The Master Builder
(see photos from my trip at the end of this blog or in the Photos section of the website)
“Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.”
This past week, I got the chance to go to Cobán, Guatemala for five days, to start preparing for our family’s move. The goal was to buy furniture, meet the team, and take care of some logistical things for the move.
This was my second time there and since my last visit, I was amazed at all the new construction and changes! Here are some of the changes that have happened since: reinforced security wall, new storage building and sewage drainage, new housing addition to the church for Elder Kim and Naby, new house for the four orphans living in the ministry center, new roofing and ceiling for the missionary house (our house), new gate for the school entrance, and wifi!
My first reaction when seeing all these changes and new construction was, “Wow, this place is amazing!” But I was even more surprised when i heard of all the others construction projects that were still to come, such as: a new gate and entrance, a cafeteria for the school, a playground, modifications to the missionary house, a teacher’s lounge and a security booth at the main entrance.
All of this was exciting and I started daydreaming of all the amazing things that we could do at the Ministry Center, through the church and school. Yet, I still felt an uneasiness in my heart, because as many of you may know, Guatemala is not one of the safest countries in Latin America. Grouped with El Salvador and Honduras, these three countries have come to be known as the Northern Triangle, a region known for drug trafficking, corruption, and gang violence. Many of the asylum seekers that have reached the US borders in the past decades have been mostly from these three countries. So, naturally, my biggest fear and concern for taking my family to Guatemala has been their safety. The concern for my family’s safety and well-being was also shared by Elder Kim, and we actually spent a good amount of time talking about how to make the Ministry Center a safer place.
Later during the trip, as I continued to think about all the potential that this ministry center had and anxiously worried about how to keep my family safe from everything and anything, God reminded me of a verse that He had previously placed in my heart as I was praying over our family’s move to Guatemala and my personal fears. Psalm 127:1 says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.”
I was reminded that day of two important truths: 1) It doesn’t matter how many construction projects and improvements we made or what kinds of dreams and goals we had, IF God didn’t build the house, IF He wasn’t the one building and guiding everything, then all of it would be in vain. 2) I could build the biggest wall or set up hundreds of security guards to keep my family safe, but it’s not on man or man-made things that I need to rely on, but on my Almighty, Omnipotent Father, who will keep my family and all those in the Ministry Center safe under the shadows of His wings.
As our family continues to prepare to move to Guatemala, please continue to pray alongside of us. Please pray that:
All of us at the AMI Ministry Center will remember that it is God who builds the house and not our own hands
Our family will continue to place our trust and hope in Him, so that we will be free of all worry, fear, and anxiety
We will be safe as we travel to different places to share about Guatemala and say goodbye to friends and family
We will have a blessed time sharing our last meals with our friends who have shared life with us these past 7-9 years in the Bay Area
God will continue to bring people alongside of us to support us in prayer!