One of my favorite moments on each of our last two trips to Belize was when our team gets together at the end of the week to share and reflect on some of the highlights. The time of reflection really gives our team members a chance see a bigger glimpse of what God did and continues to do in each of us. I'm not normally a huge fan of "sharing time." Sometimes it feels a bit contrived and forced, but when you spend a week alongside some of your best friends who share a deep love and passion for what we're doing there, it seems to come quite naturally.
Our missions partner, Praying Pelican Missions, actually encouraged us to do this. Basically, you all sit around in a circle and share the one thing that impacted you most during the week. Once you're finished, someone from the team affirms you, and shares one thing they were encouraged by in the person that just shared. Our first year, I think it ended up being about FIVE hours long. I know what you're thinking..."No thanks!" But trust me, it was great.
One of my highlights this past year was having the chance to have Marcos join our team in a new part of Belize. Marcos is the Worship Pastor we worked with in 2015 in Belmopan, who has committed his life and his own personal finances to improving the worship life at his church. One of the most selfless, gentle, loving guys I've ever met. (when you get a second, watch a short video on Macros here). When we decided to return to a different part of Belize in 2016, our team had a dream to have Marcos join us for the week and teach alongside the rest of us. He had been through our program the first year and we'd use any excuse to get another week with him.
Well, the time came at the end of last year's trip to all sit around and share again. After about an hour, we got to the part of the circle where Marcos was sitting. It was his turn share his heart. Among many things, he shared specifically about how humbled and honored he was to serve with us. He spoke about how our first trip to Belize in 2015 helped change his life, his people, and his church. He closed with something that really struck me. Marcos said, "although he isn't a GFG member, he would strive to walk in the footsteps of the people on our team and to be more like us." It was time to affirm him. I quickly took the opportunity. I responded and simply said "Marcos, YOU are GFG". You see, Guitars For Glory isn't a club. It isn't an idea. It's not one or two people or even a group of people. It is a lifestyle or worship that we try to live out daily, and fail daily, coined by three words that represent the vessel in how we connect with people through guitars & worship. Marcos is more GFG than any one of us on the team. If you ever get me talking about Guitars For Glory, you'll probably here me say that here in America, we have so much but worship with so little (I'm guilty!). People like Marcos, who some would consider "having less"...worship with EVERYTHING.
Why am I sharing this now? In 2015 we left him and his church with new guitars and some other equipment to help meet some of the physical needs they had. Last night I heard from Marcos for the first time in a few months, asking if I had a few minutes so he could share something with me. The rest of the story is told through these two images I'm going to share below. The first is a message exchange I had with Marcos last night. The next... well, look for yourself.
I recently saw a quote posted somewhere that reads:
“Sometimes those who give the most are the ones with the least to spare.”
After Marcos shared this story with me. I asked him if he had any guitars left for himself. He said, "Yes bro, don't worry about me". Marcos- Thank you for having a heart of Gold. Thank you for teaching us what it means to give. Thank you for responding to God's tug on your heart. YOU ARE GFG!