When Jesus says that we are the Light of the World, he helps us to see that we are on mission for him and with him.
Jesus clarifies how we get on mission for him:
Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”Mark 9:35 NASB
We serve others—the last, the lost, the least.
I felt dirty and grimy. Travelling in planes overnight isn’t exactly refreshing, and I wanted a bed and a shower. Instead, I was meeting Guatemalans over breakfast. The coffee was good, but different. I was so tired and jet lagged—I felt like I was in a cave. After breakfast when I wanted to sleep, it was into a small van for the next 8 hours. Windy roads, fast driving, and sharing the seats with small people who fit in vans fitted for small people.
I didn’t feel like the light of the world. It was 2014—my first time making the trip to the highlands of Guatemala to partner with Food for the Hungry endeavor, to help the Xixil people emerge from the poverty stricken aftermath of the Guatemalan Civil War.
But, then we arrived in the village. And, we were greeted with joy and anticipation. The children were eager to meet me. The community leaders were hopeful.
My cloudy brain started to clear as I gave high fives to kids, and listened to community leaders share their tragic history. I began to understand the significant difference we could make by committing to these lovely people and their dreams for re-establishing themselves in their homeland that had been decimated by 36 years of war.
What could I do? First of all, I had to trust that God was already at work. As these people emerged from the brokenness of the Civil War, God was there and was already working out a plan for redemption and healing. That God is present and working is always true. I don’t have the master plan, but I am simply a part of his plan.
Secondly, I had to just do the next right thing: listen, learn, be ready to sacrifice, and to include these people in my life.
On that trip, the Lord wove the Xixil (‘ishill’—One of 22 indigenous people groups in Guatemala) people into my heart. But, here is the surprising thing: it was a two-way light exchange. Over the last 6 years, I have experienced the light of Jesus from them too. In their generosity, in their commitment to each other, in their joyful smiles, I experience the Light.
At New Hope, we are in the beginning of an 8-10 year partnership with the small Xixil village of XEO (Shay-Oh), Guatemala. Through Food for the Hungry, we are learning how to be light to this village—how to be on mission for Jesus. We are learning to listen, to sacrifice, and to include these people in our lives.
Today, I am asking you to pray for the village of XEO. We are helping them build a health center so they can have better healthcare in their village. The village is remote, and it is almost 2 hours by car to the nearest hospital.
Would you pray that we are able to raise the $8,000 needed for the next phase of the project? And, would you consider how much you will contribute? You can give this Sunday in service or give online.
Ask the Holy Spirit to lead and direct you to be the Light of the World by serving and sacrificing for the last, the lost, and the least.
(Watch our 20 minute Documentary to learn more about our partnership with XEO, Guatemala):