I am frustrated with myself, because there are so many Kingdom stories rolling around in my head, yet they are not manifesting as words. The stories are so spectacular that I am legitimately unable to focus on just one, especially after being in Guatemala for two weeks at the end of May where I visited twenty-four different CarePoints (schools, drop-in centers and orphanages) and their directors and/or pastors for Children’s HopeChest. Some of my favorite memories from Haiti come from sitting with pastors and hearing their stories. There is so much to learn when we take the time to be curious, ask questions and listen…always taking a listening posture.
These are the stories we tell to lead others into knowledge and relationship with the One who cleanses, restores and loves unconditionally. We must continually orient everything around and point back to God, or we neglect every opportunity to build into God’s Kingdom.
Every single one of my tried and true processing methods have epically failed in getting me to focus. Twenty-two hours alone in a car driving resulted in no massive revelation. This is my 4th, count it FOURTH, attempt at sitting down and writing. My writing cave protocols of music, coffee, prayer and loads of time for God to speak have not worked. Coffee, even coffee, has failed to draw focus on where God has placed me over the last several months. I’ve had good quality time with people that I constantly process out loud with in my usual extroverted verbal ways, and yet still…I don’t even know where to start in sharing the stories that have permeated my heart and drawn me into a place of deep respect and adoration for Guatemala.
What is the point of this crazy, weird life God has called me with my crazy, weird skill sets if I am unable to pull others into God’s story?
The processing is also about the stories that are meant only for me to grow in my faith and for God to intimately speak his love for me into my heart. As well as which are meant for me to focus more clearly on my calling and which are to draw others into their own. Which are meant to educate others on the realities of the majority world, and which go against the dignity of those lives. Honoring and giving dignity to those that live in a world which is utterly opposite of the States is always a priority for me. Just because those living in the States don’t understand, does not make something wrong, ignorant or disgraceful.
What I want to share are the electric, poignant Holy Spirit moments that had my spirit resonating with God’s presence.
Who I want to give insane amounts of respect to are the incredible Guatemalans I get to work with, and are constantly living in the frontline stories of restoration and joy, yet pain and injustice.
What I want to share is the time spent and stories shared over lunch with a pastor for almost three hours.
What I want to point to are the families that are being impacted by the ministry that God has called his people to at CarePoints around Guatemala.
What I want others to learn from is the commitment, loyalty, community and deep connection to the Holy Spirit a small group of people have had for over 20 years as they lead a school.
What I want people to know is the giddiness, joyful jumping and staccato clapping that occurred as a young girl received a letter from her friend in the States, and how much those words are like a great treasure when delivered. The friendship is so incredibly valued and anything said otherwise is completely of the enemy.
What I want men to hear is how desperately their time is needed around the world as examples to families and children, especially through the story of a CarePoint director who started ministry when his daughter was born. He wanted to make a difference for other children and make his daughter proud of him.
What I want to honor is how we obediently follow God’s calling, as well as the grace, patience and time it takes to revision when God shifts ministry focus after twenty-four years.
What I want people to see when they choose to step into international ministry is that ministry must always orient around relationship, without it, all we do it hurt those that receive resources as only dependency is created.
What I want mothers to visualize are the tears in the eyes of a woman who miscarried her child struggling to walk alongside a thirteen-year-old girl in her school that went through the same thing at the same time.
What I want people to know is that even with the tears, sadness and hard things…there is so much joy and laughter. So. Much. As my mirrored aviators drew the mesmerizing stares that were quickly followed by insanely funny faces, they create the same giggles and comradery as anywhere else in the world.
What I truly want is for people to enter into God’s Kingdom in a way that brings focus to their walk with God, and leads them to fight to right the wrongs in our world, instead of pretending they do not exist. We are not meant for monotony or to be stagnant. While I’ve known my calling into orphan care and prevention for years, I want others to be fighting for the orphan, widow and outcast in whatever context they are called into. The fight is real. It is supernatural. And while it can make many people significantly uncomfortable, God asks us to enter in to that place of surrender, passion and purity with him.
As I continue to pray for focus and how to share with others in ways that merge them into God’s story…know that I am praying for you, too. That God will give you wisdom. God will teach you. God will give you discernment. God will ignite your heart. God will inspire you. And that God will guide you into your calling, because his heart is for each of us to purposefully step into his Kingdom. It isn’t in the past. It isn’t in the future, friends. It is now and it is all around you, when we choose to focus on the things that make a difference in our world.