Last month Heidi and I went for a short visit to AIM’s base in Guatemala to explore potential serving opportunities for our family down the road. It was a quick trip made much quicker when I became ill and had to return to the States after only one full day in Antigua (I’m fine now). So quick in fact that I only took a few pictures.
We were disappointed we had to leave so early, but we managed to book a flight leaving in 3 hours. Amazingly God arranged our seating assignments on the flight home. We got the last two seats on the flight and were put in the back row next to a lady deep in thought and punching words into her laptop.
About ten minutes into the flight, the lady stopped typing and began talking nonstop to Heidi. I was on the other side of Heidi so I couldn’t hear what she was saying, but all I could tell was Heidi was drawn into a conversation and couldn’t get out of it (which I found funny for some reason). After 45 minutes, Heidi began talking too and it appeared they were in a deep conversation.
I had no idea what they were talking about until they paused for a restroom break about 30 minutes before landing in Houston. Turns out the lady used to work at the US Embassy in Guatemala City, has been doing research in Guatemala for years, is now a professor at MIT teaching about Guatemala, and has a book coming out in December about Guatemala. She just spent a week in the eastern part of the country working with the police. Her name is Gina.
Heidi told her we were looking for serving opportunities in Guatemala, and that we were interested in solving real-life problems and meeting real-life needs — both through ministry strategies and potential business ventures.
Heidi asked her which problems in Guatemala she felt we could address through ministry and business. Gina immediately rattled off a list of 6 things needed in Guatemala, things big enough that it would take GOD’s help to accomplish, but practical enough to make remarkable differences in the lives of Guatemalans.
Here we were leaving 3 days early, and we just happened to get a seat next to someone who was an expert on Guatemala and gave us incredible advice on how to really help.
It was a divine appointment and we cannot ignore it. Who knows, maybe Gina’s who God wanted to connect us with from the very beginning. Maybe that was the whole point of this trip, even though I got sick.
I’ll post her recommendations next…