>We had the opportunity to visit another Compassion project site yesterday. By project, I mean a local church that Compassion partners with. This one was much different than the previous church. It was in a red zone of Guatemala City called La Limonades. This area is known for its extreme gang activity. The area is such a hot zone for criminal activity that we were advised to put all valuables out of sight, to not walk outside the church building in the community, and to travel quickly in one large group when going between buildings.
Needless to say, tensions were pretty high, and all of us were a bit nervous. I wasn’t sure what we’d see, and when we arrived at Iglesia de Restoracion, I was blown away. The church, in the middle of this rough neighborhood, was huge. We were greeted by about 20 volunteer staff and three of the pastors of the church. We met some of the students, their parents, and were able to get an under-the-hood look at the operations of what goes into monitoring the development of students.
Each student had a file that tracked his/her progress spiritually, socially, economically, etc. I was very impressed by the level of detail and the intentionality that went into each child. In fact, I was so impressed that I was convicted that I didn’t do such a thing for my own students!
After this tour, we had lunch with some of the college students in the Leadership Development Program of Compassion. These were college students who had grown up through the Compassion child sponsorship program. All of these students were the first from their family to go to college, and some were the first from their entire villages! It was amazing to be around these students who were the products of Compassion’s holistic development, and I get downright giddy thinking about the kind of influence they will have on their nation.
Finally, we traveled in the rain to La Antigua, the old city about an hour outside of Guatemala City. It’s a beautiful place and I can’t wait to explore! This morning, I was reading 1 Cor 3 and thinking about what’s next when I get back. Verse 11 stuck out to me most. Paul says that no one can lay a foundation other than that which was already laid in Jesus (his interpretation of Isaiah 28 is pretty mind-blowing). It was a good reminder that God has already laid the foundation! The work I will do today can’t be another foundation, it only builds on what God has already done and continues to do. What an encouragement to go about the work of God knowing that he continues to work out his purposes in the world whether in Guatemala or Chicago or anywhere else.