Greetings once again from Guatemala City! We hope that everyone is doing well and enjoying a great start to 2016! God is doing some pretty neat things already this year in The Spark Cafe and we wanted to take a brief moment to share a couple of them with you! We pray that they are inspire and encourage you all to step out and let Him do the impossible through you!
An Unexpected Salvation & Lesson Learned
This past Wednesday, we opened as we normally do to a small crowd of children wanting to come in to do some crafts and play games. This has been a normal occurrence lately as the street youth have been slow to arrive. As I was sitting down playing a game with little Alvaro, a man named Hector came stumbling in and asked to play as well. Being that I had never seen this man before, and being that he was a bit drunk, I felt a bit uneasy about letting him play with me and Alvaro. However, God quickly reminded me of the reason the Cafe was open and quickly I offered him a coffee and a chance to play. It did not take long for him to notice the worship music in the background and all the scriptures around the Cafe. So he asked me an unexpected question, "How can I give my life to Jesus?" I sat there a bit stunned for moment, then began talking about what it means to give our lives to Jesus. He then went on to pray and cry out to God to deliver him from the bondage of alcohol. After he finished praying, he looked up and nearly appeared to be a completely different man! There was life and hope in his eyes and a sudden hunger to read the Bible. So I pulled out one of our Bibles and got him to read in Romans. As he read through Romans 1, you could see the joy of the Father lighting up within him and quickly he had some questions (all good ones too). We talked for a little while longer before he needed to go.
After he left, I began to meditate a bit on my own reactions to him as he first entered and realized that I had failed to see the man God was calling home...rather, what I saw was a drunk man who wanted to just cause trouble for all the children who were there enjoying themselves. The more I thought about it, the more my heart broke as I am certain that this is something that we all struggle with, even us missionaries, and is something that we must do away with if we truly want to impact this world with the love of Jesus.
A Safe Place
This past Thursday, our dear friends Justin & Jenna returned to Guatemala to serve with us. Though they plan to travel a bit in the beginning, they wanted to first go to The Spark to finally see the place that they originally helped us find 2 years ago! On Friday, Justin got to sit down and talk quite a bit with Mauricio, one of our street friend, to play some checkers and talk. Mauricio began to share with him something that really touched all of our hearts. He said that he loves to come to The Spark whenever he is not working because he feels that it is a safe place that he can go and process his thoughts (as opposed to the streets). He then went on to talk about all the different jobs he had been doing lately and as he shared about each one, Justin felt to tell him that he (Justin) believes in him that he can do each of those things well. After a while, Mauricio just broke down crying and began to quietly cry out to God and asking Him to guide his path. This is exactly the reason we launched The Spark Cafe and have invested so much into it over the last 4 months. Our desire and passion to give our street friends and the many children who are living in high risk situations a safe place that they can go, not only enjoy coffee, activities, and game, but to have a life changing encounter with the only one who can rescue them and love them unconditionally.