by LeAnn Woodard

Day 9

The Festival – Esperanza en la Verdad
Divided We Fall

Today we had an incredible festival bringing communities from all over the surrounding areas together in one park to celebrate our Lord and Savior and introduce people to His amazing love.

We had praise and worship from several of the area churches, Christian artists Ricky Halley and Victor Zuniga. BMX stunt cyclists Vic Murphy and Dave performed tricks for the crowd and gave their testimonies, Evangelist Paul Durham preached, Justin Benedict and his amazing family performed and Ben Alva and I even got the chance to sing together.

Today reminded me of two, very important things. One, we are all one body in Christ, stronger when unified, all called to the same thing: To Worship our Lord and Savior, to edify His people and to Be and Make Disciples. Two, Jesus does not ask us to do it alone. He is with us every step of the way, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, guiding, assisting and empowering all that He has called us to. In Matthew 28:19-20, He tells us “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” We as the body of Christ, cannot do this alone. The church needs the power of the Holy Spirit which through prayer, word and worship, enables us to do all things.

I looked at that beautiful body of Christ before me and came to the realization that there were at least 7-8 communities represented there. That is 7-8 different communities, 7-8 different churches and 7-8 different pastors. What I saw was a unified body of Christ. I also noticed that there were people from outside the church that were seeing the love and glory of a Savior manifested in a festival about hope in the truth. Some of those people were lost and hurting, and searching for something. Today, they saw the joy and love of God’s Church and the proclivity for peace and hope through a life with Christ. Maybe, just maybe they found what they were looking for. Several in the large crowd would raise their hands and profess that they accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. Thank you Lord that you used your church in such a mighty way today and thank you for the souls that were saved today. I pray for each of them Lord that they will live a life running fast after you and sharing your love with everyone they meet.

God, I pray that when the lost people of this world look at your church that they will see You. Let us, as a unified body, glorify you in all that we do Lord so that people may come to know You through the work of the Holy Spirit through us. Lead us, guide us and direct us in all that we should be, say and do. Lord let us be the vessel that leads a lost world to know you, bringing peace to your beautiful creation and bringing your children to their heavenly father.

As I think about returning to the states I am so humbled to think back on what God has accomplished through us. It is amazing what God can do when we are open to Him using us in whatever way He wants, knowing if He calls us to it, He will give us the “Holy Spirit” power to see it through. I am also excited to carry this new way of living back with me, a total surrender to what God would have for me. Not just on a mission trip in a foreign land and not just at a special time a year, but every day on any land. I believe that our life is one big mission trip. We are on a mission for Christ, a mission to love others, especially those that are unsaved, as Christ loves us and to show them how they can experience that kind of love through God’s one and only. We are all here to preach the good news, to give all people “Hope in the Truth.”