Despite grim weather forecasts, we managed to squeak out yet another day of sunshine. We had an early breakfast and loaded our bus to head to Pulay village. We swerved through mile after mile of cornfield, wondering how ancient Mayan architects had packed so many plants into the steep mountainsides. We asked our guide if we were looking at corn, or at sugar cane. “Corn,” he responded in Spanish, smiling in obvious amusement at our city-slicker lack of basic agricultural knowledge.
When we first started visiting the villages around Nebaj with Mike and Terri McComb several years ago, we were often building the first church the townspeople had ever seen. Now, we are running into a new problem: the original churches are running out of space! The church we visited today was at full capacity: every service was standing room only. The pastor, along with a team from his church, would be building a new church around the old one. Instead of having space for 100 people, they would now have space for multiples of their current size. What a blessing to see such growth in such a short period of time!
Our team mixed concrete to pour the cornerstone of the new, bigger structure. We hadn’t even finished mixing when Mike called us in to pray with him over the hole in the ground where we would pour the concrete. Mike reflected that we could build all the churches we wanted out of concrete and stone; but if prayer wasn’t the foundation, there was no point. This church had been growing because of prayer, and it will keep growing because of prayer. We finished praying, the pastor thanked us for our help, and then we started to pour concrete as the din of children’s music floated through the air.
Our kids’ ministry team was inside, singing to a packed house. David Glickstein and Robert Vazquez interrupted the scheduled ministry to perform an improvised version of “Jesus Loves Me,” beatbox and all. The kids waved their hands to the beat, singing along with joy. The kids packed the entire church space on their own; it was easy to see why a new building was a necessity. As the team finished their rendition of David and Goliath and brought their performance to a close, we got ready to pass out 200 school bags to the kids of Pulay village. We took a photo to commemorate all God was doing, enjoyed a meal in the pastor’s home, and headed back to camp.
It was refreshing to see Pastor Guillermo and his congregation at Palabra en Accion Church tonight. God was generous with words of knowledge: we prayed for relationships, marriages, and emotional intimacy for the families in the church. We left feeling full of love, and full of life. When we expect the supernatural, God honors our expectations.
See you tomorrow. We love you CityLight!
Text by Michael White. Photos courtesy of Tim Maggio. #citylightnyc