I thought that some of you would enjoy comments from team members so you may get a flavor of what a team can do for our Lord at Hearts For The Children Ministry
On Friday afternoon we went to the dump in downtown Guatemala City to share candy, toys and the love of Christ with the residents there. It was an amazing site to see thousands of people living in this dump, sifting through the trash in order to recycle items that others throw away to make a daily living. Recently the government had opened up this landfill to allow residents to make home places within the dump itself. These homes weren’t much bigger than 20 x 40, but each family was so proud of the space they had been given. Most of the doorsteps were neatly swept and some even had flowers outside of their homes. As you walked through the streets, the sewer ran down the middle and in between homes; the smell was overwhelming, but the children paid no attention to it as they ran and played in the same streets. The things that stood out the most to me were the smiles and sincere gratitude that these people showed when we shared our simple gifts with them. This entire trip will be an unforgettable experience for me; my life has truly been changed. The people I have met will go home with me in my heart and I pray that God will continue to bless each one of them, this ministry, and the workers who serve Friday at the Mary Magdelena House was difficult yet a blessing. It has been a long time since I have seen so many people in great need of Christ…such beautiful souls taken over by the evil ways of the world…caught up in prostitution and drugs. I prayed for a willingness to stop that way of life they are leading and ask that if you read this you also pray for them to open their eyes to the Ministry that is willing to help them if they are willing to walk away (a day at a time) and receive recovery in Christ. There was a connection with many of these precious people and me…I felt comfortable therefore was able to allow God to minister to them through me. Thank you God for bringing me into recovery from my past and allowing me to openly accept and pray for those in the same situations. The task of working with these people seemed overwhelming at times but God showed me that He can do it with the help of His workers. Please pray for the other workers to come forward to help the missionaries…
God has worked in and through the team…gosh, how I will always need people to mentor and minister to me as I minister…thank you to all those at home and here that have led me and molded me and continue to do so..I am so grateful!! Mary Fowler
Today we went to the Mary Magdalene House in Guatemala City, a street ministry that provides Spirit-filled worship (in a garage), food, ministry, and medical clinics for people that live on the streets. Many are high on paint thinner. Some have been shot or knifed. Some have a place to live but almost no money, and many are homeless. Little children come to this ministry too. Many people return week after week, but every week new people come in to hear the Word of God and have a hot meal. They truly accept the invitation – “Come as you are.” It doesn’t matter if you’re high, or dressed in rags, or grotesquely scarred, or haven’t bathed in weeks. Let’s gather and worship the Lord together.
In the middle of worship this morning, several of us stepped outside to make room for newcomers. A girl walked up, hysterical, overwhelmed, desperately needing prayer. After we prayed with her, and she was able to look up and receive the peace of the Lord, we sat down next to her on the sidewalk, in the doorway, to offer encouragement and listen to the message inside.
As we sat there, a man came up. He was drunk, very loud, very agitated. He got into an argument with me and then started to manifest what the enemy was doing to him. It wasn’t me that laid a hand on his arm, which he described as a sword that cut through him. It wasn’t me that looked into his dark, tormented eyes and told him who he is in Christ. It wasn’t me that put a hand on his heart and told him he has the heart of God. It wasn’t me that told the enemy to go to the foot of the Cross, and the Holy Spirit to fill those empty, tormented places. It wasn’t my tears that fell on his feet. It wasn’t me that spoke the Word of Truth like a laser. It wasn’t my voice that told him to rise up and walk in the calling God has for him. It wasn’t me speaking Spanish to him, when I don’t speak Spanish. It wasn’t me whose words broke the chaos off of him and silenced him with peace.
None of that was me. It was Jesus. I was hardly conscious of being there.
I’ve prayed with people for years. I’ve ministered to people in tough situations. I’ve let the Holy Spirit fill me and use me to reach people. But I have never experienced what happened this morning. Not even remotely like that. I’ve prayed for that, but I’ve never been “dead” enough. Of course, there was more. That one encounter unleashed the Holy Spirit in me, and I started walking up and down the street, speaking or praying with people as the Lord led. Once again, it was not me. I’ve never been so “un-present” in my years of ministry. And I’ve never been so bold in all my life.
That encounter with the Lord this morning changed my life. It is seared on my heart, to where I don’t dare forget, or walk backward from that experience. I don’t think I could if I tried. I can’t UN-know what that felt like, to let Jesus take over and use me with a boldness I don’t have. There’s no hiding anymore from God. I can no longer allow “fear of man” to affect my ministry or my Christian walk. God will hold me accountable for what I experienced this morning. There is no turning back, or the conviction of the Holy Spirit will be all over me.
God, thank You for bringing me to my knees this morning. Thank You for letting me feel Your heart and Your Spirit in me in a new way. Thank You for loving each of those beautiful brothers and sisters, both at the Mary Magdalene House and later in the community that lives at the City Dump. God, don’t let me go back to the way I used to be. Help me walk in the new boldness of knowing what is possible when I surrender my fears to you. Thank You for bringing me here, to let me die to myself. Thank You for new life. Thank You for this vibrant ministry that you continue to grow here in Guatemala, and thank You for the privilege of serving you in this way. Thank You for all that you have done in our hearts and spirits on this trip, and bring us home safely. I don’t want to ever be the same. Seal what you?ve done, sweet and awesome God, and let me bring home what you?ve given me. In el nombre de Jesus. I love You, God, and I love your people in Guatemala.
In Christ – Janet Eriksson
We had a blessed time with the street children at our Mary Magdelena house in Guatemala City where we held a Christmas party for them.
The children gathering for the street kids Christmas party at the Mary Magdelena house in Guatemala city.
First the food!
Yes the happy faces for some never having a toy for Christmas.