Dateline - July 23, 2008 - In the air somewhere over Guatemala.
It is good to be on the way home. This work is joyful but difficult. I miss my wife. I always wonder what challenge she has had to face in my absence. It always seems that she bears the brunt of these trips.
I am drained more than I remember from previous trips. I don't know if that is an effect of a short memory or a maturing view of the nature of this work. It is not about "saving the world" (although that stands as the ultimate goal) it is about doing the small thing God has called you to do and to do it well. I believe we have accomplished this.
There are moments this week I would not trade for anything; moments that will stand vividly in my memory. Likewise, there are experiences I would gladly do without, but I recognize them as part of the cost of ministry. We do not go because it is easy or rewarding. We do not go because of the great memories that are built. We do not go to bring back beautiful trinkets. We go because we are commanded to go. We go because it is an act of obedience, and in obedience, in cooperating with God's plans, we discover that God is able to do far more than we are able.
Lives were changed in Guatemala. There are new believers. There are encouraged churches. There are children with the memory of "Gringos"visiting their community to tell them of God's love. But not only were Guatemalan lives changed, our lives were changed. My daughter will always remember 3 little girls that adored her from the first moment they laid eyes on her. My son will look back on this time where God confirmed direction for his life. I am reminded of the darkness of so many without Christ.
So what is next? As always, live today for Christ and follow Him where He leads. It may be to the "uttermost parts" or it may be across the street. Today.