On a mission trip during Thanksgiving 2009, my wife and I were paired up with Pastor Larry, his son Timothy, and our Spanish-speaking guide for a food delivery route on foot in the hills outside of Guatemala City. The picturesque scenery hid the beautiful, native Guatemalans living in abject poverty in the lean-tos and huts carved into the hillside. As we delivered the bags of food, we asked each recipient if we could pray with them, and what specifically they would like us to pray about. Without exception, each one of the people instantly said, “Mi familia.” With all of the necessities they lacked, none asked for a single, material thing. They didn’t even ask for any of the things necessary for survival (food, water, clothing, shelter). Just family. Only family. My family. God, take care of my family. Watch over my family. Keep them safe. God, give them what they need to prosper.
I still feel convicted for my pursuits of material possessions each time I reminisce about that trip. I still pray for the people we met. This global missions experience opened my eyes to new possibilities on what it can mean to invite diverse and disconnected people to passionately follow Jesus TOGETHER.