The City

Week 3 - GUA Letter from Lauren

By Ellis Prince in Gallery Church Downtown about 1 year ago | 372 views Link:

Week 3

Hey up there :)

Emotionally this week was really hard for me, so it tainted everything. Last week I thought satan was attacking, but now looking back he was just prowling. He attacked this week. And man alive he attacked with full force. The things I had found joy in here no longer brought joy. For one: cucos. Which is like homemade ice cream gelato stuff from heaven. Last week with Kali, I literally got it more than once a day, but this week I didn’t even go one time. I found no joy in the team. I can’t even tell you half their names and they’ve only been gone 8 hours. The village up until the last day and a half was a total struggle for me. The people are Mayan so their culture is different than other villages I’ve been to. They’re closed off and reserved. Kids don’t want hugs or to hold your hand and even getting them to play was hard. The truck rides up to the mountain were long and painful (usually that’s like the best part), and the list goes on. The whole week I watched this team be so excited each morning about trekking up to see their people while I dreaded it. I hated how weak I was. I couldn’t shake (and still haven’t really) the dark cloud. I feel so selfish because I wasn’t fully present. I went to sleep and woke up each morning in no better mood than the day before. I feel like I wasted so much time. Typing this makes me start to cry, partly because the song playing in the background at the moment is “It Is Well” by Bethel.

"Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard

Through it all, through it all, my eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all, it is well
Through it all, through it all, my eyes are on You
It is well with me

Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can’t see
And this mountain that’s in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea

So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name"

The waves and wind still know His name, guys. Can I get an amen? I find all the comfort I need when I revel in that.

Currently, I’m reading Uninvited by Lisa Terkeurst and oh my soul it’s amazing. God is really speaking to me through this book (every girl needs to read it). Today’s chapter was perfectly timed. It was titled “The Enemy’s Plan Against You.” Here’s the star quote from the chapter: “He’s not just looking to distract you, or tempt you, or pull you slightly off course. He’s looking to devour you. But we must remember something crucial. The devil is vicious but he is not victorious. And you, my friend, have everything you need to defeat him. You don’t have to lie there shaking in your bed with a death grip on the covers, feeling powerless and deathly afraid.” Satan becomes completely powerless when we fix our eyes on Jesus. Amen hallelujah.

I hate the evil one for taking sweet moments from me this week. I hate that I let him have some victories. I did my very best to fix my eyes on Jesus, but minutes later satan would sneak right back into my mind. He’s the epitome of ruthless. Wow I know I’m slow but I just realized RUTH-less. Ruthless means “without pity or compassion.” In the Bible, the name Ruth comes from the Hebrew word meaning “friend” so she was full of pity and compassion, as we saw in her relationship with Naomi. She lived her name out so perfectly. My name means victorious. I long to live my name out too. When I’m dead and long gone, I want people to remember that through Christ I was victorious over the enemy. I want them to say the evil one is LAUREN-less. Wow. I’ve got chills all over and teary eyes. You guys are getting a play by play of my scatterbrained thoughts haha this is how God speaks to me sometimes, I hope you enjoyed the show. 😂 uncut, unedited email right here.

So yes, satan did have some victories over me this week, and he will continue to mess with my mind. He will continue to be ruthless and vicious, but at the end of the day I WILL be victorious over him because he can never take my trust in God away. I’m going to heaven baby, he will burn in hell forever without me. Now I’ve got the Yolanda Adams song “Victory” stuck in my head. Everyone go listen. (Love you Aunty, I’ll remember that years ago summer forever)

And to make matters worse for satan’s evil plans, I’m thankful for this week. I’m thankful for the dark cloud and the trials and the pain. I’m growing because of it. We’ll never change if we’re comfortable. God is using my pain and that has been my prayer. We shouldn’t just pray for God to fix us or our lives, we should pray for God to USE the hurt, the anger, the grief, whatever it is, to further His kingdom.

Whoops I just preached a sermon and it wasn’t even about Guatemala. See guys? This is why I need to write a book. These emails are like my public journal, my book practice. Sorry not sorry.

I can let you in on some of the things I did this week though… like I said earlier, the people in the village weren’t super receptive. The team talks about how much more open they are than they were a couple years ago… yikes I can’t even imagine what it was like. Sooo the first two days I didn’t make any connections. No kids wanted to be my buddy, no ladies wanted me to hold their babies, and no elderly woman wanted to talk to me. I was like “great God, I’m already feeling rejected enough.” But the last two-ish days were a lot better. Blanca opened up as best she could to me, and I ended up giving her my shoes (we did a shoe giveaway that morning to all the kids in school aka her siblings, but she’s done with school). It was a super sweet moment. When I was getting up to walk away, she started to take the shoes off to give them back because she didn’t want me to walk in my socks down the mountain. She thought I was crazy, but I told her it’s because I love her and Jesus loves her.

The next day, after the church dedication, I played tickle tag with alllllll the little boys. Easily 40+ little boys ages 4-12 for the longest time. It started out as me just chasing Toni around, and then the rest of them joined in. I was so happy to get them laughing and interacting with me. It was such a blast. I get to go back to that village in a couple weeks for a medical clinic, so maybe we’ll get to play again. We played all the way until I climbed into the truck. Later that day I had scratches all on my stomach and back😂 some of those boys tickle hardddd.

That’s about it for my week. And just so you know, the emotional stuff I’m dealing with doesn’t have anything to do with being here. I love Guatemala and I love Hope of Life and I love what I’m doing and I’m definitely not ready to come home. I’m already praying about how I can come back again! Please join me in that.

I hope you all had good weeks. Text me! I’ve been telling people that it’s too much for me to juggle texting people first, but if you text me I will certainly respond:) and I have lots of time to pray, so if you need prayer for something specific please tell me!!

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