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We are safely back from Guatemala.  We had an amazing trip with an amazing team.  Over the next couple weeks, we would like to share insight from each of our team members.
Jeff Halcomb is our first blog post.  We have been blessed to have Jeff on this trip multiple times and each time we see a different side of Jeff.  This year he was able to entertain the kids with magic tricks and balloon animals….lots of JOY and smiles!
“I started off doing my devotion about Philippians 4:13 which is “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” It made me think about all the strengths that we had on the team. We had 3 teachers who were able to put together crafts for VBS on the fly. We had Cheyanne who was able to do a lot of translating for us. We had Christy and her leadership skills and passion to help those in need. We had Zoe, Kate, Shelby, and Grace, who just had amazing personalities who brought joy to the team and the kids in the village. Everybody had their different gifts and talents, but we all had a passion for sharing Jesus. I went back a verse, and read Philippians 4:12. Paul wrote “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” So that got me thinking, I’ve been in the situation that Paul is writing about. I know what it is to be poor, and I also know what it is to have plenty, but without Jesus, we absolutely have nothing.  Working with the people in the village, they know what it is to have nothing, and yet I feel that by knowing Jesus, they have everything. They’re content with their way of life. Some days they might not eat, and some days they might have just enough, but they have their family, their community, and most importantly, they’ve got Jesus. So because of their need for God to provide, they have a closer relationship with Jesus. I want everybody to remember that for us, we have plenty. We should be content, and we should all use our strengths to help those in need.
This trip was pretty amazing—to see the beauty of the country of Guatemala, to feel so welcomed by the people there, to embrace a simpler, slower lifestyle that we fondly call “Guatemalan time”. It was quite amazing to have the families invite us into their homes. We got to pray with them, and sit down and talk with them, and get to know them better. We got that sense of connection with them in their homes, which was more personal, and we got to see more glimpses of how they live. Laughter is such a universal thing. Even not being able to speak the same language, I got to bring some of the joy of magic to Guatemala. Seeing the reactions of pure joy and amazement on everybody’s faces really drove home the fact that we are really no different. The look of joy and amazement on their faces as they react to a magic trick is the same as the reaction of people here. There’s no difference between us. We are all the children of God. I want to close with some words that my Sunday school kids wrote during a class where we spent time putting together our own psalms. They absolutely get what it means to be a child of Christ.
“We praise you Lord for loving us enough to send your son to save us by being crucified for our sins. We also praise you for giving us our daily needs. We thank you for all the beautiful things in the world for us to look at. Thank you for all of the beautiful animals and mountains, flowers, sunsets, and sunrises. For the moon and the stars, our family and friends, our teachers and doctors and nurses. Most of all we thank you for creating us.” Pineapple Psalm 2016″
Jeff Halcomb
© 2015 Messiah Lutheran Church