Building the Church
When I was 15 years old, I was part of a short-term mission team that was led by Pastor Mark Geppert to Guatemala to build a church in a former garbage dump in Guatemala City. Our contact person was a young pastor named Hector Zetino. Hector was a former gang member that became friends with Mark and Ellie Geppert during their initial entry into Guatemala after a great earthquake in the 70s.
It was amazing to walk down to the work site for the first time and see the people, their homes, and the location for the church. I still remember the road that was a mixture of cement, piles of sand, water, rocks, and dirt. As we arrived at the work site, we saw corrugated tin homes, chickens, kids everywhere, and men playing soccer. But the peace of the Lord was on the team and members of the church as we stood in a circle and started to pray together in unity for the site and the new church building. It was one of my best memories as a teenage kid.
The group of people standing together reminds me of the passage in Psalm 133:1, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” The brothers and sisters joining together in prayer and purpose for a new church to be built for the glory of God and to be a lighthouse in a dark place was what the Church globally is called to do.
That is what the Lord is calling believers to do: stand together in unity.
The team from Pittsburgh was equipped to lay block and build a church, but the greatest thing that they did was to love the people they came to serve. In John 13:35 we read, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” The mission team did dig a footer by hand, lay blocks, and build a church building, but the greatest thing they did on the mission trip was to be a witness to the lost, by their demonstration of love through the works of their hands for their brothers and sisters in the building of the church building for the glory of God.
That is what God is calling us to do as believers and disciples of Christ: to love one another and to be Christ’s hands and feet to a lost world.