Post by Karissa

Today was our fifth and final day of outreach here in the beautiful country of Guatemala, and it definitely was a good one. For so many, today was filled with sweet reunions with patients after years of not seeing each other, smiles and laughs and hugs that break down any language barrier, and witnessing deep and heart-wrenching needs not only met with the ability to offer medicine and food and words of encouragement, but more importantly met with the undeniable hope and deeply rooted confidence in knowing that the circumstances of this life and the pain that this broken world has to offer cannot compare to the joy that is waiting for us when we get to spend eternity in community with Jesus. Every tear that is shed, every broken heart that aches for healing, and every disappointment and question and fear will fade away when we get to meet our Savior face-to-face — it truly surpasses all understanding and is such an incredible promise we have in our Father. What a beautiful day that will be.

It is hard to describe in words the way this team has worked together so effortlessly and the way we have become such a close knit and bonded family in just one short week. Seven days ago many of us were strangers— all going through our day-to-day life not knowing anything about each other or that one another even existed. And today? There is deep and genuine care for one another, there have been hard and deeply vulnerable stories shared with the hope of offering encouragement to someone else walking the same road, and there has been so many moments of the Lord’s faithfulness in revealing Himself present through both the mountain tops and the valley lows—we have been able to offer the truth to so many this week that although our circumstances may change and the path ahead seems to twist and turn for as far as the eye can see, He never changes and He remains constant and our firm foundation through whatever this life brings. I am sure you can see from some of the pictures shared on previous blog posts that this is a team that genuinely cares for one another and loves to have a good time. It has been a breath of fresh air to get to experience this community and quickly come to love everyone here. It has been a beautiful reminder of the Lord’s desire for community with us and His willingness to pursue us in order to have a relationship with us despite our short-comings and tendency to wander—He meets us with open arms and welcomes us into His family.

I have been so encouraged to watch so many deeply gifted and talented people use the passions the Lord has given them to glorify His Name and allow others to tangibly experience His unrelenting love and compassion. Patients walked out of the doors of outreach changed from who they were when they walked in them only hours before—not because they received medicine or glasses or food or anything else we could offer them, but because they left knowing they are seen and they are loved and they matter — not only to us but to the Lord who created them with intention and with a purpose. He is their comfort in seasons of challenge and their hope in a world that can feel so hopeless. What a gift that if we have nothing else than Him, we have everything we could ever hope for and need.

Although we may not know every detail of each other’s stories, nor the complete stories of the patients who walk through the doors of the school that has been so graciously offered to us to host outreach, the Lord does and He intentionally and purposefully orchestrated every person on our team to be able to come this week, every translator and volunteer to show up and serve so selflessly, and every patient to attend outreach knowing these interactions had and stories shared and relationships formed would be for His glory and His Kingdom.

How beautiful that He chooses and invites us to take part in His plan—not because He needs us but because we wants us.