There is a famous moment in the original Star Wars. Princess Leia tells General Tarkin of the Death Star that the more he tightens his grip, the more things will slip through his fingers. I love this moment. In a weird way, I think this concept describes how Amigos for Christ has grown so well under God’s grace.
20 years ago, Amigos was an idea in God’s heart. No one was really “planning” to form what we have now. Certainly not John and me. We were not anticipating how our family’s lives would become part of a great story. God always has a way of surprising us all.
By letting ourselves be open to receive, we have been given even more than we could have dreamed on our own. This is not to say that all of Amigos’ growth has been easy. The irony is that the more we have opened our hands to receive God’s big dreams and let go of trying to control the outcome, the more we have been showered with wonderful blessings each year.
Here is what I have discovered in the last 20 years by being a part of this God-story called Amigos:
You have to let go of stuff in order for God to fill your hands. Your comfort. Your control. Your idea of what missions looks like. When we dove into living and working side by side with Nicaraguans, much like The Velventeen Rabbit story, we became “real.”
You have to radically shift what it means to love. Like Ruth from the Old Testament, you have to be vulnerable, and you have to be open to inspiration from God and ideas from others. You have to allow others to love you back. You have to be uncomfortable and laugh. A lot.
Serving others is like an orchestra. Amigos for Christ can’t do what we do alone. As we have watched God bring in people from all over the world and in all the communities, the story and the impact just keeps growing like a symphony.
You have to allow time to do its work. To help you grow. To help you see. To convince communities of their immense worth and potential. To wait for leaders to mature and learn to lead Amigos better than we had ever anticipated. Like a garden, it takes a long time for the trees to flower and for moss to grow on the bricks.
20 years ago, Amigos for Christ started with the idea to drill a few wells, maybe build a few homes, and take a trip or two each year. But the reality is that God had a grander story in mind. We all learned to let go of our small vision and open our hands to receive His dream for our lives. And here’s the best part: it is more wonderful and exciting and FULL than I could have ever imagined.