Category Archives for "Guatemala"

How Big Is Your God?

“My God is way bigger than me and my meager expectations.”

(My Facebook status 4/2/2012)

Yesterday, I posted on my blog about my upcoming missions trip to Guatemala with the high school youth group from our church.  As part of the post, I asked The Stretched Community to pray about the trip, and I asked for the community to consider supporting the trip financially.  I shared in the post how much money I needed to go on the trip, and I mentioned a STRETCH goal of $5,000 to help with a special project in Guatemala.  Honestly, it felt awkward asking for these things, and I didn’t know what to expect.

My post went live at 5 AM EST.

At 11 AM EST, I received an email from an old college friend indicating that he and his wife wanted to donate the entire amount – the cost of the trip plus $5,000!

That’s right.  In 6 hours, God provided for my “big ask.”

I was floored and flabbergasted.  I honestly didn’t know hot to respond.  This kind of stuff doesn’t happen everyday.

I really believed that $5,000 was a big STRETCH.  When I spoke with our high school youth pastor about the goal, he said okay, but he indicated that he didn’t think that was possible.  When I called him up yesterday afternoon to share the news, I think he nearly fell off his chair (I’m not sure if he was sitting or not).

I think sometimes we short sell God.  Our faith in God is puny.  It’s like saying, “God, give me a glass of water.”  When in reality, God can give us the whole ocean.  It’s like saying, “God, I need a few dollars.”  When in reality, God owns the mint where money is made.  It’s like saying, “God, help the Cubs win the World Series.”  Oh maybe, this doesn’t always work out.  Just kidding – of course.

You get the idea.  I’m discovering that God has way bigger plans and dreams for us than we realize.  We set the bar way too low when it comes to asking God the big questions and when it comes to believing what God can do in our lives.  We need to learn to have great expectations!

Throughout the day, I received other messages of encouragement with indications of additional support.  My shock continued throughout the day.

So where does that leave me?

I’m going back to the drawing board.  I’ll get back to you with more details on how The Stretched Community can join together to do something great in Guatemala.  Stay tuned for more details to follow.

In the meantime, how have you seen God respond to your “big ask” questions?  In what ways do you need to expand your thinking to get in line with a God-sized response?  How big is your God?

Guatemala – The Big Ask

Two weeks ago, I told you that I made a “Leap of Faith” decision to go to Guatemala this summer with my daughter and other teenagers and leaders from our church.  I’m starting to get excited about the trip, the opportunity to hang out with my daughter, and the chance to serve others in Guatemala.  This is a “leap of faith” decision for several health and logistics reasons, but it is also a “leap of faith” decision for financial reasons as well.  I’ll share more about that in a minute, but I wanted to share with you first about what we’ll be doing in Guatemala.  Check out this short video to get a small glimpse into how we’ll be serving this summer.

Sounds pretty amazing!  Right?

Here’s where the big ask comes in.  I need your support to make this happen.  First and foremost, I need your prayers.  Pray for safety at home, in travel, and on the ground in Guatemala.  Pray for effectiveness in the ministry that we will have with the people of Guatemala.  Pray for God to move in my life and in the lives of those on our team as we take this adventure.  Second, I’d like to ask you to consider how you might be able to support this trip.  I need to raise $1,300 to make this trip possible.  This will pay for my airfare, food, and lodging.  While this may seem like a big goal, I know it’s possible through God.  In fact, I’d like to add a STRETCH goal to this.  I’d like to see if together The Stretched Community can raise an additional $5,000 to support a special project down in Guatemala.  I’ll have more details about that in the coming weeks, but I thought I should throw it out there.  This is part of the STRETCHING experience.

So how can you help?

Consider advertising here on The Stretched Blog.  All proceeds for advertising will be used to fund this trip and for this special STRETCH project.  You can click on the Advertise Here links on the main page, or contact me about doing something different.  You can also click on the Google AdSense links and Amazon Associate links that can be found on the main page.  Every dollar earned through these programs will go to the trip and the STRETCH project.  I guess another way is to consider donating to the project.  I haven’t quite figured out how to make this work yet, but I’d certainly welcome any cash gifts that would make this trip possible.  (Drop me a comment if you’ve got any ideas or want to pass along any donations.)  In the coming days, I’ll add some time of goal thermometer on the main page to help you keep track of where we stand with the goal.

I know it’s a big ask.  Honestly, it’s a bit awkward to even ask.  But I know that with faith like a mustard seed there are mountains that can be moved.  And so I throw it out there to the Stretched Community.

One more thing, pass this along to your family and friends who you think would be interested in making a difference for the people of Guatemala.  Thanks!

What’s the hardest question you’ve ever asked?

Leap of Faith Continued (The Decision)

So I kind of left you hanging yesterday when I shared about my “big decision” and about my wrestling matching between my fears and my leap of faith.  I wanted to share today about my decision.

After a lot of thought and prayer, some pushing and prodding, and some great advice from a few trusted friends and family members, I’ve decided to join Hannah (my daughter) on a missions trip to Guatemala.  This summer, I will be joining our church’s high school missions team as they head to Guatemala to serve with A.I.M. (Adventures in Missions).  I don’t know all the details yet, but I know we’ll be there for eight days.

So why was this decision such a big deal to me?  After all, going on a missions trip with my daughter sounds like a great idea. Right?  Well, yes it does.  And lots of people take trips like this.  I know the trip will cost money, and I don’t know where that’s coming from yet, but I’m trusting that God will provide (I’m trying to figure out how to use The Stretched Blog and The Stretched Community to help).  My bigger worry is about leaving home for eight days.  You may remember that we had to cancel a planned trip to Kenya a couple of years ago due to some family health issues.  These health issues have improved dramatically, but I still carry some of the fear and anxiety of that time period.  This makes the decision more challenging for me.

As I was discussing my decision with a good friend a couple of days ago, he pointed out that I had faith that God would provide the financial resources to make the trip possible.  Shouldn’t I also have faith that God would take care of things at home while I was away?  This point really hit home for me.  And so I’m making this leap of faith to Guatemala – trusting that God will provide both financially and health-wise.

I’m excited to share more of this journey with The Stretched Community in the coming days, weeks, and months.  Stay tuned to keep up with this leap of faith.

How or where are you taking a leap of faith these days?  Have you ever been to Guatemala?

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