The world outside of their game falls away
that is why I wish everyday
to be like how the children in Montebello play
It was Wednesday afternoon and I sat in a chair on the beachfront balcony overlooking blue skies and an even more blue hued ocean and thought to myself, “It’s time to dig in and write my sermon.”
I’d just found out the night before that it was I who would be giving a sermon the following day at a house church in a colonia called Montebello.
I was elated at the chance. Not nervous, and that’s because in Africa last year I’d given 7 or 8 sermons. In fact, I was so excited at the prospect of preaching that the night before I was quite restless and I didn’t get much sleep at all. And as such, I was dead tired all day.”
I persevered through the tiredness and finished my sermon, expecting it to fall between 30-45 minutes. I titled it, “The Father who Fiercely Loves” and it was about how God’s perfect love inspires new life within us, and me in particular. In form it was a sermon sandwiched by a testimony.
By 5:30pm it was time to meet as a team. I asked them to pray for me because I was sincerely worried that my tiredness would negatively affect my message and that in giving it, I would not be joyful, intriguing, or as captivating as one should be when they speak on how powerfully redemptive God’s love is. Cause I mean, it’s not MY sermon, it’s not MY message, it’s His that He has entrusted me to give to His people. I’m just the middleman and I want to do my job well.
My team prayed that the Spirit would fill me and that the very moment I would step foot in the house church I’d come alive, and Fellas, that’s exactly what happened. I was so joyed as I spoke to the church. So full of life. So energized. Honestly, I don’t know if I’ve ever felt like that before. I treat that experience as His Spirit speaking through me, and through that, God really revealed a piece of His heart to me. He loves telling us about Him. He loves being known by us. He is so dearly excited at the prospect of being known because He doesn’t long to be a mystery.
At the end of the day I laid in bed reflecting on my time spent speaking at the house church. It was a wonderful blessing. My mind went to David, one of the other staff, because after the sermon I had walked back to the base with him and asked him what he thought of my sermon, and one thing he noted was that I spent a lot of time on my testimony. And he’s right, I did. But I hadn’t planned to. I’d planned to breeze through the testimony in 15 minutes and it had ended up taking 30. And I attribute that to this: as I spoke, God kept bringing up memories to me, and so I kept sharing them. And perhaps God didn’t bring them up for the church, but just for me, either way, through giving a testimony which was more vulnerable than I had planned I truly came to see, much clearer, the hand of God upon my life. The redemption. The restoration. It’s all there.
And this ride we call life is not nearly over for me. When I’m 50 I hope to look back on a life spent like a sharpened blade in a warrior’s hand: ready for whatever He asks of me.
Mazatlan filled me afresh with a new dedication and devotion to my call through the experience of my Father who Fiercely Loves.
Mazatlan has inspired a fire.
And of course, when I say Mazatlan, I mean God. So thanks God. You’re good.
- Last Tuesday was the last day in our Spark curriculum. It’s over! It’s been a blast! The students have grown so much. It’s an honor to have walked alongside them through this.
- Mazatlan Outreach was a success!!! Pictures will be below.
- The Bible School for the Nations (which I’ve been accepted into) starts April 28th and runs until September 1st so I’ll be pretty busy in the coming months.
Rancho De Los Ninos, a home for special needs kids in Mazatlan. We spent the day here doing some construction work and with the kids (See below)
Keven and Mary (team leaders) posing for a pic on the job site
David pouring cement mix into the pail
Jon hanging out with one of the kids at Rancho, and Megan in the background hanging out with another.
Different day, working on YWAM Mazatlan’s brand new Mercy Ship. (Ft. Hayley, Me, and Jon)
Nathan, the grout pounding champion, on the Mercy Ship
All work and no play makes for a sad spring break
Panorama! We hiked up to a Lighthouse and interceded for the city of Mazatlan and God gave me a piece of His heart pertaining to how much He loves and desires to have the city for His own. It’s His inheritance, He said.
In Montebello we visited the homes of the neighborhood and asked the kids to come out to play with us. We played some games, and then David taught them how Jesus can calm the storm.
Pose! Megan, Hayley, and our lovely translator Claudia
Couldn’t get a good pic but we were playing Futbol
This is the House church I spoke of earlier which I gave a message at
Come on now, that’s just a good picture. We on the way to do ministry. JOY OF THE LORD. (And sunshine. And beach. And daily tacos. And cheap smoothies. Okay everything was perfect. everything.)
Nathan gave a short message to a youth group! Ft. Claudia and Nathan
When the sun too much for ya
Team travel picture ft Matching Shirts & Goofy Faces
I really just need funds for Bible school. Outreach is in september, we’ll be going to either The Phillipines or to the Congo. I’m looking to raise about $3500 between now and september. If you’re interested in partnering with me as I live out the life God has called me to,
call/text me at 636-203-8077.
Email me at Matthewb@ywammadison.org