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Education Field Story Guatemala Latin America

Seeing God on the Mission Field: Love

"God’s love is not limited. He lavishes it totally on all who call on His name. He did not withhold His only Son from us. How much more will He graciously give us all things?"

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” 1 John 3:1a

The young man shakes my hand in a firm grasp.

“I’ll miss you, Miss Natalie. Thank you for everything.”

His words cut off and he bows his head. Then his shoulders begin to shake. Before I can think twice, I reach for him and pull him into a hug. He weeps with his forehead resting on my shoulder, not caring about the hundred students watching us.

I lean my head down and say softly, “The most important thing is that you have a relationship with God.”

He nods and his hold tightens. I don’t release him until his tears cease and he pulls away first. Then he wipes his eyes and straightens. He is almost an inch taller than me now. He’s grown so much these past years.

“Seek God,” I say. Then I turn to say goodbye to the other graduating students. My heart fills with sadness and love. To each one I give the same charge: Seek God. My silent prayer goes up with the same plea. Oh, Father, may they seek you.

I often tell people how much I love what I do. But at the end of the day, it’s not the lesson planning, teaching or working that gives me the passion to do what I do. What fills my heart are the 150 students I am blessed to serve, love on and invest in each day.

God has given me such a burden for these young men and women who are lost and searching for meaning. He has blessed me with amazing relationships with my students so that by loving on them I may earn their trust and be able to share about the true love that awaits them if only they accept God as their Father.

But what is my everlasting comfort, especially those days when my heart is broken by the pain and depravity of the world, is that as much love and burden as I feel for my students, God loves and hurts for them even more.

God mourns the sin of the world. He desires for all to seek Him. He longs to show mankind what true love is. And He in His goodness will draw individuals to Himself.

God’s love is not limited. He lavishes it totally on all who call on His name. He did not withhold His only Son from us. How much more will He graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32)

So, let us pour out the love that we have received from our Father. Let us not be afraid to open our hearts to the lost.

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