I recently returned from a short-term, group mission trip to Guatemala to minister to pastor’s wives in various parts of the country. It was an amazing experience, and our team is still processing all that God did while we were there.
We were asked to consider taking on this unique vision by 21-year veteran missionaries, as they realized the need for pouring more into the leadership of the churches they serve in Guatemala. Although it is often expected for pastors to get together at area meetings, even if travel is not easily accessible, their wives seldom get the same opportunities. The women often feel secluded and lonely as they serve their families and village. Our vision was for Guatemalan pastors’ wives to feel encouraged, valued, and strengthened to move forward in the enduring sense that God is with them. We did that through one-day conferences, gifts, preaching, prayer, and loving them with all the love we could bring. Nothing like what we provided had ever happened for them before.
Before leaving stateside, we collected items and money to purchase items in Guatemala (to help their economy, too), so that each pastor’s wife could receive some special gifts. Each one received a gift basket when they arrived that included items such as a kitchen towel, a vegetable peeler, lip balm, a comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, and a typical basket they could use to shop at their local market.
As we were collecting those items as well as items to give out as door prizes, my heart was overjoyed. I love giving gifts and seeing the light of joy in the eyes of the recipients! We also collected items for door prizes, such as bath and body wash and lotions, Tupperware and Rubbermaid containers, plastic glasses and plates sets, kitchen utensils, great books in Spanish, and many other fun and useful items that the ladies might not be able to purchase on their own.
I also felt compelled to go through my closets to see what I could share: clothes, scarves, shoes, and jewelry. Sharing what I had was such a simple gesture, but hopefully what I was able to give was a blessing as well. I already know it was for me.
What joy it is to give to others!
We also collected financial donations so we could leave each pastor’s wife with a small offering. In dollars, the amount seems so small — just $27 each or so. But that was Q200 for them. For a few of the women, that was more than their husbands make in a month. And for most, it was a tremendous financial boost. The ladies cried with joy at God’s provision.
We were very careful to remind the ladies that the gifts were from God and that we were simply the funnel he used to bless them. What a privilege it is to be a funnel.
We felt so blessed to watch God in action at the conferences. The ladies were able to have a little bit of fun, eat delicious food, worship and receive ministry specifically for them, pray till they wanted to stop, hang out with friends, and receive some blessings from God at the same time. God could have used any church in the country to do what we did, and it got to be us. What a privilege!
My heart has been challenged once again. I have so much. And it feels so amazing to allow God to use us to be a blessing to others.
Do you have something that you can share with others? Perhaps you could bring a unique blessing to someone who could use some encouragement.
Take the challenge! What can you share with others to be a blessing in the days and weeks ahead?