As we gathered in a youth center, holding our first training session to send Guatemalans as missionaries, there was a young man named Melvin. He was a recent convert to Christianity, but felt a strong tug in his heart to be sent to the nations.
Melvin had spent some time around World Race teams and other short term missionaries while they were in Guatemala. As he heard stories from each missionary, a deeper flame was being fanned, encouraging him step out in faith, to follow the Lord to the mission field.
Melvin dove in to all the topics we trained him on, absorbing them all like a sponge. He shared his heart with many people, enough so that he raised 3,300 Quetzales (or roughly $300) to go on his first missions trip to Honduras.
On the field, Melvin was nervous. He did not feel qualified to be a missionary. During a time of evangelism, Melvin began speaking to anyone and everyone he could find, with limited success. After a while, Melvin took a different approach. Melvin asked The Lord to highlight someone for him to speak to.
Within moments, Melvin felt God moving his heart for someone and delivered the message on his heart. The woman receiving his word was incredibly blessed and thanked Melvin.
In that moment, it was confirmed to Melvin that he DOES hear from God. God does WANT to use him.
Melvin made a decision as he finished his Honduras trip that this would be the beginning of his new relationship with God.
Since his Honduras trip, Melvin helped co-lead a short-term trip in Guatemala, his people. Here is a testimony from Kathy Sikora, one of the participants from that trip:
One of our team members, Melvin, is from Guatemala. Naturally, he did almost all of the talking during this hour and a half adventure. Melvin so kindly and gently approached 5 or 6 people and just started talking with them and sharing food with them.
Then, he approached this one man. His shoes were practically in shreds. His clothes were all beat up. He smelled of not having had a shower in a long time. He appeared to be a drunk. This man could barely form a sentence in Spanish. And as he sat there, hungry, helpless, hopeless, Melvin bent down, removed his old ragged shoes and started to put the new socks and shoes on. His feet were filthy, but Melvin proceeded.
As the group of us stood there watching Melvin put on this man's new shoes, I couldn't help but turn around and see almost half the town standing around and watching us. I've had my fair share of stares directed my way in my travels, but never to this extent. It was awkward and it was uncomfortable. My heart was hurting for this man and his circumstances. The smile on this man's face once his new shoes were on will forever be etched in my memory.
We started to pray for this man, with Melvin translating into Spanish, and a little girl translating the Spanish to the Mayan language this man spoke. I ended my prayer, but Melvin proceeded. He continued and tried to press on this man's heart that no matter our circumstances we are all children of God and He cares equally for all of us.
Melvin's confidence in hearing the voice of God is still strengthening. Melvin is able to speak life over people, to do the will of God wherever he goes. He has grown incredibly over the last year. He currently enrolled into a seminary school in Antigua. Melvin's heart is to seek the Lord and to love everyone.
We are thankful for Melvin and excited to see what more the Lord has for him.
Melvin's whole relationship with Christ was changed while serving in Honduras. As he sought to share the Gospel with people, God met him in a powerful way. Ever since, his life has been committed to spreading the love of God with everyone he meets.
We are planning another trip to Honduras this year, where a team of ten Guatemalans just like Melvin will have the opportunity to minister and meet God in an incredible way. If you'd like to learn more about those missionaries and support their journey, click here.