Sunday Morning –June 19 -5:00 AM – “The Power of Crayons, Soccer balls, prayer and the end of the road”
Side by side, hand and hand, stranger and stranger the power of a simple crayon and prayer began the journey into the eternal. As the waxy residue laced with pigment of brilliant colors was rubbed between the lines on the paper, the two hands of complete stranger from opposite ends of the world began to create not only a beautiful picture on paper but a beautiful masterpiece colored by love on the tapestry of hearts.
In just moments after arriving at this village, God put it on the hearts of one of the team members to take out the crayons in their bag and finding a slab of concrete next to the school building where we ended up. As they began using the crayon to color the pictures of the coloring book in front of them, the invitation to join them was quickly accepted by several of the children who had been waiting our arrival. The pages quickly were filled with color and words were quickly exchanged. This was the beginning moment of answering Christ call to “Come” to this remote village.
You would not think of a crayon typically as an instrument of power. The weak, small and harmless nature of a crayon which we trust in the hands of even the smallest child could be considered one of the most harmless objects that we own. Yet when directed by God in the hands of one of his children, this crayon has great power. Last night these simple crayons broke the ice and began to connect people filled with God’s love with people needing to be filled.
First the crayons, then the tennis balls, Frisbees, volley balls, jump ropes, nail polish, balloon animals, face paints, bubbles, and then of course the candy. First the children engaged and relationships were formed. But soon the many mothers who were waiting to get into the medical clinic that had been set up, saw the love that was being poured out on their children and gave their trust to the team members to be loved on as well.
It is amazing hoe simple things like crayons when used with love can break down walls and build friendships. The children and mothers are usually the easiest to see these walls fall down. The men in Guatemala are another story. They are usually hard to connect with and are much less trusting and far less open to ultimately respond to the invitation to accept Christ. They are no different from many young men in the states. The need to appear on the outside strong and invincible hardens their willingness to open their hearts to God. But once again God used something seemingly insignificant through prayer and love to do a mighty work with the young men in this remote village deep in the foothills beyond the coastal plains of Guatemala.
While the first crayon was being shared with the children, a soccer ball was also being delivered to the soccer field directly next to the school. First a couple of the young Guatemala men joined the team members armed with a soccerball and soon there was a team of talented bare foot soccer playing Guatemalans on the field rubbing shoulders with the shoulders of our team. Through the heat, humidity and sweat these men both young and old [And Lydia] quickly found themselves helpless to the power of God and began to form a bond in love that back home would take far longer and might possibly never occur.
Just the night before in our small groups the team spent time discovering the spiritual gifts that we have been given by God to grow his Kingdom. Each one of us who have our names written in the book of life have been given gifts by our maker. Unfortunately the lies of the enemy often convince us that our gifts are nothing special and tries to fill us with fear so we don’t even try to use them. There is great power when we give god our gifts no matter how big or small and let Him use them. Think of the boy who gave his lunch to Jesus while He was speaking to the crowd of 5,000 men gathered by the sea. The small gift of 5 loaves and 2 fishes in the midst of a sea of 20,000 people seems microscopic and insignificant. But when placed in the hands of our maker and savior, this tiny gift was transformed into a feast that fed every person their till their stomachs where full. So full that when everyone had finished eating, there were 12 baskets of left overs.
It was no surprise to see Christ use the gifts of this team to fill hearts last night till they were full. As the evening progressed and it was time to share the Jesus film and the message of the ransom that Christ paid for us, children, Mothers, fathers and even these tough soccer playing young men joined in the audience.
The message last night of God’s word was powerful. The testimonies and singing from the team were spot on and revealed the reason that we could come with so much love for these strangers at the end of the road. The evidence of our love and dependence on our master was conveyed through the beautiful words shared in music and in the spoken words of hearts that have been healed from brokenness and hurt.
By the end of the night as the invitation to the “Tipping point” came, the response was overwhelming. Our prayer that night was that though it would be worth everything if even only one person would come to know Christ we prayed that not one soul would be left behind. The movement of the Holy spirit did not disappoint our prayers. As the pastor, Hermono Jesus, began having people repeat the sinner’s prayer, there was not one person left standing inside the gates of the school where we were meeting. With many tears of Joy and hugs from new found brothers and sisters in Christ, we witnessed a massive movement of God that consumed every soul present.
I have no idea how many people came to know Christ last night. Maybe 70 or 80. The numbers don’t really matter. For the individuals there, the fact that they were able to walk home not in darkness last night to their homes but in the light of salvation through Jesus is all that matters. What stood out last night was not just the children and mothers who came forward but what stood out to me were the men who typically are too tough to admit they are weak and in need of a savior. Because they witnessed other men willing to admit they are in need of Jesus, they were willing to do the same.
Back to the crayons, soccer balls, prayer and the end of the Road.
In Matthew 28 we read the words of Jesus giving us the command to “Go and make disciples of all Nations, baptizing them with the Holy Spirit”. This team was willing to answer this call again last night. We literally went to the end of the road where these lost people waited. We used what God had given us. The gifts of His spirit are enough through prayer to do the impossible. When Jesus calls us to “Come.” To get out of the boat and venture into the storm. He does not call us to do it alone, ever. As insignificant as you may feel. As plain and ordinary as you may believe you are, with Christ as your master you are extraordinary. Often times when it comes to using our gifts for the kingdom we don’t feel we are equipped enough to be useful, so often in fear we hold back and stay in the boat. Christ does not call the Equipped but he equips the called. Like Peter, you and I can walk on water if we keep our eyes fixed on Christ. Why not give it a try. I know that the members of this team walked on water last night in the midst of a storm. I know that you too can also walk on water as you hear Christ’s call to “Come”. What Gifts has God equipped you with? Remember that even crayons and soccer balls can be used to change eternity.
Today we will again venture to another village filled with people in need of a savior. Again we will travel to the end of the road and take out the Crayons and soccer balls and through prayer trust that we will see a harvest of souls. This is our last planned event here in Guatemala. Pray for us as we submit ourselves and become Christ’s hands and feet to the people we meet.
Pray for safety in travels. Pray for health for the team. Pray for good weather. [it has not rained at any point where we have been in battle this week-only at night while we have slept]. Pray for the gifts of the team to be used and hearts to be open to Christ. Pray for our worship and group times.
Thanks you for your prayers.
In His Grip,
Kevin Van Wyhe