We arrived in Guatemala and already finished with our first Canadian team. We just moved into the guesthouse in town and are starting to get settled. This will be our home for the next five months. Thank you to everyone who is praying, encouraging, and financially supporting us. God, working through you, made this transition possible!
While assisting the Canadian team, we had attended a cell group that is helping a remote church in the mountains behind Chamche. What an adventure! We picked up the cell group at the Chamche School, so our vans were heavy with people. By the time we arrived it was raining and there was a thick cover of clouds that enveloped us. As we walked up the muddy path to the church building, some team members asked, â€œHow did they get the block up here to build a church?â€
The rutted mud path filled with water as we quickly shuffled along past baby corn plants that surround individual homes, dotting the mountain side. No tractor known to man could assist on such a steep grade, but the feet and hands of the Guatemalanâ€™s that live in these high slopes are sure and steady. It is here that God planted a small church among the Q'eqchi' people.
The team and cell group did an evangelistic presentation of a few songs and testimonies; the cell group presented a very poignant drama; and Hector Beb gave the message in Spanish. All of this was quite a new experience for the team. First off, the team spoke English, the cell group members spoke Spanish, and the community spoke Q'eqchi', so when the team spoke there was translation into Spanish and then into Q'eqchi' and then back to Spanish and then back into English.
It always amazes me when a whole community turns out for church. Weather conditions aside, everyong had to travel the same slippery path we had traveled, but in the dark. We found out at the end of the service that getting back to our vehicles was not as easy as it might seem. We even had flash lights and guides that knew which way to go, but many questioned if we had taken a wrong turn. It reminded me of the verse Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light unto my path. It reminded me of how I sometimes question the light and guidance provided in God's word, but how I seem to always end up where God wants me.
In the video below we provide a quick update from the roof of the guesthouse with a panoramic view of Tactic. Near the end of the video we zoom into the Catholic church at the top of the hill. If you look closely you will see two crosses just below and to the left of the Catholic church. This is where the Mayan people perform their witchcraft and Mayan ceremonies. Thank you for being a part of bringing the light and hope of Jesus Christ to Tactic and the surrounding communities!
Full Time Ministry Update God has been moving in amazing ways as we continue to take steps forward. We are humbled by and thankful for the many friends and family members who have come alongside us in prayer and financial support!
Prayer Support: Now that we have made the transition to full-time work with Impact Ministries, we have 106 people who are partnering with us in prayer. If you would like to join our prayer partner team and receive more frequent (about monthly) short updates with prayer and praise items as they arise, click here to be added to our prayer partner list.
Financial Support: To serve with Impact Ministries, we are required to raise our own faith support. We currently have 44 people financially supporting us with ongoing monthly support. This brings us to 86% of our ministry budget covered by ongoing monthly support. Would you prayerfully consider joining us with an ongoing monthly, quarterly, or annual recurring gift?
If you would like to partner with us financially you can donate now at Impact Ministries online giving page.If you would like more information you can visit our website.
Staying in Touch
There are several ways that we will try to stay in contact with everyone while we are in Guatemala and beyond. Below are some ways that you can connect with us.
What an incredible set of weeks. We started in Boston, MA, and drove cross country to Carnation, WA visiting people in PA, IA, KS, CO, and WA. We flew out of Seattle, WA May 10th and arrived in Tactic, Guatemala May 11th with a short-term mission team from Canada; what great people! We are staying in the ministryâ€™s guest house on the edge of Tactic (tack-teek). We have a room with an attached bathroom and are sharing the general living space with two gals from Canada, who are in another room. Yesterday, we went to the market and bought everything to make â€œsuper sauceâ€ â€“ spaghetti sauce with other veggies in it. This was the first time Iâ€™ve made it from fresh tomatoes; it was a hit with everyone. There is so much to tell you but not enough room in the newsletter. Hope you get a glimpse of what things are like from our photos and video.
Just a brief note from something a friend emailed me the other day. Ralph Waldo Emerson was noted as saying, "Sorrow looks back. Worry looks around. Faith looks up." This quote reminds me of Matthew 6:34; â€œGive your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and donâ€™t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes (Message).â€ This verse reminds me to continually look up in faith and be present in the relationships God puts in front of me and not worry about things that God will take care of in his timing and strength. Thanks for your prayers and encouragement!
The last few months have been a blur of activity! Wrapping up our jobs at MIT, selling most of our furniture, packing up our apartment, moving cross country, storing our stuff in WA and then flying to Guatemala. Whew! It makes me tired just thinking about it. :) However, throughout the entire process we were able to keep up and get everything completed, which was an amazing answer to prayer.
Now that we are in Guatemala we are starting to settle in. We have been able to navigate the market to purchase our groceries and supplies. We were able to get our cell phones sim cards so we can stay in contact with people here in Guatemala, and even took our first field trip to a restaurant for burritos. All in all a great start!
Prayer & Praise Items:
* Praise, we traveled over 3,600 miles cross country without any major issues!
* Praise, we were able to register our car and get things set up and stored in Washington.
* Praise, we arrived safely in Guatemala and are getting settled into our place for the next five months.
* Praise, our first Canadian team from Calgary, Alberta was great to work with and learned a lot.
* Praise we were able to negotiate in the market and get our cell phones set up here in Guatemala.
* Pray that we will continue to rapidly absorb Spanish. Our recall from last year has been pretty good, but much more is needed. Language instruction will start in the coming days.
* Pray that we would get settled into a routine that allows us to do all that we are tasked to do.
* Pray that the rest of the short-term teams coming this year are prepared and ready for what God has planned for them.
* Pray that we will identify a place to stay when we are out in WA next winter.
The Guesthouse in town
Foothills Alliance Team
Moving dirt for the next classroom
Two friends from VBS
Julie in traditional dress
Men's group meeting
Getting the charcoal fire ready
Studying the Bible in class
Vida Nueva - Impact Ministries' 6th campus
Welcome for us and the team - Mocohan Campus
Calendar of Events:
* May to early Oct - in Guatemala
* Oct 10-11 - Missions Fest Seattle
* Oct 22nd - 20th anniversary
* late Oct - early Nov - Boston area visit
* mid Nov to late Nov - PA area visit