A Story About
We got to sit down with Raj Shah, who joined the NMC team on a trip to Guatemala in September to serve with the church's international ministry, Orphan Prevention Community (OPC), and hear about his experience. The team's focus was on painting a structure and building a roof on top of a foundation NMC had poured in 2019 in the city of Panajachel, Guatemala.
Raj shared how nerves started growing as he watched the weather forecast before they left. "Rain and paint don't mix," Raj said as he explained how the weather was a worry for the team and the projects they were hoping to accomplish. The list of potential obstacles included landslides, being unable to transport roof supplies, danger while running electricity, and more. However, as a team, they started to ask God to remove the rain, and day by day, they saw God answer their prayers. This stood out to Raj because, while he has followed Jesus for the last couple of years, Raj explained that he hasn't really heard God or felt a uniquely personal connection to Him until God started to answer their very specific prayers.
On top of watching the weather turn, Raj has a long list of ways he and the team watched God move. The OPC staff shared with our team that they were praying for Christ-following, native speakers to step up in the town of Panajachel to help move the ministry forward. This has been a large need in the community as the OPC staff does not speak the native Mayan language. So, the team did what they knew they needed to do—pray. A few days later, one of NMC's team members, Connie, shared her story of following Jesus at the ribbon-cutting celebration of the new roof and invited those listening to follow Jesus. There, six people raised their hands to acknowledge that they wanted to follow Jesus! Praise be to God. Again, Raj explains, they watched God answer their specific prayers for native-speaking followers of Jesus to increase in Panajachel despite many obstacles, including language barriers, gender disparities, religious confusion, and more.
So, when asked what Raj was thinking when he signed up to go to Guatemala and saw obstacles in the way, Raj says he felt unqualified. Newly following Christ and never having gone on a mission trip, Raj was nervous. But Raj said it best, "Just say yes to God." Serving God does not require years of following Jesus, all the right answers, or seamless paths that lack obstacles. For Raj, all it required was saying yes.