It seems like just yesterday when I was arriving in Guatemala for the first time, excited for the adventure that awaited me there and anticipating seeing the Lord move. How quick the past two years have gone by, and yet the Lord has given me another opportunity to return to the place that once stole my heart. I remember coming home from Guatemala and being so impacted by the time spent there with people who I never imagined getting close with. I remember the eye-opening encounters we had as a team, learning to fully surrender and lean on the Lord and the power of the Holy Spirit. I remember how hard it was to leave such an amazing experience, acknowledging how the Lord had changed my heart and not knowing if I’d ever be able to get another opportunity to return. I even remember coming back and stating, “Lord if you give me another chance to return to Guatemala I’m going to take it.” And here I am, ready to leave once again for a country and people that has captured my heart.
It is truly unreal to see how the Lord has continued to remain faithful throughout the whole journey. He continues to exceed my human abilities and understanding. From seeing his provision so specifically over a period of praying and then seeing those prayers answered within the same day to seeing him grow and prepare my heart for this opportunity over the past two years, the Lord continues to blow me away. I guess you could say I’m excited. Although I am one of the only college age students on this trip, I fully believe the Lord has a specific purpose for my return to this country. I know that growth will happen on this trip. Not only in my heart, but in the hearts and lives of those on the team, and those whom we come into contact with. My prayer is that the Lord uses me to specifically speak life into those on the team and be open to sharing how the Lord has shaped and redeemed my own story. I am excited to see how the high school students and even the other adults will grow and allow the Holy Spirit to lead them in every interaction. Lately I’ve been learning to simply come before the Lord and allow him to lead, without questioning his motives How beautiful it is to simply come before him, trusting that He is who he says he is. I want to grow in my obedience to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and simply come before my creator and Savior without expectations or an agenda. To simply be in His presence, overwhelmed by his goodness and grace. This week hearts are going to be transformed and softened to the good news of salvation and Jesus Christ. It is my hope and prayer that the body of Christ grows in number as we share the gospel and love as Christ first loved us.
Please pray for our team as we continue to listen to and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit and as we faithfully serve the Lord in Guatemala.
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” –Ephesians 3:16-21
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Nichole, you were called for this trip for a reason and I can’t wait until God shows it to you. It may be in the joy of a little child you connect with, or it may be with one of your team members who needs to cry on your shoulder! You are a blessing to all of us and I am so grateful that you are there this week. Give Katie a big hug from me.
In His grip,
Thanks Kristy for all the prayers and encouragement! It’s been amazing so far, and crazy how today is our last day. We are all excited to come home and share with you how the Lord has been working!
Hey nichole, glad to hear you made it safe. God is for sure Faithful! I can’t imagine how your day went with the heart that you have for those you serve. I’m sure there was plenty of energy, love, hard work and goofiness! Your are a very special young lady with a servants heart, I hope you get many opportunities to love on all those around. I’m sure you’re using your spanish as much as possible especially sharing God’s love to the family you are Building a home for. Thanks for the special fathers day email Love you a ton and am praying for you! Dad
Thanks Dad:) The Lord is working in some awesome ways and I’m excited to share it when we return. Pray for us today as we go to a village to share the gospel and set up a medical clinic for the people there. Pray for protection, confidence, and a release of myself to be open to the Lord using me. Praying for you and the boys! Love you guys
Hey Nichole, I’m so glad you were able to go and be part of this team. I’m sure you are being blessed and blessing others with your strong faith. Keeping you in prayer
I am absolutely certain that you were called to be on this team and I am so glad you answered His call! Your faith is such an inspiration and you are truly a blessing to those around you. I pray that many will come to know Christ as you share the love of Jesus. I am confident that the Lord will use you to accomplish His incredible plan.
Thanks Kerri! The Lord has been doing some pretty amazing things and I can’t wait for you to hear all about it when Laura comes home! It’s been awesome getting to know her and see her love for the Lord and others as well. 🙂
Hi Nichole, I’m thankful you could go again! It will be great to see God at work through you and the members of the team…and the Guatemalans! God bless you with energy, stamina, and just what you need for each day. I know He will!
Thanks Sara! Sad you couldn’t come to Guatemala a second time, but it’s been amazing being here a second time and seeing the team grow and be stretched! Keep us in your prayers today as we return home:)
So great to hear about what is taking place in Guatemala. Praise God for you and your team ! Grandpa and I pray daily for all of you as you minister to these people who are so in need of Christ’s love. We are so anxious to hear your stories about what you were part of. May God continue to bless your work and keep you safe, healthy and strong. We love you dearly! See you soon, Grandma Schuitema
Thanks Grandma! Definitely learning a lot and seeing the Lord breaking down walls in my life and in the lives of others. Can’t wait to share with you guys when we get home. Please continue to pray for us today as we minister to another village through a medical clinic and as we share the gospel with them!
Blessings from this Elder at Hillcrest. I want to hear your stories about God’s work in Guatemala this trip. Dios te bendiga
Gracias Scott! It’s been a great trip the second time around, but also very different from the first. I’ve enjoyed seeing the team grow and be stretched in different ways and I can’t wait to see how it will affect those at home. 🙂
Hey Nichole, really appreciate everything you said! You are right on when you point out scripture that in Love God’s people are an example to show the fullness of God. As you live out this example in Guatemala I want to encourage you to always put all your hope and trust on God and trust him for the response too! Both in Guatemala and when you get home! I hope your day today goes well and that you feel and experience that fullness in exciting ways! Blessings to you today!
Thanks Mr. VanDyke! It’s been awesome getting to know your boys and truly seeing the love and joy of Christ in them! I can’t wait for them to come home and share all that the Lord has done in their lives this week with your family. Continue to keep us in your prayers today as we return home, eager to share about our experiences!
Hi Nichole, thank you for all you are doing there for the team and those living there. What a kind young lady you are. So glad you and Zach can be on the same team :)!
Thank you Mrs. VanDyke! It has truly been a blessing being on the same team with your boys. They have such huge hearts and love for the Lord and I can’t wait for them to share with your family. Thank you for your encouragement and prayers!
Nichole, can’t wait to hear how God’s been using you this week. Sounds like he has used you for your own sister. Thanks for being such a great listener and encourager. Miss you all a ton! You guys must be totally running on the Spirits energy, from the sounds of it you don’t get much rest. Continually praying for your safety and health . Love you a ton and miss you. Keep doing what you do best! Loving other above yourself! 🙂
Thanks Dad! It’s truly been an amazing experience seeing the team grow and especially mom, Noah, and Natalie. I can’t wait for them to share with you as well! Keep us in your prayers as we return home:) Love you!
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