Hello, and welcome to my Smug Mug site :D!
For those of you who do not know me, my name is Michael Bondanza. I am the associate Pastor for Woodland Acres Community Church
in Jacksonville, FL.
This site was created to show photos from my first mission trip with Len Ministries
, led by Pastor Len Showalter. The photos are a collage from all of our team's cameras combined. I have done my best to arrange them in chronological order. I have also added photos of my family.
This trip has changed my life and my outlook on many things. I particularly see Americans and American Christianity as now as arrogant, spoiled, and weighed down because of our "stuff". My own heart is convicted in this as well. I now see why Jesus said "go and sell all that you own and give to the poor". These things are anchors that keep us from moving freely by the wind of the Holy Spirit. The people of Guatemala have a reverence for God and have a place for Him in their hearts that was sincere. They are, for the most part, free from the chains of a materialistic society. Strangers let us into their homes to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with them. They were thankful that we came and invited us back. People stopped working to listen to what we had to say. They were grateful to God that He would send someone to them from another country. Most importantly, they received the free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ! We shared the gospel 90 times to approximately 200 people and had 123 people profess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior! Lets let go of our "stuff" and be free and go spread the gospel! Hebrews 12:1-3; Matt 28:19-20.
As I preached this message, the Lord gave me additional scriptures that go with this. The first is Matthew 4:19-20. To be fishers of men, we have to first follow Jesus and leave our nets, or security blankets, so to speak. This goes with Hebrews 12:1-3 where we are encouraged to "lay aside the weights and the sins that so easily besets us." The weight is our "stuff". It causes us to be weighed down and not move by the Holy Spirit. This is the sin of omission of the great CO-Mission in Matthew 28:19-20. Jesus is telling us to go, not sit, and not be pew potatoes! The other one is Matthew 24:14. Are we doing our part to spread the gospel? This was an appropriate scripture as it was ever present with us in Guatemala. The gospel shall be preached in all nations, then the end shall come! Jesus said "Many will say to me in that day 'Lord, I did this... I did that... in your name...'", but Jesus will reply "Depart from me you lawless one, I never KNEW you". Please take this time to ask yourself this... are you going through the religious motions, or do you truly KNOW Jesus? Many people know ABOUT Him, but don't actually know Him.