Jesus Moved . Jesús se movió

And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whosoever shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.”
Matthew 18:2-5 KJV

These verses in the Bible were ones that I thought I understood for a very long time. I can now say that I only partially understood them. The past week spent in Guatemala has changed my life. I have been there before, and it truly impacted my life on that trip as well — but not like this one. When Pastor Bryan first approached me about taking Bryce on a mission trip, I wasn’t sure if he was ready. Leslie and I prayed about it, and something(One) told us he should go. Well from the very start of the trip, Bryce took the reins and never looked back.
After arriving Friday and settling in at camp, we went out to two villages to invite fathers and their children to an event we were holding the following day. After Bryce watched me speak to the first dad, he and his buddy, Greyson, then took over and invited two villages of people to come celebrate with us. 
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While we walked around, I got a treat and ran into my friend Brian (nicknamed Miguel). He is an amazing kid that I met the last time I was there. I had hoped to get to see him again one day, and getting to do so really touched my heart. I will always pray that one day I can sponsor him.

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Once we finished passing out flyers on Friday, all we could do is wait and see who showed up Saturday. As the Bible says in Isaiah 45, “I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:”. And that’s exactly what happened! We had over fifteen dads take off work & show up with their kids on Saturday!
Bryce helped with crafts and making sure the kids enjoyed the games we had for them. He found a couple good friends that day also— Jonathan and Carlos. He formed a bond with them stronger than anything I’ve seen, and they couldn’t even speak the same language! At the end of the day, we said our goodbyes and it was time to wind down.
We woke up Sunday morning and made the hour and a half drive back to Guatemala City to have church at Sembodoras Church. While there, Bryce and I got to teach a Sunday school class with two other team members. We had crafts that connected the kids to Jesus, and really got them involved. Then, something began to shift– Bryce made his first bold move for God. He sang “Jesus Loves Me” to the Sunday school class of 7-15 year olds in Spanish. After he sang it to them, he sang it again with them!
After church, we had lunch and then headed to do a couple house visits. The first went well- we prayed for protection and health for a family, and gave them a gift basket full of things they truly needed. Then we jumped on the bus and went to a family’s house that had attended our father/child day on Saturday. After giving them a basket as well, Mrs. Leeanne prayed for the grandmother that had Parkinson’s Disease. Right before we left, I experienced a moment that could be only from God — the moment when the trip started having a different meaning for me. Bryce voluntarily asked if he could sing “Jesus Loves Me” to this grandmother. As he sang it in Spanish to her, she mouthed the words and tried to sing it along with him. 
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When he finished singing, the grandmother hugged him for about 5 minutes… it was such a beautiful moment. Seeing your child make such a bold move (for them) for Jesus is indescribable.

After this visit, we headed back to the camp to prepare for the next day. Monday was—- let me hear it…. VOLCANO DAY!!!!! Yes, the day had come where we got to hike to the volcano and collect some lava rocks to bring home. Definitely a highlight for the boys. They loved it! 
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After a long hike back from the volcano, we finally made it back to camp. Us grownups were T.I.R.E.D! That afternoon, we went to the San Pedreros village for another great day of hanging with the village kids and doing crafts & Bible stories with them. We acted out the story of the Good Samaritan from the Bible. I got to “beat” Bryce up!! This was a fun time, and the kiddos really enjoyed our acting & learning the story. 

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While there, we were able to install an oven in a home, which would help the family be able to breath fresh air while they cooked. This is a big thing in the villages because so many get sick from their homemade ovens that do not vent out of the kitchen. This was a cool learning experience for the kids, how differently things are from back home. 

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Tuesday started out at a home in the Veramina Village, putting another oven in a kitchen for a little girl’s family that Pastor Bryan and Mrs. Leeanne have been sponsoring for several years. Mrs. Leeanne even led this little girl to Jesus on a previous trip.
While there, we met Abner— the cutest little boy in Guatemala. We will be sponsoring him in about a month, once he is set up in the Clubhouse Guatemala program.
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After finishing the oven, we headed out to make some home visits in a village where there was a strong enemy presence. As we walked, we prayed over the ground we were walking on. This was a very moving experience that I had never actually encountered before. I handed Bryce my phone, and he read Scripture and spoke it over the village as he walked. 

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 KJV
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After this, we went back to the village church and led the kids in more crafts & worship. Bryce got to be a worship leader, and did great! We also played out the story of Meshack, Shadrack, and Abednego, and how they survived the fiery furnace. The kids absolutely loved this story, and the acting was great to help teach it.

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The last day, we had a fun day in Antigua. We shopped and toured a coffee plantation. It was nice getting to just let loose and shop for souvenirs for back home.
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So, to get back to the very first part of this story— Bryce Brookshire stepped out in a way this week that I can only imagine doing. He constantly pushed himself into uncomfortable situations, where he knew God would get the glory for what he was doing. He was unashamed of the gospel.

So when the Bible says have a child-like faith, I truly got to see what He meant this week. Thank you, Father, for granting us this opportunity to serve You. We give You all the glory for this trip. 

“For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:”
Psalms 78:5-7 KJV
 
There is so much of this I know I’ve left out, like the great cooking and how awesome our translators were. But I’m not a writer, and even writing the little bit I did is a major accomplishment- so I’ll leave it at this! Thanks for reading!
-JW
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