Sunday, February 26, 2012

Guatemal Day 4 (Amazing)

Guatemala Day 4

At the end of today all 25 of us (grown men) were bawling our eyes out as we revealed the remodeled home to the boys.  As we started today we had an insurmountable list of things to accomplish to see this dorm completed.  The list seemed long and so many things were dependent upon the job before it getting done.  

As we wrapped up the cleaning we began to watch the boys becoming filled with anticipation to see their new home.  Our finish deadline was 5:00 pm.  We wanted to take showers before we presented the house back to the family.  The orphanage here puts the children in family settings with House parents.  It's a great set up to allow children in transition to keep their identity.  

Words will not be able to describe the experience we had in the home being presented to the family.  The boys all walked in with nice jeans and shirts while wearing their brand new shoes that we as a class bought them months ago.  They came in caring jars with candles in them to an amazing Spanish song.  As the song ended they walked to each of us grown men and presented us with the candle and each a card.  Then the house parents began to speak words of blessings over us.  Then out of the blue they had Mika Self & myself set down in chairs.  The house father and another house worker (both men) kneeled down before us and had a basin and some water.  At this point the tears were already brimming at the fore front of our eye balls.  Now they began to steadily roll down our faces as these grown men washed our feet and anointed them with oil in representation of how we had served them and they blessed our entire group.  As the washing was taking place we were all undone.  Then the parents prayed over us (all of us) which the Holy Spirit fell upon that home, our team and the boys.  I  (Jerrell) returned the prayer.  Little did I know that moment I opened my mouth to pray I lost all ability to control my quivering lips and full heart so proceeded to announce blessing, favor, peace, honor and hope over our friends through a cracked voice and desperate cry.  All of us men were at the ends of eye left dry for sure!  

We then proceeded to have the Project Manager of the property (who grew up at the Orphanage) pray over us and bless us.  Then the best we could we had the boys go to their beds and we grabbed the anointing oil.  We prayed over rooms, beds, boys, bathrooms, and much more.  It was a truly a sweet sign of God's anointing on our lives.  

The boys grabbed the new sheets that were provided through Melissa Venghaus' mother's Bible study class.  These boys grabbed these sheets and began to rip them open (we couldn't put them on the beds for the new mattresses didn't arrive on time).  You would have thought we had given them a new toy...but nope...just sheets...and they were thrilled.

We stepped outside and took a group picture (which will probably need some red eye reduction help).  We all walked to the vans in which we headed to dinner in with the Holy Spirit hangover from how powerfully he demonstrated himself in that dorm.

Your prayers have been appreciated and helped.  If I could have bottled up every story, thought, change of heart, and new direction that was spoken of you all would not have believed me.  It was simply an amazing trip with many more stories to come.  I believe what transpired on this trip in 5 days may have taken 5 years to accomplish in a weekly Bible study.  Jesus thank you for watching over us and protecting us.

May God grant you a returned favor.  

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Guatemala Day 3

Guatemala Day 3

It's 10:50 pm and a few men are still sitting around and telling stories.  This day has been extremely amazing at so many levels.  To see these men work this hard has been encouraging and empowering at so many levels.  I was looking at before and after pics this evening and was blown away of what we have been apart of on this trip. To see custom bunk beds, book cases, shoes racks, benches, full painting schemes, concrete work, bathroom overhauls, new ceiling tiles, light fixtures, window coverings, and much more has been great. However the greatest picture is to see the house parents and 16 boys smiling and excited for a renewed home.  

We are pretty tired to say the least but renewed with greater passion for being used as the church should be used--as the missionary. The leadership has been extremely gracious to us on this journey.  You can find a few pics on Facebook page that I have been tagged in. 

Words cannot explain the fullness of growth, laughter,  & renewal we all are walking in.  Wives, please know we cannot wait to see you (not all of you just our own wife).  We will have plenty of stories, plenty of God moments and plenty of new focus we want to lead in.  This possibly was the best 1000 you could have invested in your life, marriage and future.  The enemy wants to steal all Jesus has done but we are resisting him at every level so please keep pressing in at home as well.

The men who attendee the two prisons were blessed beyond measure and inspired us with some strong stories. 

Now it's midnight and I'm the last one up with a full day tomorrow. Pray we can get it all done by 5 pm. It has to be. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Guatemala Day 2

Guatemala Day 2 It's amazing what a day can do.  Yesterday (Day 1) we arrived to the orphanage and worked hard from 2:30 to 10:30. This morning Jason Baker lead a strong devotional from Psalm 130 and asks us the question "What does waiting on the Lord look like?"  It was a great lead into a full day of work here at the Orphanage.  We then split the team into two groups (carpentry shop & painting crew).  It was a full day of painting and sanding.  The stories seemed endless coming from the carpentry shop as well as the "loading crew."   After a brief stop for lunch and the purchasing of some new sanders we wrapped up around 6 pm exhausted.  But as we walked away from the two areas we worked today the house is 95 percent ready to put in appliances, beds, tables, book cases, etc.  The beds will finished getting stained on Friday.   As the men cruised in for dinner I realized it was a corn crispy tortilla and some tomato sauce with parmesan cheese.  I perched myself a few steps away to watch the reactions of our men.  It was a good dose of food crisis/over consumption.   It was good to sit down and have dinner with these men knowing there wasn't "enough" for the American lifestyle but it was plenty when you pray, have a heart for the least, last and the lost and trust God to fill your stomach.  Granted we had sandwich meat and some other snacks (nachos and cheese after devotions).  But as a teaching moment after dinner during devotions I reminded the men that it was good for us eat that dinner tonight.  It is good for our self eating styles, lack of appreciation for our food and we understand what most of the world eats every day and how much we waste every day.  The worship & devotional time tonight was amazing.  The Lord truly  moved.  The  stories the men our sharing, the conviction the Lord is bringing and the hearts of teachability is truly beautiful.  The way in which Jesus is speaking is life changing for all of us.  On top of the community, fellowship and love that is being established all the more among the men. As you read this it is Friday morning.  Pray we finish up some projects today and for the youth service tonight.  We also have a group of 4 men headed to two prisons today!   Wives to men on the trip:  Please keep preparing your hearts.  God is speaking.  These men love you all and are truly seeking greater ways to love Jesus and lead  your family well.   Much off to painting... Jerrell

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Guatemala Day One...

Wow! That was the word that kept crossing my mind when I was standing in the airport at the gate waiting to board. 25 men from the Life Bible Study that I teach are loading on a plane for a mission trip to Guatemala to do a complete make over on a boys home at an orphanage outside Guatemala City. This is the why we have "church."

The flight was smooth and rather quick much like our bus ride from the airport to the orphanage. All of the wives represented by these men would be proud to know that the first thing we did upon arriving at the orphanage was taking a group picture. I thought you would be proud.

We sat down at the table for lunch and a brief orientation. The lunch was noodles with shredded chicken (the kids only get chicken once a week on Sunday), homemade tortillas, pineapple, and some mixed vegetables. A friend of my from college has spent the last 12 years of her life ministry at some capacity here at the orphanage, the latest stint for over 3 years. We toured the orphanage that sits on the side of the mountain and then quickly proceeded to the dorm in which we were going to remodel. There our 16 boys and house parents that live in this dorm. They have moved completely out and are living in tents this week while we do an "extreme makeover" on the dorm.

We started with a good demo job--just what every man needs every once in a while. We took out all of the ceiling tiles, old beds, shelves, book cases, doors, toilets, sinks, and much more. Dust was flying, dirt was scattering, a few small insects were was on. We think took some bleach water and wiped down every wall to prepare for painting. As this was happening we had men repairing ceiling grid, hauling away all of the old debris to the junk pile and cutting new tiles for the new ceiling grid. This lead us up to dinner time in which we had a tomato sauce, rice, and fried eggs with ham sandwiches. I, Jerrell, opted for the PB&J.

Then we went entered into a time of devotions. Every missionary journey that gives men time away to worship, get in the word, reflect, pray with one another, and refocus their hearts and minds usually sets the table for something amazing to happen in their lives. Ryan Langford, he is apart of our class but rarely gets to attend because of his Sunday worship leading duties, lead us in a few songs of worship and I proceeded to open the Word of God. I spent some time in Matthew 7:24, Jesus gives these words at the end of the Sermon on the Mount, "Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock." Most people know the words of Christ and his commadments but "acting" upon them is this constant struggle. So I put before the men this question, "What does it look like personally for you to walk with God?" I won't surrender everything we talked about for now...Then we ended this time in groups of praying (always a great sight).

Then we regrouped and headed back to the dorm to primer the walls and continued replacing the ceiling tiles. Most went to bed between 10:30 & 11:30 pm.

Wives you don't need to worry your men have hot water to shower them taking a shower might be another discussion for another time. All our well except one team member. Adam Hamza has a pretty intense sinus attack/drainage going on. We are believing today he will be much stronger. He rested all yesterday upon arrival so we are believing he is good to go.

Today our goals are completing the ceiling grid, painting the entire dorm, hanging kitchen cabinets and building 8 bunk beds (sanding, cutting, building, etc)...

The men of our class/church are amazing...I believe that Jesus is doing something special, unique, empowering, and life changing. This could be one of the best things that has happened to us.

Wives a special word...Please don't find yourself so busy that you find yourself unprepared to recieve your man back home. I believe there will be some amazing conversations that will come from this journey. We all prayed for you last night thanking God for you sacrifice.