Tonight was a wonderful time as those of us who traveled to Guatemala the week before last had the opportunity to share a report with the church family about what was accomplished through their gifts and prayer support that made the trip possible. A couple of folks had a tough time choking back the tears as they shared about the impact that the trip made on their own lives. God was certainly gracious to us, allowing us to share the gospel in multiple settings including public schools, Vacation Bible Schools in 3 different churches, and many homes of needy families who also received a bag of food staples to help supply meals for a few days.
Our members were deeply touched as well by the pictures of the children in particular whom we worked with and who also were the recipients of the 303 dolls that our Women on Missions groups made with a great deal of love and care. The smiling faces of the children receiving those gifts will be indelibly etched in our minds.
This was our church's third missions trip to Guatemala and I anticipate others in the years ahead as our partnership with the western part of the country continues. Our church will also be hosting the annual meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Missouri at the end of this month, including a missions banquet on Friday night featuring the president of the pastors' association from the region in Guatemala where we've been working.
I shared with the congregation tonight that when we returned from serving with the IMB after so many years in Argentina and a short stint in Mexico, I wasn't sure what missions ministry I would find to fill the void I felt following our resignation as career missionaries. I'm happy to say that this ongoing partnership with Guatemalan Baptists which has taken me to that beautiful country some 13 or 14 times in the past 4 or 5 years has certainly become a passion for me. I dearly love the pastors and leaders with whom I'm privileged to work there and have come to greatly appreciate their service and commitment to the Lord.