There is nothing quite as comforting as being in a “foreign country” and connecting with people from your home country. That happened with us tonight. One of the Project Transformation Tennessee interns that I met this summer, Allison Bedford, is here in Guatemala. Our bond was set this summer when we shared stories of Guatemala. Allison read our facebook post yesterday and gave us a call. Tonight she is my roommate and the team spent some time listening to her experiences over the past 2 months. Allison has been volunteering with a church community and village called, Chontala. She has been building relationships, practicing her Spanish and getting to know the Guatemalan people. She learned of this village by participating in missions with the Wesley Foundation at the Wesley Foundation at Florida State University. Allison’s heart was stirred over the 4 years her college friends came here on mission and she returned here to serve as long as she could. She leaves in 3 weeks.
I am happy to see Allison. I am overwhelmed by the connections that God gives us when we have no idea why. Or it is embarrassing to realize that I may be unaware of how strong a scattered people called “disciples” can be when each person is listening and following the path God has set before them. It’s funny, I don’t think of Gautemala as a “foreign country” anymore. I didn’t realize that until I just typed it. I simply think of it as a southern neighbor with a very different culture.
Steve Fulton had a similar experience as he reunited with Pastor Tomas today. Just 3 months ago Pastor Tomas and Doris were guests in his home in Frankin, TN. He had no idea that he would be in a meeting with them in Guatemala before the year ended! It makes me laugh…seriously…the Spirit will do whatever the Spirit will do. Our role is to follow.
I was amused (and I appreciated) the order and organization of our meeting today. Pastor Tomas is definitely a “Methodist”! He had an agenda and followed it! The Guatemalan people are particularly intentional about greetings, thanksgivings and blessings. During greetings there is an introduction of each person in the room. Over 10 leaders came to be a part of the meeting today and each one introduced themselves.
I loved having Steve and the Rachels in this meeting. It tells me the Lord is stirring hearts to help and lead. This relationship and the mission of Guatemala is a mutually beneficial friendship that allows all of us to be transformed for the glory of God. If we are to be the kingdom of God, if people are going to believe the stories they hear of Christ’s presence on earth…if this is who we are then we must live that life expressing love with one another in whatever way God leads us. It doesn’t always mean going across countries, it simply always means: “follow me” when the Spirit speaks. I pray our church – and the WHOLE church across the world – will keep listening and following. Let it be.