In a recent interview, Julianna (our Executive Director in Guatemala), emphasized again the importance of unity between Canada and Guatemala in our organization. In the founding years of our ministry, we received several words that within our ministry there was a profound connection between Canada and Guatemala. “It’s hard to know all of what that means,” she said, “but the work of the Holy Spirit here was going to go back and impact Canada.”
We’re mindful of these words, of this encouragement to be unified, in our work that spans continents. Our English teachers who come and commit for one year (or two or three) are both sowing seeds and receiving seeds into their own hearts that they’ll carry with them back to Canada. Similarly, our vision for our short-term groups is that while they’re contributing appropriately, that they’ll also be receiving from the Lord, and that their experience in Guatemala would be one experience in a lifetime of meaningful experiences.
A SEED OF WORSHIP
Through the first half of the year, 57 people visited our school in Guatemala as part of a short-term opportunity, including three smaller teams and two larger groups from Maranatha Christian Academy in Windsor, ON, and Village Youth in Surrey, BC.
Mya Mailloux, a Grade 12 student from Maranatha Christian Academy, shared some of her favourite experiences from January. As a worship leader in her church, she was especially impacted by devotionals.
“In Ontario, I’ve led worship for a really long time, and kids just look at you while you’re singing.
But in Guatemala, in chapel, where I was expecting those kids to be doing the same thing, they started praising at the top of their lungs! Looking at their faces, seeing how they were genuinely worshiping; they were taking it seriously too.”
She couldn’t help but think about how she saw her experience leading in Canada. “We have this huge set up [with] lights and everything, and no one really worships.” She said that she felt challenged “to be more of an example of how to properly worship. It made me take worship more seriously myself.”
Meghan Mailloux, Mya’s mother, was a team chaperone, and deeply moved by the devotionals and seeing students from their school join in. “You could see some of [our students] that are a little bit more reserved with their hands up in the air, just going with it.”
It’s not an accident that the students at our school worship passionately. It’s a foundational part of our school life: that students would learn to worship and put God first every day.
It’s always exciting when visiting groups notice that there’s something more than just Latin American passion in our worship, that there’s a real relationship with God that’s being formed, strengthened and nurtured in devotionals. We pray that visitors like Mya will receive this seed into their hearts and take it back to Canada, allowing it to grow in their hearts, leading them to worship in a new, deeper way.
The work of Global Shore is a gift, given to us by God to steward, and we can’t ignore it. We pray that visitors to our ministry would be able to contribute, yes, in appropriate ways, but that they would also return having received in Guatemala, finding ways to serve the Lord in their lives in Canada as well.