A knock at the door of our house …

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20, ESV)

      There is a restlessness that comes to all Christian believers in the tension of living between belief and functioning reality. We can live out our days filled with our living, leaving faith to float around in our minds longing for connection in the interactions of plans, intentions, interruptions and circumstances. If our self-determining and self-directing living is completely consumed with ourselves; where is the space for faith to stop floating about in our minds and be of connecting significance?

      Sadly this is the issue with many people; faith is left without a space to lodge. Faith is left, designated to this floating wandering territory by the inactivity of involving it with our daily living. Sure we may give it momentary lodgings from time to time but we do not give it a permanent home. It becomes more like a trophy or a defining name instead of being a motivating and empowering dynamic allowed living and growing in our life. True faith in Christ is not a plaque on the wall or gold toned plastic award on a shelf, noting a conversion or a simple belief in Him. Although being a Christian does require conversion and belief; they are just notations in the endless unfolding of Christ being present, loved, acknowledged, trusted in every moment of our living and in all our days.

      Christ longs to be present with us in all things and in all ways. He did not give His life to be noted only as the Savior in our conversion or acceptance of Him. His grace is not just a key to the door at the gates of heaven but a living, liberating and empowering creative and redeeming presence in our lives. He stands at the door our lives, not just come in for just one meal by simply saving us but to fellowship with us in all our daily moments and abide with us forever.

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11, ESV)

Suggested Reading … Psalm 16


“So encourage each other and build each other up …” (1 Thessalonians 5:11, ESV).

They were young, so very young … when last they saw this land. In fact they were just babies when their eyes barely would have noted the lushness of the green hills edging the sprawling Guatemala City basin. Their memories were hardly formed when they first left behind their homeland.

Our two brown eyed Latin cuddly bundles of joy had grown up in spite of our tensioned desiring they would stay little forever. They are now, beautiful young women of uniqueness, laughter and character. How would they react to the homeland they could not remember? How would they connect to the people they had never known? Would they find a joy here midst the unknown reasons and separations from their birth family? Would they sense deep lingering questions or find some mysterious answers to longings not yet identifiable? Would our time here, open up emotions tucked away in their hearts or fill their hearts with new emotional attachments? Even beyond all of this, how would they react to the dozens of children who are now just as they were, many years before … waiting for a family to love them?

So to Guatemalan, our girls came and partook of life … life in their homeland, midst the children at the orphanage and alongside the people of Guatemala. Our girls warmly opened up and loved the children with smiles and hugs coming quickly and without hesitation as affection flowed back and forth naturally. Our hosts welcomed our girls and our family to their land with  genuine love and thoughtfulness. They answered to the serious and probably the annoying questions with honesty and help. They showered us with insight and perspective and came to our aid countless times as we struggled to convey and communicate with those around us. They filled us with the joy of the flavors of Guatemalan food and culture and touched our souls as we joined them in service to the people of Guatemala.

So deep were the connections; that we talk of going back to Guatemala as if the journey were just a few miles instead of thousands. We talk of the many parts of Guatemala that we have yet to see, as a yearning we long to satisfy. We mention the children we miss and shed a tear for each of them who are attached to the most special parts of our hearts. Our daughters long to go again and look for their family unknown and undiscovered. Our girls also fondly connected with the family who walked us through all the legal aspects for them to come to the Maas family in the first place so many years ago. We talk of ways to help and share with the many in need in this place. We have been changed by our time in Guatemala. Our daughters were profoundly encouraged by these friends who made Guatemala more than just a homeland to them. The encouragement from these friends new and old have made their homeland, a home to them. A place you long for and will always desire to go back to; again and again because it is a place of love.

All the photographs have been processed, all the mementos have been put away on shelves and the colorful and traditional fabrics have been laid upon the tables as fond reminders of our trip but the loving connecting pictures in our minds of the children, mothers and friends overflow in our hearts alongside the gifts of smiles and thousands of feelings so bright and varied … and these will always be the priceless and timeless treasures we will hold most dear in our hearts from our time in Guatemala.

Sometime we tend to think of encouragement as momentary word or passing thought expressed to another. Encouragement is not just a simple statement but an involvement, an interest, an investment and a desire to come alongside another person with genuine love and dedication. Real and simple acts of encouragement given to others, really do great and remarkable things. So encourage someone today, it will make a difference in their life and yours.

We say, “Muchas Gracias,” to our dear friends Pablo, Abel, Dr. Castro, Thelma, Thelma, Roger, The Special Moms and the many children, we dearly love, who sincerely encouraged the Maases during our time in Guatemala.



Going Home


“An ox knows its owner, and a donkey its master’s manger, but Israel does not know, My people do not understand” (Isaiah 1:3, NASB).

     The confines of the familiar field were now forgotten as the small brown horse realized she was in the open territory on the other side of the fence. In the moment, she realized there were no perimeters holding her from recklessly venturing into the beckoning unknown. She could sense she had the freedom to run with the wind as far as her stout and sturdy legs could travel. Racing along the busy highway unaware of the dangers of speeding vehicles, she just ran and ran with abandon.

     The drivers on the roadway saw her, and became worried about the little horse with her flowing wheat colored tail and mane, darting and trotting along-side them. They wondered who to call or what to do, to return the mare to the safety of her pen.

     The little horse became scared of the sounds, smells and even of her freedom itself. I tried to call her name, but she would not listen. I tried to coax her to follow me, but she would not come. Instead she headed at full speed for steep cliff on the edge of the deeper woods. She was far and away faster than my human legs could travel. I slipped and fell numerous times as I tumbled down the treacherous bank through the briars and musky timber. At the bottom of the hill midst the thorns, burning nettle and damp mire … she stood panting. There was our little horse with her huge dark eyes finally recognizing me as her friend.
She came and nuzzled her sweating head against my right leg. I put my hand on her neck just behind her ear and tried to soothe her with some quieting words, “It’s okay … we’ll go home.” Now she only wanted to be close to me, as her face persistently nudged my leg during the uneventful journey home.

      We should know our loving Heavenly Father as a simply and significantly as any animal knows its master. Yet we like any horse, can become intoxicated with the freedom beyond the confines of His designs for our safety and protection. We sometimes run with abandon in our selfishness and sin venturing into the unknown, naïvely unaware of the dangers along the highways of life. We do not know that we do not know and in those moments we do not understand His provision and purpose. So we plunge over the cliff ending up very unsure and scared midst the briars, muck and burning nettle.

      What a joy to have our Heavenly Father come and find us and gently walk beside us as we journey back home to be with Him. There is nothing anywhere in the world like the mercy, compassion, grace and love our Heavenly Father gives to us over and over when we have gone astray. Thanks be to our Heavenly Father who loves us with such a great love.

“‘Come now and let us reason together,’ Says the LORD, Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be white as snow; through they be like crimson, they will be like wool” (Isaiah 1:18, NASB).
Suggested Reading – Isaiah 1