We're home in Guatemala!!! And the sun is shining again!! The rainy season long behind us, we're very much enjoying the beautiful sun shining. The weather has been cool, especially in the evening, but it's been so wonderful to have everything dry, we've actually enjoyed having to build fires in all the fireplaces, and put extra blankets on the beds. We've become such Guatemalans that we consider 50 degrees to be cold!! It was such fun being back in the states for the holidays and experiencing real cold! In Texas we got close to a foot of snow, which was so unusual and tons of fun! We very much enjoyed seeing family, and being apart of the daily lives of everyone we love so much. We were in the states from November 20th to January 18th and we really tried to make the most of every moment. Andrew was able to work, and we were able to connect with so many of our dear family and friends. For all of you that we were able to spend time with, it was so refreshing and we love you all so much. We feel very refreshed and revived, ready to jump into everything God has for us this year in Guatemala. It was so amazing being able to come back and have our wonderful little home waiting for us, (which our sweet staff had filled with balloons, flowers, and welcome home signs, it felt like a homecoming)!! We so appreciate everyone who helped us finish our home, we want you all to know what an amazing blessing it is to us, and we couldn't have done it without all your incredible help!
Looking back over this past amazing year we're once again blown away by the heart of our loving Father. He has accomplished so much this past year and something we have talked about over and over is what an honor it is to be called to serve the Lord. Just like Paul said when he was speaking to Timothy about not neglecting the call but serving with perseverance. We desire to continue on this journey with joy and our eyes focused on the meaning of it all, Jesus Christ! Something we have returned to Guatemala with is a renewed burden for the souls of the people we have been called to serve, we very much believe in what the ministry here does, it's very helps oriented, however we want more than anything to see people's souls truly changed by the power of Christ. Andrew has been working with, and will be working even more closely with, Pastor Serapio, a local indigenous pastor who is an incredible man of God, to disciple the staff and also review much of what is being taught at our feeding programs. At every feeding program there is a discipleship class, and the Bible is very diligently taught, we are just wanting to make sure that the children are understanding what it truly means to be in relationship with Jesus. So it will be exciting to learn where the children, many who have been attending for more than six years, are spiritually.
Speaking of the feeding programs, we have just opened a new one in a village called Pacaxic. We are very excited about this move, especially in this community, because of the great need there. During the rainy season they were some of the most affected people. And because of their poverty they have struggled to recover from their great losses. We have loved being able to come in and be the hands of Jesus to show His great love to them.
The girls home is so close to being structurally finished! We're already talking about things like paint colors and furniture! We have been once again amazed to see the hand of God so clearly provide and bless this project. We have had several different individuals and organizations give tens of thousands of dollars to this project. It has to be true that this is as heavy on God's heart as it is on all of ours. We are praying that it will continue to be a smooth process as we work toward getting licensing and all the legal processes that are soon to follow.
We are thrilled to introduce our new group coordinators for this year, Bill and Kristen Gardener, with their two delightful daughters, Leah and Jenna. We will miss David and Maggie, who fulfilled their commitment and are moving on to the next season of their life. We bless them as they are stepping into what God has for them, knowing that they are following the lead of the Lord. That being said we look forward to how God is going to use the Gardner family this year, we are already so blessed by the smooth transition of this staff change, and thank God for his continued faithfulness to this ministry!