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The Two Things I Have Learned Since Being In Guatemala

Well hello everyone, I have been informed by Tyler that it is now my turn to write a blog. I thought about just writing the word BLOG and posting it just to see his face when he saw it but……

I have had many things going on inside of me spiritually, that are very difficult for me to express, and I’m not even sure I’m supposed to. I say, I’m not sure I am supposed to, because I believe God is doing a work in me and it is not even close to being finished. If I open mouth before I have had a chance to really examine this change, I fear I could mis-speak. But here I go anyways….….

The sin I have seen in my own life since I have moved to Guatemala has been almost overwhelming. The idolatry and selfishness I have seen inside of myself has been disgusting. My testimony is that I was practically born a Christian. I have gone through a few truly devastating trials in my life that have made me really angry with God but never at any point did I not truly want Him to be a part of my life. The thing I have seen lately, is that He has only been that “part of my life” that I have allowed Him to be, or so I thought. I have drawn close to Him when I needed Him and have left Him free to help others when I was doing good, or so I thought. Never did I truly see what He was doing in me.

I am so lost on how to express what I am finding to be true. Maybe the best way to express it is to ask two questions.

1st – What is important? – God! Only God. Where I live, who I live with, and what I have do not matter at all! He is the only truly valuable thing in this world.

2nd – What do I need? God! Only God. What I eat, wear, or do does not matter at all. He is the only truly valuable thing in this world.

Notice the answer to both questions is really the same; He is the only truly valuable thing in this world.

Facing that brings me to the next and most difficult question that I am still not sure how to answer.

How do I live out my daily life after facing this truth.

Does that mean I don’t need to eat, wear clothes, or take care of the needs of my family? No I don’t think that is the answer to it. But those things should NEVER come before Christ! Matthew 6:25-33 talks about this. The answer is in verse 33. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

I was at my friend’s house the other day when someone knocked on her door and asked her for food. She filled a bag full of tamales, noodles and gave him a container of clean water. She shut the door and just said, “He needed some food.” I didn’t think much of it until the next time I was at her house a lady knocked on her door and asked for food. She went and got some fruit, bread, vegetables and clean water and gave it to her. When she sat down all she said was, “a lady run out of food and has many children.” Like it was no big deal for people to knock on her door and ask for food. The thing is, for her, it was normal. She is a kind, quiet, godly women that most people would pass by and not even think twice about, but those in need know her name, they know where she lives, and they know she will help. They don’t have to fill out an application for help, or get told to come back when they are sober, and they never hear I have helped you three times and that is my limit. She just smiles at them and goes in her house, takes from what she has and needs, and shares it with them.

That is what seeking the kingdom of God looks like. That’s what living it out daily looks like.

Let’s change directions. I would like to share with you some of the things we have been involved with.

I have been teaching English at a Christian grade school and it is going wonderfully. I gave the kids their first exam and they did great. A missions team from the states went to visit the school and some of the children greeted them by saying, “Hello, how are you?” and “My name is_____.” So it is going really good.

I was invited to teach a ladies Bible study. About ten women attended. I talked with them about the importance of daily meeting with God in prayer, study and song. The really enjoyed it. We shared coffee, sweet bread, and tears of joy and sorrow. We prayed for each other and hugged goodbye!

Tyler had been teaching a Bible Class at the FTEI Bible Institute. It has been amazing to hear the stories he tells every week when he gets back home. He tells about how they never let him just quote a scripture or reference one, they all have to look it up and read it, and many times they read it out loud as a group. His translator said the class really enjoys their time with him. I always say not as much as he enjoys his time with them.

Kennedy is going to go to language school here in Guatemala. She has really fallen in love with the people and their language. She has made so many friends and is having a hard time moving to go to school.

Nevaeh has so many friends it is hard for us to remember whose house she is at. She is really picking up on the language. Every day it is a battle to get her to do her school work because she wants to go somewhere with one of her friends. She is nine and the ages of her friends are anywhere from 5-60. The other night she went to visit relatives with our 60 year old neighbor lady who mostly speaks Mam with a little bit of Spanish. Nevaeh had been gifted with the ability to make friends with literally anyone. It doesn’t matter who they are, how old they are, or even if she can actually talk with them. Sometimes I will ask her what her friends name is and she says, “I don’t know, but we are good friends mom! Why do you think I always need to know someone’s name just to be their friend.” All I can do is laugh and in a way wish I was more like her.

Please keep us your daily prayers. We need strength and wisdom. So many times we get tired and feel like we are failing. Daily life is much different and harder here. Laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning, shopping, Sophie, walking, and everything is very different and requires so much more effort. I am not complaining because I really do love it here, but I don’t want to make things out to be like they are easy or like we do not need prayer. Also please continue to pray for Sophie. She is still having seizures daily and we are having a difficult time with getting her medications.

Let’s change directions one last time.

A few of the funny things that have happened since we have been here are…..

Do I have all of the tomatoes out of my nose? We were making spaghetti sauce and normally I would buy the diced tomatoes in a can but that is not an option here so we were blending our tomatoes to make sauce. Kennedy was putting the tomatoes into the blender and one broke and squirted straight up her nose. She went and washed her face she came back into the kitchen and said, “Do I have all of the tomatoes out of my nose?” lol…

Tiene Huevos? When we first got here Ovidio gave us the different phone numbers we would need. One of the things we have to do is call this guy and order eggs. The man then brings them to our house and we pay him. The first time we had Ovidio call for us because we did not know enough Spanish. The second time Tyler called and ordered them. When Tyler hung up the phone all he said was, I don’t know if he is coming or not. He said a bunch of stuff in Spanish, then said adios and hung up. A few hours later we had eggs. The next day Ovidio’s family had us over for lunch and Ovidio asked us how things were going. Tyler said great. I ordered eggs and the guy brought them over. Ovidio said, Oh I forgot to tell you when you ask for eggs never say, “tiene huevos.” Huevos does not always mean 'eggs' in Spanish. It can also mean a males private parts. Then you are asking a man if he has any………? I looked at Tyler and asked him what he said. He bowed his head in shame and said, “tiene huevos.” And everyone has been picking on Tyler ever since.

The funniest things happen so unintentionally. I have saved the best story for last.

Tyler was invited by the men at church to play poppy futbol. It is soccer on a tiny field where every thing moves really fast, like soccer on steroids. He thought it would be a great way to build a friendship with some of the men he didn’t know very well yet. He had never played futbol before but had so much fun. He played the goalie position. It was all of the old guys against the young guys. The old guys one the first game and the young guys won the second game. But……here is the funny part……He could not walk, without crying, for three days. He did build a relationship with all of the men and just went and played again yesterday. Needless to say he is limping around the house again with a sore knee and ankle. He thinks he did better because the last time every muscle in his body screamed for three days and now only two muscles are yelling and this time the old guys won every game. So yeah - I have to go. I lover you all. Maybe some other day I will tell you about our trip to Mexico to renew our Visas, or the Awana program we are involved, or the joy of being part of the worship team here, or the wonderful child sponsorship program, or the coffee ministry we seem to have going, or - yeah but that is for another day. In Christ... Rebekah Dean Kresal

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