Back in Guatemala and eager to see what the Lord has for the team.  This summer we have seen some great ministry take place with teams on the ground along side the Browns serving in Guatemala.  The Lord has been gracious to us this summer and allowed us to see many come to faith in Christ.  It is very encouraging to see the hand of the Lord moving in Sajcavilla especially.

The adjustments to home visits in Sajcavilla have been very good.  With so many visits to make, we often do not get to all of them in the afternoon.  So, Pastor Juan has begun to gather the families from one area into a home for one visit with several families.  This is a great move that has proven to be beneficial for the beginning of home Bible studies all over the community.  Juan has become very busy and is traveling a good bit out to Sajcavilla and investing in the lives of so many.

As we prepare for another week, I am reminded of the tremendous opportunity we have to see the Lord move in this Mayan community.  The doors to so many homes and the schools have been opened by His divine power.  We have the privilege of leading a medical clinic in November to meet physical needs that have been seen over and over again.

We need your help with this trip.  We are in need of at least two more doctors and a couple of dentists would be best!  The need is so great and the opportunity is such a God thing, I really want to make sure we do all we can to meet the need.  If you are a medical professional or know of someone who could consider this trip, please connect them with us.  We are in the process now of finalizing the team and working on details for all of the plans.  We do have a great support team forming around the medical professionals.  In addition we have an awesome couple to lead our pharmacy team with experience on the field.  We simply are asking for the Lord to connect a few more doctors to help meet the need.  Please pray with us for the team to be completed soon and the plans to all come together for a successful medical clinic and children's Bible festival during the week of November 3-10!

In His Grip,
JT Turner

Kevin's Transformation!

A couple of years ago our team met Kevin at Iglesia Jerusalen in Guatemala.  He had just arrived at the church's daycare and could not walk or communicate at all.  He simply lay on the floor trying to survive.  The church had opened the daycare to help struggling mothers with child care so they could work to provide for their families.  Many of our supporters, especially our "31 Ladies" have stepped up big time to support this amazing ministry in Guatemala.
This past week I took this photo of Kevin as he tried to sing the songs and do the motions to songs with a room full of school children from a nearby school!  yes, this child who could barely survive is thriving in this environment of love and encouragement.  The ladies of the daycare offer such amazing love and support to the children every day that even Kevin, severely autistic and struggling with all motor skills, has improved beyond belief.  Later in the day after this photo, I watched as Kevin walked with his mother and brothers down the street toward their house!  Amazed at what God has done, I am reminded of the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
Many of us walking this journey of faith have been made a new creation.  Yet, we have not realized the dramatic difference in our lives that Paul is talking about.  We have continued to live in a world trying to survive, just like Kevin.  We have struggled to communicate and to do the simple tasks of daily life.  yet all the while the potential for an amazing transformation lies at the root of our very lives as a new creation in Christ!  
As we walked the road and paths of Sajcavilla this summer I was reminded of the vision God has been developing for the church in that Mayan community.  Many people walking up and down those paths are in darkness simply because we have not shared the truth with them.  Every time a team visits a home and shares the truth of the Gospel for the first time in a home, the response is the same...salvation is released on a life and the truth comes to life in their hearts!  This is an amazing reality to watch right before your very eyes.  Those of you who have seen it know exactly what I am talking about.  The transformation of a life that takes place during the conversion of a soul is an awe inspiring event that forever changes us...or at least it should!
Guatemala has proven to be a place where we see God's hand at work every time we travel with a team.  The work of the mission church in Sajcavilla as well as the support ministries of Jerusalen Church and the leadership of Pastor Morales continues to bring about change in these communities.  The faithfulness of those who have been in the field working, like Pastor Juan of the mission church, is very easily seen with every moment we are serving along side our brothers and sisters in this remote village.  
God has given us a huge vision for this community.  The vision for this community is so big only God can bring it about.  Yet, the amazing thing is He is going to use some of you to be a part of making things a reality in Sajcavilla and San Pedro and San Juan.  You see the vision for Sajcavilla is a beginning point to reach the larger communities beyond them on the road.  Sajcavilla is far enough out of the city and away from Jerusalen Church that a mission base needs to be established in order to launch further out.  That is the vision for Sajcavilla.  
The vision is to establish a mission outpost in Sajcavilla that will include many aspects of community ministry.  Out of these ministries will grow evangelists, and teachers, and medical professionals who will carry the truth of the Gospel further out into the next village of San Pedro.  San Pedro is a community of over 25,000 where there is, according to several missionaries and church leaders, "no good church."  The goal is to establish a base of ministry and mission that could launch further into the Mayan community with members of the Mayan community!
To accomplish all that we see God leading us to do, we need your help.  There are so many aspects to establishing a base of ministry that we simply do not know or understand.  We need prayer warriors to begin now praying for land and open doors for the location of this base.  We need workers to go with us into the fields and continue the work of spreading the truth and sharing the love of Christ to assist the church in reaching its community.  We need teams to go and teach the Word to the children of the area so as to raise up a generation of leaders who know and live by the truth of God's Word.  We will need workers to go and help build and develop a ministry base that operates as a refuge of hope for the community to be fed, nourished and strengthened.  We need partners who will commit to long-term relationship with Sajcavilla and the church that God is raising up there as a light in the darkness of Mayan and Catholic confusion.  We need you to join the mission outpost team and carry the Gospel to the nations.
Join us as we pray for the Lord of the harvest to send workers into the field.  Pray with us for wisdom and strength  as we follow His hand of mercy into the communities in Guatemala.  Pray with us for His Word to reign supreme in a land with little to no nourishment from food nor from the church.  Pray with us as we learn from His Word, "If my people who are called by name will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14  Pray with us for revival to break out among the Guatemalan church and spiritual awakening to spread across the region as the church follows His hand obediently into the community!

I recall so many times hearing those words repeated over and over as we drove to our next camp or mission trip as a youth pastor, "are we there yet?"  Then some years later hearing those same words echo from the back seat of our van on our way as a family to visit Georgia, "are we there yet Papa?"  So many of us as parents or those who have worked with young people recall the words and the answers we used to give.  My favorite two as a youth pastor were, "about an inch on the map left to go" and "two more hours!"

I have found the same question slipping into my head as I have talked with the Lord about our mission partnerships in various locations.  "Lord are we there yet?  Have we connected like you want us to connect yet?  Is tis the partner we are to go deep with in the field?"  The challenges of building deep relationships on the field with like-passioned people and leaders is a serious process of discovery and commitment.  However, I have found myself talking with the Lord about these relationships a great deal lately.

We have been blessed over the past five years to meet some of the most amazing servants of the Lord on the field.  Specifically, in Guatemala we have connected with Iglesia Jerusalen and the members of that faithful church.  Led by Pastor Morales, this local faith family has taught us so much about ministry and mission in cross-cultural settings.  As I think about being there yet, I realize how far we have come.  I have this past week looked back over the five years since first returning to Guatemala with a team and am amazed at how far we have come!  The Father has blessed us with really good friends and deep relationships in Guatemala.  The Lord has allowed us to realize a huge step of supporting the Brown family in their move to Guatemala to serve alongside the local church and its ministries.  We have partnered with a church plant in Sajcavilla outside the city.  And we have begun to have an impact on the lives of some special families in this Mayan village up in the mountains.  
As I reflect on getting there, I realize how far we have to go.  The work is beginning to show us how deep the need is for spiritual darkness to be confronted with the Light.  The opportunities for the Gospel to spread among the local communities and clusters of houses is exploding.  The need for more resources and supplies for teaching the Word is growing with every home visit.  The requests for help with home repairs, Bible studies and food bags grows with every conversation in the community.  There is so much to be done and the urgency is so can we possibly meet the needs?  
The response to the question really has more to do with our willingness to be obedient than the location on the map we find ourselves.  Finding ourselves in a place of obedience has more to do with where we are in our faith journey than how many books we have read or how often we are in church.  The place of openness to the guidance of the Holy Spirit is so much more critical than how much we follow the latest words of our favorite blogger or model our lives after our favorite preacher.  The place we need to seek is a place of unwavering faithfulness to the call of God to show the Gospel in every aspect of our daily life and share the Gospel message in every opportunity the Father provides.  
As I write this blog tonight all over the world gatherings for worship are beginning and preparations are underway to gather with other believers for a time of worship and sharing the Word.  As these gatherings take place, I wonder how many of the people in attendance will be there?  How many of us will be there?  Will you and I be at that place of obedience where God can speak truth into our lives in a way that brings about a response and change in what we do?  Are you at a place where the Lord can send you to the person in your community who needs to see and hear the love of Christ fleshed out in front of them?  
As you walk through the day, where you are greeted by those who have a heart seeking the Lord, will you ask the Lord of the Harvest to send workers into the field?  Will you show the Gospel in the responses you have to those around you?  Will you share the Gospel with those whom the Father brings across your path?  Will you be there?  

Today I was reminded of why I have the best job in all the world! The view from where I sat today is so big it sometimes overwhelms me as I listen to the words being shared and sense the gravity of who is saying them. The Lord has shown great favor over the past several years to connect me and 1Way to some amazing men and women of God.

 Today I had the privilege of sitting with Pastor Morales in his home along with Greg Brown and hear this amazing man of God share from his heart.  Pastor Morales is the most humble yet wise pastor I have met anywhere on the field.  Our time today was awesome as we discussed plans for the future.  He began to talk about plans for upcoming trips and ideas for how we can best be used here on the field with teams.  He then was willing to share some of his vision for the church and long term plans.

My question for you is how big is your vision for your life here in this journey of faith the Lord has you walking?  Have you sensed His stirring lately in your heart for more?  Do you often think about how the Lord can use you to help others realize their dreams and visions for the future?  I do!  I did!

Today I began to catch the vision for some of the long term vision for ministry here in Guatemala.  I recognize that many people consider Guatemala a reached country or a place the Gospel has already been spread.  However, today I was reminded that many of the people of this country have only heard of God from the Catholic community and most of them have never heard things like,"Jesus died for your sins...He will forgive you and give you a new life in Him...God has a plan for your life and He wants to live inside of you and give you victory over sin and death!"  The Gospel has so much power to set people free and yet we are so quiet with this truth in the face of religion.

Today I was reminded of the urgency to spread the Good News through the local church.  Today the vision for ministry just exploded in my head and heart as I listened to an amazing servant of the Lord and pastor of a growing flock of Christ followers share about what he sees from where he serves.  So, are you willing to allow your vision for ministry grow?

In the coming days we will begin to share more details and plans as we develop our part of the growing vision for  ministry in Guatemala.  To begin with i would like to share with you all the opportunity to get involved today in this vision for growth and spreading the Gospel.  Immediately there is a need for pastors and leaders to rise up in Guatemala to serve the communities and churches that are opening up for the Gospel.  Part of the struggle is there is no way to support these pastors and leaders as they do feel God's call on their lives.

To share with you an example of this currently, I would like to share with you about Juan.  Those who have been to Guatemala and more specifically to Sajcavilla, know Pastor Juan.  He has been serving for a few years as the mission pastor planting a new work among a Mayan community.  He has a heart for the people.  He has a desire to sere daily among the community and meet the needs of the flock that is growing there.  Yet, even though he is doing a lll he can, he still must work several days during the week to provide for the needs of his family.  His heart's desire is to serve in ministry full-time.  He needs some folks to come along side him and support him in this passion of ministry and help him continue to reach into the community and teach the Word.

Many other young men and women are wanting to serve the Lord in ministry and leadership in the church.  However, all over the country young people are becoming more and more busy trying to survive and help their families provide.  Meanwhile fewer and fewer young people are surrendering their lives to serve full-time in ministry.  We see a trend here that also is showing up in other countries.  Fewer young people are choosing to serve the church and more are having to walk away and work and try to provide.

What can you do?  The US is blessed for a reason.  Psalm 67 clearly communicates the purpose of blessing is to "make His ways known in all the world and His salvation among all nations."  You and I have been blessed so much!  The purpose is to make His ways known.  The method in which we can be a part of this globally is to support hose young people and pastors around the world who are willing to serve and lead but need to have someone support them.  We have been granted money and resources for the purpose of spreading the Gospel through indigenous leaders and servants who will share and lead and teach.

So how big is your vision?  Can you see beyond the immediate world you live in and hear the cry of those in need?  Can you see the opportunities that await the young leaders in countries like Guatemala when through the support and encouragement of those of us with resources, they realize a calling that has been placed on their lives and the Gospel is spread through young men and women surrendering to follow full-time into the ministry?  Men like Pastor Morales recognize their days are growing shorter.  There is coming a day when someone else will take the reigns.  The issue right now is who will take the reigns and how will they be ready if they are not being prepared now for the task at hand.  You and I can be a part of an amazing opportunity to invest in the future of the church in Guatemala through investing in the future leaders who will reach the world and teach the Word!  Will you stretch out your vision and let it grow with us?  Will you let your vision get big enough to spread outside your box and spill over into the ends of the earth?  Will you give today in a way that spreads the Gospel into tomorrow?  Come on...let your vision get big!

In His Grip,

Many years ago I remember hearing of these quick short stories quoted by a notable man in the media.  I was not really sure of who this Paul Harvey was, but it was rather unique the way he would relate a significant point or truth in a brief story that would always have you hanging onto every word.  He would then take a break and come back on a few minutes later with the "rest of the story."

About ten years ago I was reading a book on leadership and ran across a very interesting quote that stuck with me.  The writer of the book was recounting an interview with Paul harvey late in his life.  The topic of the interview was Paul harvey's beliefs and how that had shaped his world view and his public life.  I will never forget this one specific part of the interview that has been a part of me ever since.  When asked what he believed about God and the Christian faith, Paul Harvey responded, "do not ask me what I believe, watch what I do, that is what I believe."

I have been impacted by that statement for years now.  What I do is really what I believe, because it is my beliefs that drive my behavior.  This is very true among the church today.  What we really believe is what we will do.  I think Jesus talked a bit about this when He discussed obedience in John 14:15 where He shares if we love Him we will obey His commands.  Belief seems to be the critical issue here, would you agree?

In John chapter 20, we see three different forms or types of belief in Jesus.  John runs with Peter to the empty tomb and once going in to see the empty tomb and vacant grave clothes the Bible says that John," saw and believed."  John's belief could be called intellectual belief, he saw first hand the tomb and believed based on what he experienced.  Mary's experience was somewhat different.  She lingered at the tomb after the disciples left to go back to the house.  She actually turned and look at Jesus and did not recognize Him until He spoke her name.  She then out of the emotion of the weekend and especially the moment responded with belief,"Rabbi!"  She heard her name called and responded with belief that it was Jesus, alive just as He said!  A bit later Thomas, who missed the first encounter with Jesus and the disciples stood face to face with the risen Lord and touched His hands and side and the Bible says Thomas responded with a confession of Jesus as, "my Lord and my God."  Thomas chose to respond with the knowledge he gained by the understanding of the facts presented.  He had volitional belief, that which comes from a choice based on understanding.

All three of these believed Jesus had risen and was the Christ.  Each one needed a little different nudge to respond.  Jesus knew each one's need and provided exactly what each one needed.  The amazing thing about that is He still does that today!  Jesus is still about custom conversions today!

Today many of you reading this blog will agree with that we believe in Jesus.  The question is am I responding to what I believe?  Are you doing the things that allow those around you to see what you believe?  As Paul Harvey was noted as saying, the rest of the story needs to be told. You and I have an incredible opportunity to be a part of this amazing work of reconciliation. You and I have been given the powerful Gospel message to share. You and I have been placed in a world that desperately needs to hear the message of hope found in Jesus! Will those around you see what you believe and ask you about it? Will you share the rest of the story? Come on let's reach the world with the Gospel message and teach the Word that sets us free in Christ! In His Grip, JT Turner

Two years ago Pastor Morales was sharing with several of us as we walked through Sacajvilla about a medical team that had visited a tear or so earlier and how much success they had.  The needs are abundant and the clinic saw many illnesses that needed simple medicine.  The impact on the community and the respect it earned the local church were both amazing.  About a year later, while walking that same path with Pastor Morales he turned to me and said it would be a good idea to try and get another medical team to visit Sacajvilla.  After much prayer and and seeking His direction on when and where, the Lord has opened the door for a medical clinic trip in November of this year!

The relationship with the community of Sacajvilla is growing with every trip we make.  The amazing agricultural community is set in the midst of the mountains outside of Guatemala City.  The region is predominantly Mayan.  The Mayan people are the indigenous people of Guatemala and make up nearly two-thirds of the total population in the country.  They are mostly a simple people group living off the land as much as possible and yet, they are still very under-nourished as a whole.

Many people here in the US are familiar with a Guatemalan or two and have noticed that most of them are small in stature.  The main reason for this is not a genetic requirement for the region.  It is mostly due to what is called "stunting."  The cause for this stunted growth is lack of nutrition in the first 1000 days of life.  The majority of the Mayan people experience this condition as they are struggling to make it each day with enough food for their families.  Even in the midst of all the crops surrounding their homes, the people of Sacajvilla are still very hungry as most of the food grown around their homes is taken into the city and sold.  Much of the Mayan people work theses fields across the country to support the export of fruit and vegetables sent to the city or even to the US.  For example, next time you grab a bunch of bananas at the market look at that sticker and notice that many of them say Guatemala!

This past November walking that same road with Pastor Morales I committed to bring a medical team the following year to do a clinic.  The vision had begun to come clear in my heart and now we needed to take some first steps toward obedience.  November 3-10, 2012 we are hosting a medical clinic in Sacajvilla to serve the needs of the people in the village and schools.  We are in need of a full medical team for this trip. We need four to five doctors who will guide the clinic and offer their services to the people.  In addition we need five to eight nurses and practitioners who will support these doctors and offer additional services and training during the clinic.  We are in need of a pharmacy team to help with collection, transportation and distribution of medications during the trip.  We are also looking for some physical therapy folks who will help with several handicapped members of the community.  The time we have walked through the paths in this village has allowed us to see much need for medical care and general medicine to impact in a major way the health of the community.

In addition to the medical team, we will be hosting along side Jerusalen Church and the mission church they have planted in Sacajvilla, a FBI!  The church in Guatemala is very successful at the Festival Biblical Infantile - VBS for us from the US!  The exciting aspect of the trip is that we will be hosting the entire event at a school on the main road in the village.  It is highly visible and a major point of contact for the entire village.  The relationship with the leadership of the school has proven to be a vital aspect of reaching the needs of the community.

We need to staff this medical team with some quality servants who will help further the impact of the church in Guatemala and open doors of hope in this community.  The opportunity is amazing!  The privilege of utilizing this facility and in this location is definitely a movement of the Lord.  We need to take advantage of this opportunity and provide the best we can to the people of Sacajvilla.  If you or someone you know would be a good fit for this team please connect them to One Way through email or the website.  We will follow up and look forward to the Father developing an amazing team!  Come on and go with us as we reach the world and teach His Word!

In His Grip,
JT Turner

Many of you know that we as a family have been on quite a journey over the past six months. The issue of sin takes on many forms in each persons life and looks different for each occasion of life. The area we have been dealing with lately, the love of food more than the love of Christ, has taken us to a new place in our journey and it is good! The joy of knowing my passions are getting back in priority has brought me to a new set of issues.

I have come to a place of asking "Now What?" I have reached a place where I know I am going to be with my weight. I may lose a few more pounds and I am sure i will continue to make adjustments as I continue to be obedient. However, I am at a place where I am comfortable with the weight loss to this point. I am also becoming more comfortable with my running routine. I have moved from 3.1 miles five days a week to 4 miles five days a week. I have a few long runs here and there and am pushing beyond the 10K barrier every now and again. Yet, I find myself asking that question about what now more and more.

I have begun to see this question from a different angle over the past few weeks and would like to pose the question to you. Have you come to a place in your faith journey that you feel comfortable with where you are? Have you reached a daily routine that seems to be where you need to be? Have you been working to get yourself in shape and seem to be at a good place? "What Now?" I would challenge you to ask the question a little bit differently. "Lord, what do you have for me now?"

I am certain when I look back on my journey, that the Father guides me through experiences that are designed to prepare me for the next chapter of life. I also know from my past that the training of the body does equip you to do something more than you had done before when the challenge arises. So, what is the next challenge in your journey have you been in training to be ready to take on? The Lord is always at work in our lives to ready us for the next step of faith we will be asked to take. Do you see yours on the horizon yet? Have you begun to see the next level of faith and obedience the Spirit of God is preparing you to step toward?

The Gospel of John was written by a disciple who saw a great deal of stuff. He was a young man when he walked with Jesus. He grew to be an old man before he finished his work of writing the inspired words that the Father had penned on his heart. As we grow older in this age of fast food, faster internet and 4G phones, let's remember the faith of those who have gone before us. John shared his experiences of being an eyewitness to the journey of Jesus many years after they took place. And yet, John's passion was every bit as hot as it was the moment he saw the miracles take place. What is coming next will be what the Lord has in store for each of us. The question is not what is it going to be? The real question is am I ready to live my faith out with the same passion I once had when I realized the freedom He bought on the cross for me! Am I ready and willing to live out my faith with such a passion that the whole world will see and believe? How about you...are you ready for what's next?

In His Grip, JT

The following is a post sent in March by Scott Boatwright after returning from Guatemala with a team from his church, Summit Crossing in Madison, AL and a few others from Georgia and Alabama.

I just keep saying WOW, it seems that every where we turn we are reminded of our trip. This past Sunday our Pastor preached on Reaching the Nations, I'm not sure but I think God is trying to tell us something here. I have been told from several people that have been on mission trips in the past to hold on to the high and I must say I know exactly what they are talking about. It is extremely difficult at times to do that being back in our every day lives. I've got to say for Charlene and myself we will be forever changed as a result of the Holy Spirit using this trip to change our hearts and lives. We know that God has something in store for us and are praying for direction for what that is. I will share a little about how our group got to this point and some of our greatest moments. I have been leading our small group of 16 for the past 2 years or so, we had started praying in Dec of 2010 for God to direct us where to get involved missionally in our community and he lead us to the Homeless. Not long after we started working with the Homeless we lead me to start this book series called Radical (anybody heard of it :), and then Secret Church happened so not only did that turn our little group upside down God had us do Radical Together next. We knew then that we had no choice, that we are all commanded to GO and after a lot of prayer and God connecting us to One Way we ended up with all of you guys in Guatemala. I have already started talking with several in the Group about where we are going next.


Now for me some of the moments that stand out was definitely the last 2 1/2 days. This was such a humbling experience to watch this family go from complete worry to joy in just a couple of days was overwhelming for me. To know that we have so much here and to see them so happy with just some new tin over their heads really put things into perspective for me. To have the kids serve us drinks on the 1st day to helping build their home the 2nd day by helping carry the tin. But the greatest moment was to watch Juan get on his knees with Dave and Roger and pray to receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior will be that HIGH that snapshot that carries me forward to know that now he can lead his family spiritually is joy to me. I had struggled a little earlier in the week with not being able to spend more time on home visits etc., but God told me during that last day that we had been on a 2 1/2 day home visit and to just trust him and he showed me the end result. Another moment for me that I continue to reflect back on is our time with Pastor Morales and his church on Sunday. The presence of the Holy Spirit was just awesome, being able to worship our Lord with other believers from another country like that was just wonderful and something I will always remember. I could just keep on going but I will end by saying I enjoyed serving with all of you and hope and pray that we will have the opportunity to do it again. 

In Him,

Scott Boatwright

Every time we are obedient the Father uses our time on the field to challenge us, stretch us and teach us in order that we will be more effective at sharing His Gospel in our own backyard!  Scott and the small group from Summit Crossing are doing that very thing.  They are very involved locally in their own backyard and at the same time willing to be stretched by going to the nations to share, learn and grow.  The Father has a glorious plan of using the Body of Christ to each the world and teach His Word!  

This post was authored by SueEllen Button of Summit Community church in Huntsville, Alabama. She went to Guatemala in March of 2012.

I have been having flash backs all week as I try to operate in an American Christian Private School and long to be back at a Guatemalan Public school where I had more encouragement and freedom sharing the Gospel with the students.

One of the church members at Summit asked me this past Sunday what was your favorite God moment and I immediately told her about the pastor from Lantana (Pastor Juan) praying with the blind man we went to visit. I remember when we were brought into the blind man's home along with the other ladies from church at Lantana and Pastor Juan. It was a small room and Charlene and I shared a wooden bench. Pastor Juan sat on the other side of me and to his left sat the woman from his church who had developed a relationship with this family after she saw the man and found out the difficulty the family was having because of his blindness.

I realized that us being there was no accident and that this was an intentional appointment that had been prepared by much prayer and service of a faithful believer named Veronica. During our time of sharing Pastor Juan took notes and followed along in his Bible as we shared Scripture. So thankful for our interpreter Patty who was always ready to communicate the Gospel. She was also very encouraging to those local believers who had such a heart for those who were lost around them.

During the visit I was constantly reminded that I did not even know the name of the man who lived across the street from my family. What needs does he have? Does he know Jesus?

Thankfully through our visit we were able to share the Gospel and encourage the blind man to acknowledge that God promises to forgive all of our past sins at the time of salvation. As we prayed with the family Pastor Juan left his chair and went over to the man and laid hands on him and prayed for him as the man cried and released so much hurt and self persecution.

When we left we were encouraged by this man as he told us goodbye and that although he may never see us on earth he will see us in heaven. As we walked back to the van I asked pastor Juan if he had known this man before today and he had not. This was the first time he had been able to visit him. He tries to go and pray with all of those in his community who request prayer.

One other moment was after our first home visit in the community near New Jerusalen Church. The visit did not go exactly the way we had hoped. We ended up doing 4 visits in one but figured that was the way God intended it to be (did a lot of that thinking when things didn't go exactly the way I thought they should go). After the visit we went back to the church to wait for the other teams. Because of the language barrier we really were not able to talk with the ladies from the church and because of their quietness it would have been easy to just sit and not talk and rest but decided we should share our testimonies with each other with the help of our interpreter Roger.

After Laura shared her testimony we asked the ladies from the church to share their testimony. During one of the ladies' testimonies Roger realized that he had taught her sons when they were small and had been a catalyst for drawing her back into the church. In spite of her not wanting to come to church her children and husband came without her. Just seeing the "light come on" in Roger when he remembered that time showed me the true reason we were there was to come alongside the Christians in Guatemala to share the Gospel with their neighbors and to encourage them in their own walk with the Lord.

It was so awesome to have Roger translate for me during VBS in the schools. By the end we had a rhythm to our presentation. In one class we had finished our presentation and craft and it was time to go. I kept wrapping things up but Roger kept working with the kids. I hated having to finally tell him it was time for us to go. He is a very gifted and talented young man and I greatly appreciated the sacrifices he made to be our translator for the week.

Could go on for days but will stop here. The End!

I couldn't have imagined a better experience. Several people came to know the Lord. We had an awesome worship experience. We rebuilt a house. We built a roof. We installed walls and doors. We spent time sharing our faith and living out the Gospel. It was awesome!

The highlight for me was the 2 1/2 days we spent with a family of 14 in desperate need of better living accomodations. I thought going to Guatemala that we were going to work on the roof. Little did I know that meant roof plus the walls that support it. The family went from looking at us with a bit of distrust to smiles and true feelings of togetherness in the Lord. On the last day, the father knelt and prayed with two of the team members. The women in our group got to do several home visits where people were saved, but the guys were working on this house. The fruit came on the last day when the father was praying. I was so involved in working that I failed to realize we were doing an extended home visit!

Another thing that I will treasure forever was spending time trying to communicate with members of two different families. My Spanish is poor at best, but I had a blast trying to converse with the children. It solidified what God had been saying to me for a while that it doesn't matter where you're from, people are just people. We all have basic needs and we all are in need of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I also thought it was great that the trip wasn't just focused on helping others but was also about working on our own walk with the Lord. I enjoyed the recaps each night, hearing what God was doing in and through each person. I pray that I have the opportunity to return to Guatemala.

This post was written by Chris Button of Huntsville, Alabama, who traveled to Guatemala in March of 2012 as a mission trip participant.