There are times in my Christian life where I feel as if I live a “desk job” Christian life, while the real Christians are “on the field” battling the enemy. The truth is, I do have a desk job (in a cubicle actually), but the war that we Christians are in is a spiritual one that can be fought from anywhere. It’s not where we are fighting that’s important, but only that we are fighting. We are called to be light wherever we are, whether that is in a cubicle or on the mission field in a foreign land. That being said, I still have a special reverence for missionaries, people that give their lives in a specific role, in a specific time and place to build the Kingdom of God in a foreign land. There are special roles, callings and gifts that God has given to specific people, to accomplish specific goals. I think those of us who are in our cubicles should be the sending and giving power behind missionaries that change the world like that.
Before a couple of years ago, I didn’t know any missionaries personally. Growing up, our church would give money to Lottie Moon, but I didn’t really know who Lottie was or what Lottie did. We also went on “mission trips” but often times it felt like vacation to get away from our parents for a week (no offense mom ‘I love you!’). All this really changed when we went on that first mission trip with The Village to Guatemala when we met Selena.
On that trip we also met two very inspirational ladies serving the people in Guatemala. They housed our team, gave us a place to stay, food to eat, and showed us around the beautiful country of Guatemala. They showed us what ministries they were involved in, and our team helped out as much as we could that week. The two missionaries that impacted our lives and would later play a critical role in saving Selena’s life are Linda DeVault and Kailah Jones.
Linda DeVault is a missionary with ‘Commission to Every Nation.’ At the time we met her, 5 years ago, she was invested in caring for the orphans at, “Fundacion Salvacion,” heavily involved in a crisis pregnancy and battered women’s shelter, visited and loved on people staying at a local special needs home, and led worship in her home church. This list is just a little of what Linda did day in and day out. She is an amazing woman, serving the local people of Guatemala. The week we met she really had an impact on us. She seemed to have such a quiet confidence in the Lord. She had so much love for the people of Guatemala and it was evident in everything she did. Linda led the way that week and took our team to the mountains and let us serve alongside her. It was a special week for us. When we started hanging out with Selena a lot that week, I think she knew there was a deeper connection being formed. She was so encouraging to us, and when we left crying that week because we had to leave Selena, she hugged us and told us it would be okay. She would keep a watch on Selena and try to help in whatever way she could. After our story developed a little more, Linda sat with me in the orphanage director’s office as I tried to communicate our heart for Selena. Linda (the white woman from San Antonio who speaks Spanish fluently) translated what I was saying, and when we were brainstorming families to take Selena in, she was the one to suggest the Echeverrias. She called and talked to them and within 10 minutes they were at the orphanage ready to take Selena. It was amazing!! We believe in Linda and her work and have supported her since. Her current ministry involvement includes leading woman's and children's Bible studies, teaching Bible classes in the local public school, and helping raise support for the local woman's shelter for battered women, not to mention all the extra needs that show up at her doorstep regularly. If you do not have someone like this that you are investing in, and supporting, would you consider coming alongside us on a continual basis to do so? Here is a link to that organization where you can do that: Commission to Every Nation
The second missionary I’m referring to is Kailah Jones. Kailah was serving alongside Linda and traveled with our team that week. Kailah was amazing. She’s an amazing cook, really down to earth and also really loves serving the Guatemalan people. Kailah has some very interesting Guatemala stories to tell, and if you ever message her on Facebook, ask her about driving around after dark on her mope-head. (Let’s just say it’s not safe to drive around late at night...) Kailah also played a critical role in saving Selena’s life. On our website we explained how Selena got very ill early on and spent about three weeks in the Huehuetenango ICU. We received that phone call, about that, from Kailah. She was the one that would stay by Selena’s side, praying for her and keeping us updated on her progress during that scary time. She also took in Selena for about two months once Selena was released from the hospital. Selena kept getting sick in the orphanage and the director agreed to let Kailah and Linda watch and take care of Selena for a few months. It was an amazing time for Selena, and she really flourished in Kailah’s care. She was eating more than ever, smiling more than ever, and just receiving the love from that one on one attention. Kailah really sacrificed a lot during that time. She put her ministries on hold and set her schedule aside to take care and nurse Selena back to full health. Her and Linda’s care for Selena probably saved her life (and that’s not an overstatement). Kailah is very special to us and we will always be grateful to the Lord for her love for us and for Selena.
Sometimes God interrupts your daily ministry with unexpected tasks. Taking care of Selena was not part of the "agenda" for these two. But they accepted the challenge as just another part of their ministry work in Guatemala for that time, another way of living out the Gospel. The Bible says, “Blessed are the feet of those that bring good news.” I think that sharing the good news could be on the side of a mountain in Guatemala, but I also believe that it could be in the next cubicle over. I want to be more like Linda and Kailah. Thank you Lord, for these two amazing women.