from Mark to Marcos

from Mark to Marcos

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Door has Finally Opened.

After nearly one year of trying to push doors open and make my desired-life happen, I stopped. I had either given-up or realized that maybe this wasn’t what God had in-store for me. I was shocked that the two-dozen opportunities that I was pursing hadn’t moved past that pursuit. It hurt. Giving up on my dream hurt more than anything I had gone through prior. With that pain, came a much-needed refocus. As angry or heartbroken as I was, I knew that God was still good and that He still was working in my life. 

Shortly after giving up on my dream of living in Guatemala directly after my college graduation, God blessed me tremendously by opening up a door at Roberts Wesleyan College. And for the past ten months, I have been working as an admissions counselor at my alma-mater. I have fallen in love with this job. It has taught me so much about myself and has also helped develop skills within me that I would have never gotten if I had moved abroad right away. 

During my time as an admissions counselor, I started thinking that maybe I was destined for normal and that my desire to live in Guatemala could be satisfied by traveling there twice each year. I could serve God through my job at a Christian college and through my semiannual mission trips. 

The pursing hadn’t moved past the pursuit. The door was closed. Guatemala wasn’t going to happen. I wasn’t only destined for normal, I was getting used to normal. 

That closed door, however, started opening in September of 2013.

What started with a message from the founder and director of More Than Compassion (MTC), a Christian non-profit, led me on a two week trip to visit that ministry in Huehuetenango, Guatemala. My two weeks in ‘Huehue’ were spent loving and educating orphaned and abandoned children living at Fundacion Salvacion (an orphanage funded by MTC). I was able to play a small part in showing these children that their pasts do not have to determine their futures. In just two short weeks, some of these kids became close friends. One of the older boys, Carlos, asked me why I had to leave. Honestly, I still don’t know the answer to his question. None of my reasons seemed good enough to share with someone who needed me.

One week after returning to the states, I had a Skype interview and was offered a long-term position that would enable me to volunteer alongside More Than Compassion and Fundacion Salvacion, and to work at The School of Hope (Colegio Bilingue Esperanza | MTC's elementary school).

The door has finally opened. 
Am I excited? More than ever. 

For the past four years, God has blessed me with a burden and a passion for the people of Guatemala. He has allowed me to immerse myself in Guatemala and it’s culture for nearly eight months through six different trips. During those six trips, I have seen God in the homes of impoverished families living in both Santa Cruz and the Guatemala City Landfill. I have seen God present and working in the stories of orphans living at both Hogar Mama Carmen and at Fundacion Salvacion. He has allowed me to take part in His work and that work has changed my life. I have witnessed the power of prayer and experienced true forgiveness, grace, and love. 

However, I am also afraid. More than ever. 

I am afraid to leave Roberts, my coworkers, and the job I love. I am afraid to leave Rochester; the weather is terrible, but, this is the place I’ve called home for the majority of my life. I am afraid of leaving my family. There are dozens of fears; some great and some small. However, fear cannot win. God is the one who is in control of my life and the lives of the people I will be working with. Yes, I expect to experience challenges and frustration, to see pain and suffering, and to feel like I am not making a difference. However, I have faith that God will use me and I cannot wait to see what that looks like.

After six short-term trips that total in 220 days spent in Guatemala, it is happening. I waited and It is actually happening. Sometime during the last week of July or the first week of August, Guatemala will become the place I call home

I invite you to join me on this journey. 
I am not positive how long it will last, but I am confident that it will be an incredible journey. A journey worth following. A journey of a lifetime. 


  1. This is fantastic :) I see now why Paul thought we should exchange posts. I am excited for you!

  2. So happy for you as your journey takes a sharp turn south!!

    1. Thank you, Aunt Julie! Unfortunately, Google makes me think that I will actually be about 200 miles farther away from you than I currently am.