It took a while to convince Rich that we should go on the trip to Guatemala. In his words, "I just like to stay home and not go anywhere." Which isn't really true, because he likes to travel. But this was not a natural desire for him to want to go on a mission trip where we can't speak the language and we really had no idea of what we were getting into.
I couldn't be more proud of what came of it, though! The entire time he was guilty of being completely uncharacteristic for my quiet, reserved, shy husband. He volunteered for TWO dramas, purposely sat near the teenagers on our bus, and asked to give his testimony twice. At the first high school we went to, we were told there were lots of drug problems and such. When we got to each school, we would try to mingle with the kids and visit. I was much more apprehensive about doing this at the high school. As I was trying to get up my gumption to talk to someone, I looked over and saw my husband already talking with kids!
This is a picture of Rich giving his testimony at this same high school. Our translator, Patricia, is next him. He did a wonderful job! His testimony mostly consists of having given his life to Christ as a child, but spending his high school years not really following the Lord. He was in a bad car accident right out of high school and somehow walked off with only a scraped elbow. This was one of the moments in life that God used to get his attention. This is mostly what he shared here at the high school.
Our young friend, Brendan, who was on our trip with us also shared his testimony of a time where he wasn't choosing his friends wisely. As a result of those two testimonies, a boy named Brandon came up to Rich and told him he was a pastor's son and hadn't been living for the Lord. He said that now he wanted to change and start living for Christ. Rich was so touched. Lord, I pray for Brandon, that he would rise above his peers and have the strength to live for You!
We headed to a church on Sunday morning. Our group split up and went to 6 different churches in the area and 6 of our men preached. They asked that one other person from each group at each church would share their testimony. Guess who spoke up in our group before anyone else could? This is a picture of the pastor greeting Rich right before he got up to speak.
The church loved him! One of the first things he said was that this was the first time he had spoken in church on a Sunday morning. They were so responsive and accepting. Our friend Bruce got up to preach after Rich and said he was ready to come forward if Rich had given an invitation :)
This trip was so amazing for me to see Rich come out of his shell. Who knows what the future holds now that both of us have seen this new side of him? :)