Incarnational Ministry – Ministry of Presence
A key aspect of Incarnational Ministry or a Ministry of Presence is being willing to be with people in their pain and struggle without discounting it or trying to fix it. In Guatemala, and really all areas of material poverty, there is personal and collective community pain. An example of personal pain is a family where a child has chosen drugs and gangs rather than the path his parents would have wanted. This can also be seen as a community or collective pain or injustice. For example, in the garbage dump community of Guatemala City we see doors to opportunities in education and employment are often closed, the community is not policed effectively to prevent the influence of gangs and drugs, and the overall generational cycle of thinking that has been placed on those that live there are like the trash that surrounds them. All these factors create a collective or community pain in addition to the personal and specific struggle each person faces in life. The For the Love of Missions mentors in this community have shared with each other that the families they work with are all dealing with very difficult situations, and the thing they seem to want most is someone just to listen and be with them. This is why For the Love of Missions partners with people living and committed to the communities they work in. Jesus is the ultimate example of incarnational ministry, as He came to earth to live among us, immersing himself in the daily ups and downs, cycles and struggles of personal and community pain. We believe transformation through discipleship takes time, sometimes a long time, as relational trust grows through a ministry of presence.