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"Honey, Jesus Is at the Door Again"
A sign on the school building reads (translated/paraphrased from Spanish:) Bible Classes; free - all children invited.  Art, games, and much more.
Carey Cooper helped open the Susanna Wesley Preschool for the children of Camanchaj.
Image by: Courtesy Jay and Carey Cooper
With the ocean and a stunning landscape with sunset behind the Coopers, it's easy to see how they can love Guatemale.
The Coopers moved to Guatemala hoping to make a difference. As they prepare to leave, they feel they have received the greatest blessings.
Image by: Courtesy Jay and Carey Cooper

Jesus keeps showing up at our back door unannounced in the form of a 4'9" Mayan woman with no front teeth. Jesus is going by the name Isabel and has a deviously cute baby named Norma slung over his back. You wouldn't believe how loud Jesus knocks and how persistent he can be with the door. The man, will simply not go away! Let me be perfectly honest with you...Jesus is really starting to tick me off!

Jesus' visits always frustrate me and leave me feeling taken advantage of. He started coming around when we first arrived in Guatemala. At first he only wanted money and seemed upset with me when I would instead hand him eggs, bread, and milk. But now I see him almost everywhere I go.

He wants me to take him to the health clinic. He insists that I buy him groceries. He pesters me until I give into his demands. That cleverly-disguised man sure does have a way of getting under my skin! He asks for more than I want to give, makes me feel guilty about not being more generous with my money, and pulls me away from important things I need to do just so I'll notice him every time he comes around. Errrrgggg!

Even though I talk about Jesus a lot as a pastor, for some reason there is something in me that simply rebels against him barging into my life like this. His mere presence as Isabel has forced me to re-examine my relationship with the poor I see day-to-day and make some important decisions about how I must respond to them with my money, resources, and time.

Unfortunately, I get the feeling that the goal of this lesson isn't to "get it" as much as it is to continue to "give it," and so it looks like I'm going to have to get used to more visits from the One I call Lord and Savior for some time…whether I like it or not.

As Individual Volunteers, my wife, Carey, and I have been receiving unexpected visits at our door from Isabel and other indigenous Maya of Guatemala for the past two years now, and we can honestly say that it has been both a joy and a challenge to love and serve them.

We decided to move to this beautiful country to work with Project Salud y Paz (Health & Peace) without any international experience or understanding of what we were getting into, just hoping to make a difference in the lives of those with great need. As we near the end of our time here, however, it's clear that we have been the ones who have received the greatest blessings.

Carey helped open and successfully direct the new Susanna Wesley Preschool for the children of Camanchaj, a small village in the Highlands, yet she would say that the children taught her more than she taught them. I coordinated and hosted 45 medical, dental, and surgical mission teams over two years from the States, but I feel I'm the one who has been spiritually and physically fed.

We are so thankful for the blessings we've received from our new friends in Guatemala, praying that we will carry these lessons with us throughout our lives as we return home--especially the lesson of seeing God in unexpected places.

I wish I could say more, but I've got to go. I think I hear that annoying carpenter from Bethlehem knocking again….


Volunteer In Mission Jay Cooper
Project Salud y Paz, Guatemala

>>Mission Volunteers

See Also...
Topic: Communities Hunger Jesus Christ Poverty Volunteers Focus on Ministry with the Poor
Geographic Region: Guatemala
Source: GBGM Mission News

Date posted: Jun 24, 2010