I was listening to a message from Priscilla Shirer recently and she told a story about an interaction she had with the Lord while jogging in her neighborhood. She was wishing for her jog to be over and the Holy Spirit whispered, “Steady as we go”. That word spoke so profoundly to me that morning as the Lord reminded me that any trying season that we face…when we feel like we are running up hill…we need to take it one step at a time.
Walk it out with the Lord…moment by moment, day by day…steady as we Go…trusting His plan and His purpose! That’s what these last several weeks have been about…trusting His plan for each day, even when it just doesn’t make sense! The trials of life on the mission field have been many but the grace of God is abundant and His daily bread is enough to remind us that He is working out His plan in His time. The whisper of His voice to quiet my soul reminds me to rest in Him, don’t panic or be overwhelmed by the circumstances but to be overwhelmed by the love and grace of our Heavenly Father who has marked our steps and is walking beside us, every step of the way…steady as we go!
In September, Chris and I returned to the states for a visit and to fill and ship Christmas Hope sacks for all the children in the village. Our child sponsorship program bought over 150 pairs of shoes and 150 pairs of flip flops for the children in the village. The sacks were also filled with gifts from sponsors, toys, school supplies, clothes, socks, water bottles, and candy. This is quite an undertaking and we are so thankful for all the sponsors that came out to help us pack these bags and get them boxed. They were put on a container the next week and began their two-month journey to Guatemala. We plan to give these to the children when the group is here in January. They will have new shoes and school supplies just in time for the start of the new school year!
We brought the canasta totes to the states to share with our friends and family and we sold all of them and received many orders for more! There is a small shop that wants to sell them and we are so excited for the doors that are being opened. We are making more canastas and teaching two others, Luis and Franklin, to make them as well. We hope to continue to teach more and more people to make them as the orders continue. We will be bringing many more home in December, so if you are interested in purchasing one, please let us know. They are perfect for going to the market, grocery store, as a beach bag or simply as a tote to carry extra items to work or to play. We have sold many in sports team’s colors also. These are perfect for the ball field! They are made with recycled plastic thread which makes them quite durable and easy to clean with soap and water! We are working on making different sizes and shapes to be used in the bathroom, kitchen or anywhere else you may want a pop of color that is functional, easy to clean and beautiful….Oh, and handmade!! Gotta love that! You will also be helping this young group of teens to not only have work and be able to help their parents provide necessities for the family but you will also be giving them the opportunity to realize a dream….maybe even a dream they wouldn’t have thought possible before.
One of the highlights of each week is Sunday school with the children. It is a joy to hear the children singing at the top of their lungs that Jesus loves them!! I hope they only grow to understand the depth of that love!! Aura, a teenager in the village, reads them a Bible story and then they watch “Superbook”! They love Gizmo and seeing the Bible stories come to life! Pastor Mynor or Chris shares more about the story with them, we have prayer time, and then we have snacks! Each week more and more children come to learn about the Lord!!
Last week, we had 4 students in our scholarship program promoted to the 10th grade. These promotion ceremonies are very similar to graduation. Veronica, Brenda, and Sulmi completed their first three years at Liberty College! Karla was promoted to the 10th grade from a school in a nearby town called Rosario. We are so proud of them and all they are accomplishing in their studies.
The next month, we will be busy making canastas and also tutoring math while the children are out for summer vacation. I had hoped to start two weeks ago but God had other plans. I came down with Dengue fever and spent several days and nights in the hospital at HOL. The symptoms include painful joints and muscles, fever, nausea, loss of appetite and extreme fatigue, followed by an itchy rash, swollen hands and feet that included painful tingling. The pain in the joints was so severe, almost unbearable.
I am so thankful for all you that prayed for me. I am thankful that God hears our prayers and that He restored my health with His healing touch. I am so thankful for the nurses and doctors that cared for me and gave me fluids and medicine for my pain and fever. And I am especially thankful for Chris! He has taken such good care of me and watched over me with so much love and care!
So here we are in November. It is hard to believe that in a couple months we will have been here a year. I look back and think about all that the Lord has done since our arrival. It amazes me how much work he has done in our lives. I am so thankful for all the Lord has done in our ministry and the opportunities he has given us to serve but I can’t help but think that He has put a lot of work into us too. It feels like it has been an intense time of preparation. I am thankful for that, as I know he is refining us and growing our faith. Each day I have grown more thankful for His work in our lives and I am so excited about the future and what He has planned.
I can’t end this page without thanking all of you for your prayers and support. Thank you to our child sponsors that help to ease the burden for the families and give them so much hope for the future. The culture is changing and the village is seeing the importance of education to improve their situations. The children are making better and better grades in elementary school, so they can have the opportunity to continue their education. This is huge here and you who support our ministry through sponsorship are truly changing a mindset. You are changing a culture and we thank you!
We pray that your Thanksgiving is filled with love, joy, thankfulness, family, food and football!
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:15-17
Please continue to pray for us, the work we are doing here and the Guatemalan ministry of our church that provides many opportunities for the people of the village. We specifically ask that you pray for us to see the needs of others through the eyes of the Holy Spirit, to discern how to best meet those needs and that our response will honor Him and bless those that we serve.