Build the Home, Change the World: A Reflection on Serving in Guatemala
A Guest Post by Adam Mize, Chairman of the SPL Board of Elders
“…and to the ends of the earth.”
I can picture this extraordinary scene. Jesus is there with his disciples and we are only moments away from his ascension to heaven. Very notably, this is the resurrected Christ. Weeks earlier, he had died and later rose from the dead. Any of his followers that had any doubts or fears before, now had none. Jesus was exactly who he’d said he was and these were his very last moments on earth. I can see his followers leaning in as he spoke. And what did he tell them? What did he tell us?
“…and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Moments later, having said this, Jesus would ascend to heaven. I can imagine his disciples, wide eyed and looking around, followed by something to the effect of “all right then… we got this.” Then they went and did what he said. And as a result, a couple thousand years later, we get to know our Savior. We get to know Jesus. We get to be His followers… His disciples. And what does he say to us? “…and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” And how do we respond? “All right then… we got this.”
I could not be more proud of how the family of faith at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church answers this call. We have some awesome ministries that reach into our local neighborhoods, our city, our country, and around the world. One of the remarkable ways in which we reach out beyond our borders to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth is through our mission trips to Guatemala.
For the past several years, St. Paul’s has partnered with a local church in Gualan, Guatemala to significantly impact the people of Los Limones, a rural Guatemalan village. Our mission teams have built numerous homes for families who would otherwise likely never have anything more than a dirt floor, thatch roof, and no way to secure anything. We’ve built beds for people who would otherwise likely spend their entire life sleeping on the ground. And we’ve conducted many weeks of vacation bible school for hundreds of children in Los Limones, where we’ve learned about Jesus, sang about Jesus, and tried our best to love like Jesus. We have been His witnesses to people who may not otherwise ever have known His love.
In addition to the potential Kingdom impact, one thing that has made our Guatemala mission trips extra special to me personally is that I have shared this experience with my oldest son, Jordan, for the past three years. We have traveled together, worked together, served together… and in the process gained a lifetime of lessons and memories.
If anyone is considering joining the team, trust me, you will never regret it. If you cannot go in person but still want to serve in this ministry, there are lots of ways to participate… to answer the call to be Jesus’ witnesses to the ends of the earth.
All right then… we got this.