Last week Jean and I had the opportunity to visit Centro Modelo (Model Center) which is the Army´s ARC program in Costa Rica. This was in connection with the possibility of opening, or re-opening, a rehabilitation program for alcoholics in Guatemala. The program and structure at the Model Center is much like the ARC programs in the States and around the world.
One thing that caught my attention was something that one of the men of the program said as he was showing us the garden of the center. He pointed to a plant and asked if Jean and I knew what type of plant it was. Jean, being more from a farming background than myself, said: ¨It´s a mustard tree.¨ Of course we understood the significance Biblical, but Mario took one of the seeds from the "plant/tree" and he said "This is the size of my faith". To be honest when he held up the seed I could not see it, but he knew exactly where it was and that it was in his possession.
Then as I heard the story of how the Model Center began, under the leadership of then Major Bernie and Mary Smith, I realized that it was faith that made this center and ministry possible. Thousands of men have come through the Model Center and today there are a number of Salvation Army soldiers and officers who are serving throughout the Latin American North Territory because of faith exercised. In fact our divisional commander here in Guatemala was one of those men that came through the program at the Model Center.
When I think of the work and commitment it takes to work with people who are chained to addictions such as alcohol and drugs my momentum slows down to in trying to provide a program such as the Model Center offers for the people of Guatemala. Especially when there are few resources and little interest in this type of ministry. Yet if this is God's idea and His will all that is required is the faith of a mustard seed.