Next Stop: Escuintla!

Have you ever been in a situation where you know without a doubt that God is in the middle of it? It can happen in little ways or big ways. Little miracles that are just as overwhelming as big miracles. Example: when I was younger and helping out a VBS with my church in a rough neighbourhood, the forecast called for rain, rain, rain. We prayed. And all week, instead of rain we got sun, sun, sun and God moved powerfully. I overheard my mom and sister talking about it after the fact, marvelling that God controls the weather to complete His plans.  I was encouraged by their faith. It’s a simple example— but it was significant enough that I remember it.

Or what about when all the details of something line up perfectly? That happened to me this year. I took a school placement in Goderich, ON (not even knowing where Goderich was on the map). It turned into a job. They let me run away to Guatemala for 4 months. They gave me a temporary full time position upon my return which lasted the exact amount of time I planned to stay in Canada before going back to Guatemala. Who could have planned that better? Not I.

If you think hard for a minute, I bet you can think of a situation in your life and see how the hand of God was in it, aligning things perfectly for you.

I think God gives us these experiences so that we never have reason to doubt Him, so that we always have reason to trust Him.

In the Bible, Joshua led the Israelites into the Promised Land and across the Jordan River. He had them lay 12 stones, one for each of the 12 tribes, as a reminder to tell the future generations about the faithfulness of God. They were to tell their children about how He brought them out of slavery, how He parted the Red Sea, how He gave them manna and water and quail and how He led them by a pillar of fire and a pillar of cloud. They needed to remember to tell their children about these things. They needed to tell them about a faithful God who kept all of His promises. The stones were to remind them that God is faithful.

In my 23 years, I have a lot of these stones to look back. Because of my personal history with God, I have no reason to doubt that He leads me and that He is leading me (present tense). HOWEVER, even with all of that in mind…sometimes I let myself believe that He’s going to leave my life and His purposes for my life half-finished.

BUT THEN SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPENS. Keep reading.

Last week I got a message on Facebook from Daryl, the director of Hope for Home. It said something like, “I think we found a location for your first birthing centre!” He sent this photo. “It’s on the edge of the dump in Escuintla. This is the land.”

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Whaaaat! That is so cool. That was what I was thinking. I can imagine working there. I can see it all! This is so exciting.

You see, it’s been hard for me to imagine what my day-to-day life would look like in Guatemala. I have an idea of what I’ll doing, I know what the goal is…but HOW would it actually work on a day-to-day basis? Would I be visiting homes? Would I rent a room somewhere for deliveries? Would I keep everything in my car? Would I even have a car? How would I get to the villages? There are a lot of question marks.

But when I saw that picture and read Daryl’s message, it was like a flood of peace and excitement that washed over me. This is possible! This could work!  It’s truly an ideal place for the first birth centre because it is right on the edge of the dump, where a whole community of people lives. It is very, very poor. There is much malnutrition and an obvious lack of medical care. Daryl wrote, “Already there are four women who are interested in being trained as midwives, and we expect that number to grow. And, as I see the number of pregnant ladies in the region, I realize that this region needs this ministry sooner rather that later.” How exciting is this! Things are happening and I’m not even in Guatemala yet.

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This is the dump in Escuintla. This village was literally built on the garbage dump.

But it gets better! A few days later I was at work at the hospital, and Daryl shared this:

  • 6 months ago he had a dream that he was out visiting families in a rural area. The road conditions were bad, so they had to park the vehicle and walk. As they walked, a man came out of his house and yelled that his wife was in labour and they needed help. In the dream, Daryl ran in to help her. That was the end of the dream. 
  • [real life now] This week Daryl was doing medical clinics in Escuintla. Another ministry called Building Guate had lent them their facility to host the clinic. They saw 250 people one day! At some point, a woman came up to him and asked if he would come to her house and help her sick husband.
  • He and Taryn (Daryl’s daughter) started walking towards the woman’s house, down a road he had never been before, and he realized that he had been there before — in his dream. He recognized the road, the houses, and where he parked his car in the dream. The road he walked with this woman was the same road from his dream. 
  • [the best part] shortly before this happened, Daryl and the director of Building Guate had just decided the partner together to build our first birthing centre/midwife training centre on that land! God confirmed the decision to build the birthing centre on the Escuintla dump with a dream 6 months prior! 

I’m in Goderich, reading this. Don’t tell my boss but I took 5 minutes and went into the supply room and wept because whaaaaaaat!! There’s no way. 

While I’m only starting out on this journey, God is already in the middle of it, working out all the details for me. He is good and patient enough to give me this little bit of assurance even though I have no reason to doubt Him.

I strongly, STRONGLY encourage you to take 5 minutes to read Daryl’s blog about how all of this unfolded. It’s called “When God Shouts”. You’ll be amazed. Click here!

Here’s the point. God is ALWAYS faithful, and He ALWAYS shows up, and He ALWAYS keeps all of His promises. He knows what you need before you ask Him. He sets up situations and details in your life that are more than just a coincidence. He completes the work that He starts. Those who call upon His name will never be put to shame. It’s not our zeal for this ministry that will make it a success, it’s that His love is strong. It’s not our strength, it’s that He’s faithful. We are going to see miracles because we cannot do this on our own. This is going to be another one of those times that we look back on and say, “Wow. What an awesome God we serve”.

If you don’t have a relationship with God like this, a personal one, please come talk to me because I don’t want any of you to miss out on the joy and assurance and purpose that comes through Jesus. Walking with God is truly, truly worth it all.

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Friends, I’m excited. I’m excited and overwhelmed and humbled and in awe. This is happening and it’s going to be good, and I’m so glad to have each and every one of you along for the ride. Next stop: ESCUINTLA!

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4 thoughts on “Next Stop: Escuintla!

    • Thanks Tori! I’m sad too, but glad for the few months to work with you this winter though. I hope things are going well. I love your photos. Such a beautiful little family! So happy for you guys.

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