A day in our lives……
Waking up at the mission house in Chichi, I step outside and see the midst covering the tops of the beautiful mountains surrounding us, and once again my heart is struck with both the beauty and tragedy held in these mountains…the need of the people, yet their beauty and great strength. It is a humbling thing for Andrew and I to become apart of the community of Chichicastengo and the longer we live here, the more we fall in love with the people, the country and see God’s obvious hand in bringing us here to Guatemala! This particular morning after a quick breakfast and a cup of rich Guatemalan coffee, Andrew is headed back into town to take our current mission team up into the mountains to build another widow house, we'll be building our 400th house this week! Knowing that Andrew wouldn’t be back with the team until early afternoon, it will take around 4-5 hours to build, and after the team builds the widow house, they have a “handing over ceremony” explaining to the widow and her family that this house is from Jesus, evidence of His love for her and opening it up for a time of sharing and praying over the family, I've decided to make the menu for dinner and take care of some laundry. My own afternoon is also going to be full, with Spanish lessons (which I am taking four days a week) and teaching English to some precious neighbor children who first approached me and asked me to teach them. These children’s bright little faces light up to learn, you would never guess the poverty they live in, except the trademark dirty little faces and ragged clothes. What a joy it is to be apart of their lives in this very tangible way!
Our lives are full to the brim and we are loving and adjusting to life here in Guatemala !
Our back to back mission teams from the states have slowed down considerably for the year, but not ministry and life for us in Chichi. The director of the ministry, Ron Morin has traveled back and forth to the states quite a bit over the past few months, to be with his son who had been struggling with cancer, and who just recently went to be with the Lord, leaving Andrew and I, along with the amazing staff of Manos de Jesus in charge in his absence. Some of our ministry projects include the overseeing of a well being dug on our property ( we are past 300 feet deep at this point) BY HAND by four guys, it is AMAZING to watch and exciting to know we are close to having clean water on our property and not only that but in the future to provide clean water, for the orphan homes, school and medical clinic we plan to build on our property to expand the ministry. Speaking of expanding the ministry, we have been excited about the changes made in our feeding programs in the three villages in which we work, Xepocal, Saquilla, Patzibal. Because of the huge growth we have been reevaluating the daily workings of the feeding programs, looking closely for way to bring change and improvements so we are able to better serve the people. Because of these positive changes the children are much more attentive in the discipleship classes and overall they have been running more smoothly. It's so rewarding to to see so many children receiving healthy, protein filled meals at all three feeding programs!
We also have a shoe factory being built on our property, and while we're still waiting for the funds to be able to complete the construction of the inside of the building, we have great plans for the future. We hope to someday be able to run it similar to how the widow program is run, having churches and mission teams buy as many pairs of shoes as they can, and then come here to give them to school children and others who need a good sturdy pair of shoes. Meanwhile, providing jobs and income for families here in Chichi through making the shoes. And ultimately, to have a place to teach the trade of making shoes to the children who come to live here with us. So there is no way to overestimate it’s value!
Andrew continues to disciple the guys on staff, which is his passion and it has been beautiful to see relationships deepen and develop as these guys push each other towards Christ! We also had Dr. Mary here, to continue working on our clean water pilot program we're getting started in the villages. We now have water filters in around 60 different homes in the surrounding communities. A very exciting aspect of Dr Mary’s time in Chichi was helping us train “Community Helpers” eleven people selected from the three villages we have feeding programs in, she brought a microscope with her to show them the difference between dirty and clean water. We also had fun with felt cut outs of our digestive system to show how and where amebas and worms affect us. It was an exciting time together of further education and enabling these precious people to serve their own people in such a needed way!
Something else we would very much appreciate your prayers about is we're hoping to be moving into a place of our own, we currently have a private room but live in community with some of the other staff and often groups. Our new little home is very small and unfinished, adobe with dirt floors, but we're so excited about having a little place of our own. I included a picture of Andrew standing in what I hope will soon be our new kitchen/living room! Please pray that we'll be able to raise enough funds to fix it up and move in quickly!
Thank you for praying for us and for your continued love and support, we could never be here without you!!!! We are excited to be going home to the States over the holidays, and can't wait to see many of you very soon!
Because of the cross that changed our lives and His love that reaches out in redemption!