Guatemala (MNN) — Actions speak louder than words, right? The apostle John wrote in 1 John 3:18 (NLT), "Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions."
A team with Global Aid Network (GAIN) recently personified this passage in Guatemala. They worked at a school, helped build a church, and shared the Gospel on home visits.
"We had some teams that walked as far as 45 minutes to get to a home," says team leader Steve Watson. "It lends credence to the story when you tell them about Jesus, God will go to great lengths to get your attention."
There were 33 people on this short-term mission trip, so they were divided into smaller groups to get projects done more efficiently. And,it wasn't just college kids on this mission trip.
"We had ages from nine, with our youngest, up to someone in their seventies," says Watson.
GAIN works with a local Campus Crusade ministry in an area near the mountains. Watson said it rained during most of their trip, and as a result, the ground was often muddy. This only served to underscore the power of God's love during home visits.
"We even had a person say, 'I can't believe that you came to see me,'" Watson adds.
When teams were invited into a person's home, Watson says the relationship-building began. After listening to the homeowner's testimony, team members would share their own. Eventually, the conversation turned to Christ and the Gospel was shared in an intimate setting.
"Then at the end of the week, we did a distribution of food and toys, and things like that," says Watson. "After we had built relationships and got to know people, then we gave them the gifts."
This trip didn't just change the people of Guatemala.
"To see how desperately poor they are, but the love and the joy that they have that comes from the Lord: yeah, it definitely changes your own heart," Watson says. People are already contacting him to go on the next trip, he adds.
"[They tell me] 'I want to go back, I need to go back,'" he says. "Doing the home visits the way we did, [the trip had] even more impact because they didn't just see faces in a crowd: they built relationships with people."
Watson says another trip is planned for November. Click here to learn more.
"We will be building on what we did in this last trip," Watson says. "If God's tugging at your heart to go, then step out and be obedient. Even if you don't wind up going, take the step."
You could also "call the office, talk to me or one of the other trip leaders, and get more information," says Watson. The office number for GAIN is (972) 234-0800.
Not feeling led to Guatemala? GAIN is planning to visit a Central Asia nation in April 2014.
"It's very different. It's a much harder terrain [spiritually] than Guatemala," Watson says.
"Because it is a closed country, we do the same type of work… not so much focused on large evangelism, but [building] relationships and helping to strengthen the ministry in that country."
GAIN doesn't just need people to go. They need prayer warriors, too.
"Pray for people who are going to take that first step, some of them for the first time," Watson says.
Ask the Lord to prepare their hearts for ministry in Guatemala or Central Asia. Pray also for the native people of these countries, that God will prepare their hearts to receive His love.