Its been a little bit since I’ve had the time to actually sit down and write…. it’s funny how busy life can get. My boys are home for the summer… and I love that. It’s a part of what I love so much about our time in Guatemala, family time. We spend every waking moment together there and it seems without much in the way of bickering. Life here in the Canada Doppenberg world is different. Seems the more we have, the more discontent we can become. Living simple in Guatemala strips us of that feeling of discontent and our world just spins so much better.
I had the privilege of visiting Bob a week ago. Bob was in Guatemala at the same time as us last year and we got to know him quite well. Shortly after his trip to Guatemala Bob was involved in what he calls… “The Incident”. The incident was no less than a circumstance that took him from a healthy, newly retired man with dreams of full time mission work to a quadriplegic in a matter of seconds. His life was completely altered by one fateful wave in a very powerful ocean. Its been months since the “incident” and this was the first time I had opportunity to visit him in ICU where he remains indefinitely. His injury was very complete… his neck broken and he will be on a ventilator for the rest of his life on top of his inability to move. He normally tires after speaking for a few minutes but during this visit he was able to speak with passion, and strength for over 2 hours as he told me a story. I won’t go into detail of his story here, as I could never do it justice and it is my prayer that someday Bob will leave ICU, return home and be able to tell others his ‘story’ in his own words as it was meant to be told. Suffice it to say that by the end of his tale I was in tears… tears of awe… at the power and strength of the human spirit when it is filled with God. Bob refers to his incident as such because he said with God, there is no accidents…. God has a plan for Bob… this is part of that plan as difficult as it may be for us to accept… it is a beautiful plan none the less and I feel it was a gift directly from God to me to have heard it at a time I really needed to hear it.
I had been in a funk of sorts before my visit with Bob. I was questioning everything. Feeling very sorry for myself… Guatemala seemed so far away and the calling that my family feels was distant to me. There was so much work to be done here to put this ministry into full motion and the vision we had became buried under paperwork and worldly rhetoric and what I felt to be simply crazy at times. I had lost focus and become discouraged. Not anymore! God refreshed me through Bob… Basically slapped me upside the head and told me to suck it up and remember why I am being called to do this and exactly BY WHOM Im being called. Trust me when I say, its a humbling experience to be slapped up the head like this by your Creator in such a blatant fashion.
Now word has come from Guatemala… Heavy rains, much worse than other years are devastating the area of Jutiapa. The area has such urgent need right now because of the rain. Fernando & his family have asked for prayer as things are becoming more and more dangerous every moment. At the hospital Marquito continues to be on medication in preparation for surgery soon. There are as of yesterday 15 sick, malnourished children being cared for at the Hospital Infantil Padre Pedro. That number could increase dramatically as the rains continue to make food and work even more scarce in the mountains. There are 25 young girls living and studying there. When you add the Hermana’s (sister’s) into that mix there are approximately 50 people living there right now! That is a huge number and they are desperate for food, medicine and supplies. This always puts things into perspective for me as well…. Imagine living with 50 others, some of whom are very ill and not having the money, nor resources to care for any. That is a scary place to be. This is what makes me sit and push through that paperwork I find myself so buried under for the ministry. It is no longer rhetoric or crazy… it is a lifeline for people… a voice for those that are screaming but are not heard by most. God is magnifying those screams, using my family and people in our ministry to do so…. and will continue to do so until they are heard.
Money is a funny thing…. so necessary in our work and yet something we have, up until this point had a very hard time asking for. I always played down the need for money in our ministry… I was always afraid of making people feel guilty. But I am beginning to understand the concept in the world of the missionary of the “Go’er” and the “Sender”. We are willing to ‘go’… but unless there are those that are willing to ‘send’ nothing will happen. People are always looking for ways to help but cannot go…. what they don’t realize is that they can send! Since meeting with Bob, hearing his story, doing some major internal thinking and reflection, I am renewed in my energy do whatever is necessary to Go. It has nothing to do with guilt, and if people feel guilty, that is their own internal struggle. This is about something much bigger than guilt… It is about the privilege of being able to be a part of something big that God is doing in the world. Our first major mail out is sitting in front of me on the table. We have plowed through the paperwork and this afternoon the fruits of our efforts of the past weeks will be sent. The mail out that makes us vulnerable, puts our family out there and tells people we are willing to “Go”…. We pray now that God touches hearts and that there are many that are willing to “Send” because the stakes are very high and lives depend on it…. But as my tag line above says, “if our God is with us, then what could stand against?…” and I truly believe that with all my heart and soul. God Bless & please continue to pray for the people of Guatemala during this harsh rainy season.