I started this year full of anticipation and excitement for what God had in store for me in my role as coordinator of programmes at our centre for young people here in Guatemala. God placed a team of dedicated and gifted people around me at Centro Opp and He has continued to grow that team and help us deepen in relationship with Him and one another. In turn we have been able to grow several of the programmes at the centre and are starting to witness the first fruits of what God is doing here.
These first fruits may still be small and not yet ripe but buds are starting to bloom into flowers, and as those flowers grow the first signs of fruits are starting to appear. I have always considered working with young people to be a privilege, there is nothing more rewarding than when a young person chooses to let you into their world, starts to share and actually seeks you out for guidance and help. That reward is even greater when those young people come from complex family situations and challenging home lives, where many have experienced adults being inconsistent and untrustworthy. It takes time for any two people to build trust but even more so with these added challenges. So, those first fruits I am referring to may seem small; like when a young girl comes and asks you to pray for her and her family because her mother is in hospital and she is scared. She never really got to have a relationship with her mother as she was in prison until recently. Or when a young man in his early 20’s comes to you and shares that his girlfriend is pregnant and he tells you that you are the second person he has told because he values you in his life and knows that you care for him, tears are welling as I type. Or when a timid teenage girl starts to attend activities regularly and you get to witness her open up, make friends and start to find a place where she can belong. Or when a young man who first came with all of his barriers up, unmovable and angry with the world (with a story that would make us all angry with the world along with him, but that is for another time), starts to soften and show his true heart. A heart that is gentle and soft, that is seeking acceptance, safety and love. I say it again, it’s a privilege. As we build community for, and with, these young people I am excited to see what God has for each one of them and us as a team.
These fruits might be small right now, but they are already having a huge impact on my heart and are testament to what God is doing through the team here. Guess what else these fruits show signs of? They are a sign that there is more to come and that it will be good. I have learned that with God, our Good Father, there is always more, and it is always for our good.