2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. —James 4:2-3
In a day and age of self-sufficiency and overly promoted independence, at least in most developed nations, there seems to be a stigma against asking for help. There has become an expectancy that we shall just ‘pull ourselves up by the bootstraps.’ The idea of asking for help often has an attached stigma, and sometimes even condemnation, of such a person being a beggar or being lazy.
Having lived in Los Angeles for more than six years, I remember many times when people who were begging were exposed as actually not being in need, but rather just trying to get free money! They would dress up poor and dirty, and stand on the side of the road, or even in the middle, and beg. Knowing this to be true, I, myself, often subconsciously immediately judged people who were begging. Knowing that some were in the streets out of very selfish motives, made me distrust the great majority. It is sad but true. Fortunately, God has done work in my heart to not judge so much, but rather seek His voice to know if and when I should give to someone who appears to be in need.
For me personally, asking for things has always been quite the challenge. In the very abusive childhood that I lived, if I asked for something or showed interest or need for something, the biological mother would specifically withhold it from me and deprive me of it, just to punish me. This taught me to not express desire for much in life, so as to not be disappointed by the refusal of others to help me have what I wanted or needed. When it comes to asking others for things that would help me, I also have viewed how many people are only willing to give when they know that they will be getting a return for what they give. We, rather than living in faithful response to God and trusting Him to protect and use our investment for His glory, can often be tightfisted and reluctant and refusing to give!
Abogar Guatemala (AboGua) has some very real needs that I want to ask people to help with. As we are still not fully legalized or recognized as an official nonprofit association in Guatemala, many Guatemalans are reluctant to invest, as they will not receive tax receipts and have a desire for a more developed plan, focus, and more developed organization. There is also a lot of skepticism, due to a long history of horrible corruption. We do have a plan, and are in the works to get it officially drawn up and publicized for donors, supporters, and others whom are interested to see. However, in the meantime, we are working and functioning as the organization God is calling us to be. The Bible tells us to not despise small beginnings.
We have two ministries we work with… Vidas Nuevas en Villa Nueva is our direct ministry to children in a poor and at risk community, and we are also partnering with and sponsoring Special Kids’ School. Vidas Nuevas is a direct ministry of AboGua, and we have been blessed to lead many children to Christ, to distribute 40 Bibles (2017) and 10 Bibles this year to the children, and through food, Bibles lessons, recreation, and our invested time with them, have been able to witness and watch them grow and mature in the Lord! The Special Kids’ School that we sponsor and support, is a great refuge for children who, for the most part, come from homes and families involved in two opposing gangs. The school provides amazing education and lavishes the kids with God’s great love. It truly serves as an amazing refuge for these precious children. The stories of horror and challenge are many, but so are the stories of victory and success. While it has been a slow go of getting Abogar Guatemala developed and started well, we have also witnessed so many incredible miracles and victories for the glory of God, in the meantime.
We are dreaming big, because we believe that God is a God of big miracles and provision! This year we would like to locate a building to become property of Abogar, here on the ground in Guatemala. We would like to use it as a multi-purpose center. We are developing the plan and proposal for finding and purchasing such a location. Part of why we are considering a multi-purpose center, as the first property of Abogar in Guatemala, is because we will no longer have a space or place to work with our kids from Vidas Nuevas ministry after October, 2018!
The scripture above tells us that we have not because we do not ask of God. Well, we are asking of God, and also are asking for you to also consider being a part of this step forward. Our motives are not selfish, nor pleasure seeking, but rather we aim to provide a place to help strengthen families, rescue and fight for children, teach classes, have a main office space for AboGua, and to be able to be involved in community enrichment and development! While it will not specifically, at least initially, be one of our Homes of Hope for the children, we sense that this could be a good direction for Abogar to move forward in the endeavor of fighting for and ministering to the precious children here.
So, daring to dream, I now ask intentionally… would you join us in asking God for great guidance and clear direction in this process? We invite you to invest in this dream, to help us make it a reality! We believe that God has good and perfect gifts for His children, and we want to join Him in giving these gifts to the children of His heart. Would you be willing to invest in a multi-purpose center for the glory of God? If you are seriously interested in considering a generous investment in this specific aspect of the ministries of Abogar, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org today and we can consider together what God is inviting us into!