, and out of breath, and covered in mud. I only had about 2 seconds to feel sorry for myself before I realized I was the lucky one.

Rolando, Candelaria, and Estela make that walk every day, and a lot of times in worse conditions than I do. They live with their dad, who spends most of his time drunk, and their elderly grandmother. They don't have the choice to hop in a car and drive up there when's its raining, they can't even take a shower to get the mud off of them afterwards, because they don't have running water. They bath by sitting in mud room with a pot of boiling water, trying to make the steam clean them.

The things I see in Guatemala never fail to amaze me, but I'm usually left feeling like a wimp. Who am I to complain, when I've got the good life? But even more than that, I have Jesus. So many people do not, and are left hopeless in this cruel world

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Even though sometimes life seems hard, we have hope. Eternal hope.  And we need to bring hope to others, hope in Jesus Christ.

While building them a stove may give them temporary hope, that's not what is important, and that is not what will last, but through this, as we build them a stove, I hope that we are able to help them build a relationship with Christ.