Yalu, Guatemala. Children sitting at home.
Comfort dulls me and makes me complacent. I have a tough time paying close attention when using cruise control.
In 2010, we left the church we were serving in for eleven years because I felt way too comfortable. The pay was good, the benefits were great and we loved the people. But, I was bored with being so dang comfortable. Same old, same old … week after week.
And then we spent May 2011 through probably May 2013 being very, very uncomfortable. It was when that whole liver transplant thing happened. Holy cow, that was way too uncomfortable for me! But, my faith grew and the intimacy in my relationship with God multiplied.
Now, it’s about to become 2017 and I’m feeling pretty darn comfy again. I’m in an awesome church that my God has brought back to life, I’ve got fantastic friends and today is a lot like yesterday and much like tomorrow will be. Can I admit that I’m a little bit antsy?
Maybe I am an adrenaline junkie. Or, maybe I’m a builder/creator personality.
No worries, family and friends, I’m not about to throw in the towel and head for a third-world country to dig wells or give vaccines to goats. My physical limitations make that impossible now. Something about this suppressed immune system makes that unwise. God has me right where He wants me.
So, what do I do about it? The ancient book I like to read that is full of stories of men and women affecting change by serving God says I’m to be am “ambassador” for Jesus Christ. Ambassadors are not in charge of a whole lot. Instead, they simply represent the person or government they work for.
I need to represent and reflect the heart of Jesus. What’s important to Him needs to be important to me. I must decrease and He must increase.
So, here where our first-world problems focus on smartphones that drain too quickly and satellite television that drops signal during a storm forcing us to miss our show on our 55″ 4k tv, I need to focus on being an ambassador for Christ by helping us remember to love others.
The best mentor I ever had, Dr. Arthur Evans Gay, ended every message imploring his listeners to”remember the poor.” I have a much better understanding of that now.
Yes, I will continue to fly off to wherever God allows, whenever He allows. Yes, it’s dangerous. Yes, there are risks. But the risk to my soul and spirit that comes from just sitting on my comfortable couch waiting for Survivor to come on, is too great. I need to answer the call He has put on my life to be actively involved in bringing Hope to people who are suffering.
It’s my calling. Please understand that it does not have to be yours. If you are a Jesus follower, God calls you to be an ambassador wherever you are – work, school, community…
I’m thankful for the local church family I have and am thankful for the team attitude. I’m thankful that they are willing to take a risk or two and head into the mess if that’s where the Lord calls us.
And, I am thankful that they smile and nod whenever I present another crazy, impossible, dangerous idea demonstrating active Faith.
I’m dreaming of a roof for Oratorio
I’ve got a couple crazy ideas stirring right now that I’m praying about. One will take about $300,000 to accomplish and the other is $10,000 – $12,000. I just need God to direct me to the resources.
The largest project will replace all the roofs at an AMG school that serves around 1,000 children, many who live in the Guatemala city dump searching for food and recyclables. The little project (yes, little! haha) will put a roof over the play area at the sister school our little church partners with in Oratorio, Guatemala giving the kids a place to play during both the rainy and heat seasons.
Crazy, right? Perhaps. Impossible? NO!
In fact, maybe you, the company you work for or a philanthropic board you sit on, is looking for ways to make a significant impact? Email me at email@example.com and I can give you information, proposals and spec sheets.
I love the fact that AMG is focused on what it calls a Bridge to Life approach rather than simply providing handouts. Its programs are designed to break the cycle of poverty by equipping children and families with marketable skills to provide income.
I’m home for awhile. I don’t know for how long or what my God might present next. I just pray it’s not too long of a wait.
I’m not made for lying on a couch, eating cheese curls and sucking the orange coating off my fingers.
If you would like to give a tax-deductible, year-end gift to help meet needs in Guatemala, visit www.easytithe.com/fbcwestbrook and choose “AMG.” Our church family will add it to others and forward it along.