Monday, November 18, 2013

Recent Thoughts

This week I (Ellie) have been going through 5,000+ photos for Engadi Ministries, sorting, tagging, and organizing them in ways that will be useful for the ministry.  I love doing this sort of thing, and to know that it would be for a good cause made it all the more appealing.  It has been a daunting task to say the least, and I have many more days of work ahead of me.  I accepted the job not knowing, however, that God would use the task to speak directly to me.

In the midst of the busyness of the past few weeks, our progress towards Guatemala has slowed down considerably.  We are continuing to save money and fundraise, but have seemed to set up camp at about 30% of or goal to get to Guatemala.  I have been trying not to let the slow progress get us down, knowing that God is faithful and that His timing is so much more perfect than mine, but in the back of my mind I find it hard not to grumble every now and again.

So, since we are in a period of waiting and saving, James and I assumed the task of working on organizing these photos for the ministry.  It has been a much more draining task than I had expected, not so much mentally as emotionally.  There are about ten years worth of photos of kids, teams, and homes.  I have seen so many of them before, but going through them now, something is different.  They are more than just images of shovels, wheelbarrows, brown-eyed children, and the filth in which they live.

The pictures have come alive again today for me:  voices of kids laughing and playing, the smell of the dust and trash that their shoes kick up as they chase after a soccer ball, the warmth of the sun radiating off their dark skin and hair, the joy and innocence of these children, unaware of their own poverty and the difficulties that await them in life.

So often, such a beautiful picture is painted only to be shattered by the face of a boy gunned down in his neighborhood... then another one.  Both no longer smiling laughing and playing in Guatemala City's gang-infested neighborhood, Paradise, but now in true Paradise with their heavenly Father.

It hurts me to imagine how many more of their friends and siblings will follow in their footsteps - dying before they outgrow their childhood, some before they reach their teens - leaving behind a broken cycle of vengeance, death, and hurt.  The cycle has to stop.  I want to help.  Lord, send me, please. 

I can't help but be reminded of Luke 9:46-48, "An argument arose among [the disciples] as to which of them was the greatest.  But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side and said to them, 'Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.'"

God's timing is as perfect now as it has always been.  He continues to send encouragement when we need it most and will see us through to what He has in store for us.  He blesses us richly with more than we ask when our hearts are right with His.

JamesandEllie / Author & Editor

James and Ellie Carr have been missionaries in Gautemala since 2014 and write to share their feelings and how they have experienced God's goodness and mercy on the mission field.


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