Day 4

Day 4 Thursday September 5

Today started with “traffic”.  If you have never experienced non-stop traffic then you truly cannot appreciate “still waters” like in Psalms 23.  The traffic here is truly 24/7 non-stop, but the relationships and love that Christ has allowed us to be a part of gives our souls “peace”.  After breakfast we headed to church to begin our second day of teaching.

To start off our day we began with passing out bibles to all the bomberos in our class.  We then began to share with them scripture with the bomberos.  Each day we begin our class with 7 verses: Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, John 3:3, John 14:6, Romans 10:9-10, 2 Corinthians 5:15, and Revelations 3:20.  This was very encouraging for me personally.  Each day that we share these verses I ask God to give us courage and His spirit to “withness” (Lan-mine) to the Bomberos.  I pray that God will use us as disciples to share the “good news”.  God answers prayers and He is showing His power and Grace to us each day.

Last night we heard a story that one of the bomberos at Station 69 got a phone call after our training and asked if the American firefighters were still there.  He asked if we were staying there and if he could ask a favor.   The bombero asked for one of our bibles that we gave out that day.  This is truly God moving throughout Guatemala.  The bombero who asked for the bible did not come to our training and worked at a station that was an hour away.  How quickly the word spread that we were handing out bibles and sharing the Gospel sent chills down our spines.  God is good and through Him and His spirit we are sharing the Gospel.

Today we got to witness more of God’s power through the Spirit.  We started our class like yesterday and passed out bibles and began read the scriptures as a class.  After each verse we would open up the communication with “what does this verse say to you?”  The answers were amazing and truly God showing Himself to them and to us.  One bombero shared a story of a rescue that he went on in a well.  When he got down into the well he began to run out of air and became trapped.  All he remembers is seeing a light and someone in the light.  He prayed to God that he was not ready to die and asked God to save him.  The next thing he remembers is waking up in the hospital.  He thanked God for saving him.  Words cannot express the emotion and heart-felt answers given today.  As we went through each verse the answers became deeper and deeper exposing how sinful we are and that Christ is the only way to repair our relationship with God.  God moved in our classroom and I am blessed to be able to be a part of His mission.

We ended the verses with Revelation 3:20, and I used the story that Lan shared the day before.  The story is about a painting at Oxford where it showed Jesus standing at the door holding a lantern.  The amazing aspect of the painting is that there is no handle on the door for Jesus to open.  He will Knock but we have to open the door.  Which is a great image to begin our class, which is about forcible entry.  We are teaching how to open doors by using force but God doesn’t use force, he will knock but we have to answer.

Chad taught the classroom portion today and the bomberos were engaged and really appreciated the knowledge we were giving them.  The bomberos were being taught to use a haligan tool, which there is only one or two in the whole department of 130 stations.  We brought 4 haligans with us this year to give to the Bomberos; this is critical knowledge for them to know because of the security measures people take to secure their homes and businesses.  Every door is either metal or has multiple locks on it, which makes forcible entry creative.

When we broke for lunch Jim was talking to the bomberos about where they were from and about their families.  He found out that one of the guys had traveled over 8 hours just to come to our training.  This guy lived on the Guatemala/Mexico border, needless to say founding out how important our training and us coming to Guatemala truly humbles us each day.   Jim also had a bombero come up to him and ask if he could have a bible to take to his wife.  We see God moving throughout this trip in moments like this.  The afternoon began with our four skill stations.   We have one station that Duane, Robert (RV), and myself teach on forcing open a door using the haligan.  The next skill Kevin, Chris, and Hayden teach using the baseball swing to open the door.  Skill three Brian and Jim taught on using a haligan on prying off a hasp and a pad lock.  Our last skill today Clay and Chad taught walking around the building looking at different doors and talking about how to force the door open.

When our training was complete we came home for a quick change of clothes and then off to dinner with Hector.  Hector is a member of Casa De Libertad who also helps to support Iglesia De Dios, which is a small church (around 50 seats).  We attended this church last year and all of us who went last year could not wait to go back.  To see the Holy Spirit move and soften hearts is an amazing experience.  Brain, Hayden, and Robert (RV) showed the courage of the Holy Spirit and strength of God by sharing their life changing testimonies with the church.  These testimonies truly showed not just life changing moments, it also showed the transformation from the inside out.   To see how God has used them to spread the Gospel, what a blessing.  After testimonies Lan got the opportunity to preach a sermon to the church.  He taught out of Colossians 1: 1-14.  The sermon was about not forgetting that we are “qualified to share in the inheritance of the saints in light” (verse 12).  Not to forget that we are forgiven and sanctified through the blood of Jesus Christ.  It was a true blessing to hear this message.  We are humbled and honored to get to sit in on this service and pray with these people.  This is truly a spiritual experience of God moving throughout our lives and theirs.  Even with different languages it brings joy to your soul to worship God together and then lay hands on each other in prayer.  Amazing.

After a day like today it shows that God is in control of our trip and His hand is working through us.  It is a humbling, pride crushing, and heart-softening journey that 11 firefighters from Texas can give no other credit than to God.  God has given us courage and love for the people of Guatemala to share our testimonies and knowledge.

Mitch Gray- DFW FD

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4 Responses to “Day 4”

  1. Mary DePrang Says:

    You guys are AMAZING! God is so good and I am believing with you for the GREAT things God has planned there. Traffic worse than Dallas?…LOL
    God Bless you all for your dedication and the physical and spiritual training you are leaving behind. GREAT is the reward!

  2. Emily Rozell Says:

    Sitting here with tears in my eyes! So amazing to hear how God is using you guys in so many ways. The kids and I are praying daily that God will protect each of you, give you energy and health to do His work. I am praying God will continue revealing himself to you as you train and teach these men in Guatemala. Much love from Texas!

  3. Julian Arriaga Says:

    So grateful for what the Lord is doing through this trip. Its an encouragement to hear about how the holy spirit is doing to save people through Jesus. Praise God. You guys be safe and have a good time. Tell everyone hello!

  4. Diego Arana Says:

    Thank you guys for all of your training and for being such great people I really apreciatted what you came down to Guatemala to do with us!!

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