It is really hard to narrow down the week of sweat and prayer that I experienced this past week in Guatemala. Do I tell you about Guatemala, the country that is home to 12 million people and well known for their coffee and sugar? Or do I tell you about how despite that, they live in living conditions that are abysmal compared to ours? Maybe about how the food is really bad, but their toilets are even worse? How about how the children, raised in poverty, refused a second lollipop because they wanted the younger kids to have more? Like I said, it is really hard to narrow it down.
But if I am going to tell you all a story, I think I will tell you about the story of about one boy and a gift.
We were going through our daily routine: singing praise, drawing pictures, making bracelets, and coloring. During coloring, we would give the kids a single sheet of paper and a box of crayons to share with one another. After they were done, we would reward them with a Dum-Dum and a new sheet of paper to draw on. One boy, in a blue Polo Shirt about 6 years old, walked up to us and asked if there were more gifts.
We did not know much Spanish, but we managed to say, “Si, pero mas tarde.” Yes, but later.
But next, he asked us if the gifts were from God. And that really spoke to me. For this boy, who grew up using manual outhouses, the paper and candy that we gave him were gifts. And what mattered was not just whether he received the gifts or not, but that they were gifts from God. He wanted a gift from God, not us.
Hearing that boy tell us that he wanted a gift from God showed me that there is a yearning for a relationship with God in him. And the reality is there are other young boys and girls who yearn for a relationship with God all around the world who do not know God because there is no one to share it with them.
Well, Jesus told us that we are the ones, commanded by God, to share His love with His people. It is not an option for us. And if you tell yourself or anyone else that you are not ready, know that all it took for this boy was a Dum-Dum and some paper to receive a gift from God. So I invite all of you to get out of your comfort zone and step up. It’s not an option.