Thursday, October 16, 2008

Guatemala or Bust

I would like to take a minute to share a little more of our vision to expand 6:8 Ministries into Guatemala. The first question to answer is why? Why would we expend our limited resources to risk an expansion into Guatemala? We recognize that It would be much easier to continue to operate at the current level. We could just sit back in our satisfaction and maintain the current ministry.

The challenge is that God has richly blessed the mission model and the operational philosophy of 6:8 Ministries so much that it has created an interesting challenge. We have already reserved twenty mission teams for 2009, and unfortunately I've had to turn away several churches. This is tragic, especially since many have explained they can't afford to use other mission organizations. Proof to us that cost is the number one deterrent for individuals participating in short-term missions. So you have a large number of people willing and ready to serve, but aren't given the opportunity. This expansion will allow us to give these willing participants another option for affordable, high quality mission experiences.

The other issue to consider is the impact this expansion will have on the people of Guatemala. In keeping with our current philosophy we will be targeting areas where there is currently little or no missionary presence. We are planning to provide tangible ways to meet both the spiritual and physical needs of the local people in powerful ways.

Why Guatemala? It's a simple matter of need and opportunity. God has already provided staff and facilities. These are normally two of the largest obstacles to overcome. The Johnson family was strongly considering a move to Costa Rica, but God intervened. They did not know "why Guatemala", they simply heard God's voice and obeyed. Since their arrival in Guatemala, God has been at work in powerful ways. God has broken their hearts for the poor communities, connected them with a local pastor who has a heart for assisting with mission teams, and a team house. God has already provided churches from the United States that are ready to start sending teams! Why Guatemala? Because God is at work in Guatemala, and we want to be part of it.

Growth and Expansion

Growth is one of the words I would use to describe how God has blessed His ministry over the past year. We originally set a goal to successfully host eight teams in 2008. God obviously had a different plan. He's allowed us to host twenty-eight teams so far this year. God has also grown the ministry's resources through providing a ministry vehicle and additional facilities. However, the most exciting part about this growth is that God is using it to impact and positively change even more lives through His ministry.

Expansion is one of the words I would use to describe what we anticipate God to do in His ministry in 2009. He is expanding His ministry, His staff, and hopefully His impact through 6:8 Ministries.

I'm excited to share two ways we believe God is going to expand His Ministry in 2009. The first is His calling Dave and Leisa DeVaney to serve full-time in Costa Rica. Dave and Leisa have accepted the call and are currently making the necessary preparations.

The second is that God is allowing to expand His ministry to start operations in Guatemala. We are currently planning the expansion project and hope to start hosting short-term mission teams in Guatemala in early 2009!

In closing, I want you to share in the excitement of what God is doing in and though His ministry. It may sound like we are boasting, but we boast only in the Lord! He is the one causing His ministry to grow and expand. So please share in my excitement! God is on the move, and we are blessed and privileged that He wants 6:8 Ministries to be part of it!

Excited by Him,