-Mackenzie Vondersaar

I have studied Spanish for six years, for this I was asked to lead Bible lessons during VBS in Guatemala. However, when I realized the topic was the creation of The Church in Antioch (Acts 11: 19-30), I was a little disappointed. No Daniel or Jonah stories? I quickly found I had an amazing example of partnership to share. I was able to share that the leaders at The Learning Center and at Connection Pointe demonstrate a united front for Christ with physical separations. 


I explained,  “Through the power of the Holy Spirit the Lord’s followers become Christos Pequeños (Little Christ’s). We are called to work together for the kingdom of the Lord. The partnership between Connection Pointe and The Learning Center demonstrates what Barnabas and Saul were working toward. I compared this idea with the relationship between Jew and Gentile believers. They looked different, spoke different languages, originated from different countries, yet came together under Christ’s name. Likewise, Christians in Antioch sent money to Jerusalem to support the civilians during a famine. Our partnership shares the same cultural differences, yet unites because God does not like His people to be separated.


While I was in Guatemala, I felt God was constantly reminding me of the impact our partnership has. We are a relational mission. Five years ago, families would hide within their homes when Connection Pointe would come to visit the communities, or parents would not send their children to the school while a team was serving. Today it is quite the opposite. Students and families openly invite mission teams and teachers into their homes. Equally, the older students who have school every other day come each day to spend more time with the team. They feel loved and they thirst to build relationships with Connection Pointe. We fill the community up with love then support their physical needs. The Learning Center is striving to sell families a stove with a chimney and water filters. Headaches and severe lung problems caused by smoke inhalation have improved and constant diarrhea has ended thanks to clean drinking water. The community appreciates the physical needs we are meeting, but the relational aspect means much more.

For example, my precious sponsor child Daniel was excited to see I had a present for him. I gave the backpack to him and pointed at the toys inside, but his face filled with joy and amazement when he saw a letter from me sitting in the bottom of the bag. Relationships and love can be the strongest of remedies.

It is easy to serve one way in poverty and another within our own community, but the Spirit of the Lord should be just as bright no matter where we are.
Rut is leading this mission within her own community around people she has known for years. Read more about Rut hereI am inspired to serve within my own community maintaining the same passionate spirit Rut carries instead of focusing on “bigger” missions in the future. Why would my spirit need to change? Sometimes the environment can have this effect. God challenged me with this idea while in Guatemala: It can be easy to serve passionately when there is physical poverty, but are we serving just as intentionally to those with spiritual poverty?