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and my prayer was that I would see Guatemala with fresh eyes. I prayed that prayer before we left, each morning as we traveled to Chuluc and each evening as I laid my tired body on the bed at our hotel in Antigua.  Fresh eyes to see what was around me. To not become so comfortable in my surroundings that I didn’t see the needs.

God used first timers to help with that. Children with extra needs were brought to the forefront. Christy is a friend of mine (and the author of my hair color and style) and she went for the first time. Christy brought me to the place of fresh eyes in a way that I welcomed yet resisted.  “We’re doing the best we can” was my cry, but it’s never a bad thing to have our eyes opened to doing more or doing differently.  God used my friend, who is a fresh believer to be a part of my fresh eyes.  #grateful

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Seeing Christy’s son Mason playing soccer…..the entire week….with the children in Chuluc renewed passion. Oh how those boys love playing soccer. And a young man Mason’s age is perfect for that endeavor!

John and Emma were able to meet the young man they have sponsored for three years.  How thankful I was to witness this and to visit Alejandro’s home with them.  The joy in the faces of Father to Father was inspiring.  Emma met her Guatemalan “brother” and the bond was instant. Pure joy!

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As the sponsorship program through Mission Firefly continues, the children also continue to grow and age out of the program.  Some children choose to continue on in school, but the ones who leave age out.  Our sponsor daughter Nancy is 13 and is now working in the fields.  Her present is now her future.

We have two new sponsor sons…Tony and Brando.  We have known Tony’s family for quite a while and enjoy the continued friendship. We met them when they were a family of four but sadly they are now a family of three as Carlos, Tony and Miguelito’s Father and Irma’s husband passed away two years ago.  We continue to mourn the loss of Carlos.

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Brando is our newest sponsor son and we were fortunate to meet his Mother, Olga.  Olga invited us into her home for a visit.  Not sure what we were thinking as we walked to their home without a translator but we were able to sit in her kitchen and communicate with one another in spite of our language barriers.  It was a wonderful visit and God allowed me to use fresh eyes to embrace a new relationship and to appreciate that friendship even if we didn’t speak the same language.  #heartlanguage

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A team of men from our group and the village built 23 beds. These beds went to the most physically needy. The first bed went to Josephina, who struggles with debilitating arthritis.  Fresh eyes embraced her need and witnessed the love that these men had for her as they presented her with a new bed and mattress. #bestillmyheart

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Our first night, we met with our partners from Dallas, Great Commission Outreach.  It had been a long day and everyone was tired and to be perfectly honest, the last thing I wanted to do was go up on the rooftop and spend time with people I didn’t know sharing when it felt as though there was nothing to share about yet.  (Tired can equal grumpy for me sometimes. Many times.)  Well, those fresh eyes were wide awake as the Dallas team shared about their week. They were nearing the tail end as we were beginning so they had stories to share that filled our tanks, made us smile, tear up and revel in what God was doing.  We shared communion together under the stars, worshiping together in song and word and although many of us didn’t know the other, we were brothers and sisters sharing the same heart for a country we have all come to love. Fresh eyes, indeed.

May my eyes never be so sure, so clouded, so conclusive that I don’t see need around me. That I don’t see beauty. That I don’t see God.                                                                                 Fresh eyes always.

Locust Grove Baptist Church   Mission Firefly  Great Commission Outreach

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