Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
Dear Friends and Family
In our last update we told the story of Yeimy, the little girl with cancer. It has been a long journey for her. She has been receiving chemo once a week for the last several months, which involves a trip to Guatemala City, usually by bus, and back. The hospital has now reduced the treatments to once every two weeks, so it is a little easier on them. We have supported them with getting them to the bus, bus fare and taxi fare, and back to their village when they return. The stay at the hospital and treatments are free for the Indigenous people. Yeimy always has a smile on her face and runs to give us a big hug when we see her. But the Chemo does take its toll. She has lost her hair, and she is quite tired. Please continue to pray for her and her family. We don’t know how long this whole process will last.
Yeimy and her Dad, heading off to Guatemala City for her chemo treatment.
Wilson is the other boy who has a brain tumour that we have been helping for over a year now. He has had successful surgery and treatments, but lately has been experiencing headaches. He has gone for tests, but at this point we have no answers. He and his family could use prayer as well.
Our first Pastor training class has graduated the program. Such a beautiful and emotional time for all of them, and us too. In a way they feel like our children. On the last day of class they told Sergio they wanted to share some words with us. We will remember that moment and I wish I could adequately express how beautiful their words, and how grateful they were. Several of them said that they now understood God’s purpose for their lives. Some of them, with tears expressed how the course had taken them so much deeper in their knowledge of who Jesus is, and that they would never have had the opportunity without it being sponsored. They expressed much gratitude for those who have sponsored them and for those who have been praying for them. Prayer is so meaningful to them, and to pray with them in their midst is truly a memorable moment. Most importantly they all expressed the desire to take the message of Christ into their communities.
The graduation ceremony was held at Sergio’s Church, and it was beautiful. The Church was decorated beautifully and the traditional use of fresh pine needles covered the floor. Family members came. Speeches were made, gifts and certificates were given and a beautiful traditional meal called kakik was served. To end the program and in the example set by Jesus, there was a foot washing ceremony. It was beautiful and significant. It was to show honour and respect and love to these men as we, Sergio, and a couple of other leaders from Global Action washed their feet, and it is something we will all remember for a long time.
John 13:14 “ If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.”
Graduation Ceremony, May 2022
Our second Pastor Training class is well underway, studying the third module next week. They are also a great group also and we have started our home visits with them in order to get to know each other better. We hope to have a third group start in September, 2022. We want to thank Global Action for the study materials. It is an excellent, biblically solid program. Their website is here if you would like to check them out. https://www.globalaction.com.
We have been making many visits to deliver medical supplies that we had in our container to rural clinics. There are many and some are quite remote. They are always grateful for anything we can give and we always leave a good supply of Gleaners soup. They say the further out you go, the more cases of malnutrition you see.
We have also worked quite consistently with an arm of the Government called SESAN which deals with food security in the different regions. Requests have been made for food and seeds to a region called Huehuetenango, which is in the northwest corner of Guatemala. People in this region suffer more with poverty and malnutrition and we are happy to see much of the food and seeds go there. They have been sending us many photos and have invited us to come … which we will do when we can find the time to go. It is a fairly long trip for us. The seeds seem to be doing remarkably well there and we are seeing some beautiful produce growing. They are able to sell some of their produce in the local markets and this helps them to be able to buy other staples like corn and beans.
We hope to bring in another container later this summer and we are just waiting to see what costs will be when it is a little closer to that time. As prices continue to go up for everything, the hardest hit are the poor, so we would love to have another container with food and seeds on hand. We are praying for the doors to remain open for another container to come.
Blessings to all.
Denis and Eileen
Seeds to Harvest Ministries
Commission to Every Nation
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Proverbs 16:9: “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”
A reminder of this by the following story.
We posted a bit of this story on Facebook, but for those who don’t see our Facebook posts this story is for you. Several weeks ago we were delivering a few water filters into a remote village for another ministry. There we were introduced to Yeimy, a sweet little 5 year old girl with a huge abdominal tumour. The Community Leader asked if we could help this family and so what was intended as a quick trip for us, God had other plans.
A quick trip to Antigua just before Yeimy’s hospital admission.
The short story is that they had a requisition for an ultrasound, already several months old, but no money to pay for it. We made the decision to take them to Coban (about an hour away) and pay for the ultrasound, which is a cost of a little over $30 Cdn. (not much for us, but unaffordable for this family).
The results of the ultrasound determined it was likely cancer and involved a kidney, and on a follow up visit with another Dr. near her community, she gave her a referral to a national children’s cancer hospital in Guatemala City where she had further tests and it was confirmed cancer. They started chemo immediately. After four sessions she had surgery and then chemo was commenced again which is where we are at now.
A recent visit with Yeimy's Dad and brother at the shelter.
For the Indigenous people, the hospital stay, surgery, and the stay at Ronald McDonald house between treatments is all free for them. It is the costs of the travel back and forth that makes it impossible. So we are supporting them with the transportation.
When we can, and with the Doctor’s permission we bring them back to their village between treatments which they have appreciated very much. They have probably never been much more than an hour from their village and to go to Guatemala City is, for them, like going to a foreign country.
One of the most precious memories I have of Yeimy is just prior to her being admitted to hospital, we had a bit of time with them, so we took them to Antigua which is a beautiful colonial city nearby. As we were walking down the street, single file because it was narrow, Yeimy was walking in front of me and I could hear her singing. I didn’t recognize the song, but from the words I could hear, I recognized that it would be a song that they sing at Church. Just walking down the street, singing to the Lord, and totally oblivious to what she would be facing the next day. We have been praying for the best possible outcome for Yeimy, and we know that she is in the Lord’s hands and in her innocence she loves and trusts the Lord.
At this point she is a very sick little girl and we would sure appreciate your prayers. This family has become very precious to us and we have been through some special times with them. We want to see them all back home in their village healthy and strong.
Other news is that our second group of students for Pastor training has commenced with 11 students and they have come excited to learn.
The first group has worked very hard and their graduation is coming up in May. We are in process of planning a ceremony and celebratory lunch. It will be a special time with their families as they come to see them graduate. It is so good to see the bond that has formed within this group.
One of the students in the new class is from the community of Santa Marta which is where a church has arisen out of the maternity house project we did a couple of years ago. This is a big answer to prayer. They have visions to build a Church, and a donation has come through our ministry to start the project. If there weren’t all the difficulties with travel right now, it would be a wonderful opportunity for a group to come alongside the men of Santa Marta to raise up this Church. It would be an awesome mission trip. Praying for restrictions to lift and if it is the Lords will, then we will see this Church built soon and a Pastor in place.
Our first Pastor training group to graduate in May, 2022
The vegetable seeds, Gleaners food and medical equipment continue to be distributed far and wide as we distribute but also share with different organizations, who follow up with photos and stories of where and how it is being used.
We recently received a photo of some beautiful looking kohlrabi and they sent the following message “we grew these beautiful vegetables but what are they and how do you eat them. Do you eat them raw or cooked and can you put lime and salt on them? “. :)
A significant amount of Gleaners soup and seeds went to the region of Huehuetenango where many communities are struggling right now.
We had the blessing of being able to attend a missionary conference in February for a weekend. A Pastor and team from a Church in Texas came and the preaching and worship was excellent. It was such a blessing to spend time with other missionaries, to make connections and just be able to share with others who understand some of the difficulties and trials we all go through from time to time. We loved the solid biblical teaching, and to be able to sing in English was a real treat. We felt renewed and refreshed and thankful for this opportunity.
We pray all is well in your lives and we always love to hear back from you.
Denis & Eileen
Seeds to Harvest Ministries
Commission to Every Nation
All Donations are greatly appreciated and Tax Deductible
Jesus … the greatest story … the most amazing gift … for all who believe.
Dear Friends and Family
I hope we never get used to images like this … the bare feet of a child in the cold and the mud … It grips your heart in ways that words cannot express.
In the community of El Mirador, one of several communities that lost their village to a mudslide during the hurricanes last year, we were blessed to bring a group from Antigua who brought water filters and rain barrels for each family, and some Christmas joy for the children.
The children lined up and waited patiently for their gift, in the rain, the cold, and the mud. Many, just like this girl, in bare feet. Many of the Moms also.
Another group, ConstruCasa has begun the work on water for the community. A couple of weeks ago, we visited the source of the water with one of ConstruCasa’s Engineers. Beautiful water coming out of the ground above the village, will be piped down to their village. A holding tank is currently being built at the source. Little by little, as funds are raised, change is coming to this community and they are very grateful.
So much of what we do is all about connections. In visiting with another Guatemalan led ministry (Choice Guatemala) here in Coban that we have supported with seeds and food in the area they work, we were telling them about this community, El Mirador. We told them about the visible malnutrition in the children and the distended bellies. They have offered to send the Dr that works with their group out to the community to make an assessment. This will be on our agenda early in January 2022.
The seeds have gone to many areas and are doing really well. We are getting some amazing reports and photos back.
In November, we were able to get all 5 of our amputee contacts into a clinic of specialists that came from the US and 1 from Guatemala. How life changing it is for these folks to get their mobility back. It is not an easy process for them, and the practice of learning to walk again and maintaining balance is something that takes time, but they are all committed and thankful for the opportunity given them.
In November we were blessed to have Pastor Luis of Calvary Chapel Antigua, come to teach the module for Pastor training. Due to time constraints we decided to add one day to the training and cover an entire module that month, instead of the usual half module. Most of the students achieved over 90% on the exam at the end, and only a couple in the 80% range. We asked them if they would like to start doing a module per month now. They discussed it for a bit and then took a vote and they decided they all wanted to continue with one module per month. This will entail more studying and is a huge step, but it shows the confidence level they have now with this material. Now they will complete the program in May of 2022. We had a special Christmas celebration with them on their last day of class in December.
It seems as if the Lord has opened doors for us to start another Pastor training session, which would start in February 2022. We have 6 interested students, and a couple of men from Santa Marta interested, which is where the new Church plant is. If you could please pray for us as we work out a few final details. We want to move forward in the Lord’s timing on this. As a side note, we never thought we would be coming to Guatemala to do Pastor training, although we were certainly aware of the need. It has been very rewarding for us to see the success of this past year and the students never fail to express their gratitude for the opportunity. Those are moments we wish others could hear. They are so heartfelt and sincere. God gives us many beautiful moments like this that just fills the heart.
We had a beautiful Christmas celebration in the community of Santa Marta, where the new Church plant is, and this is where we built the second maternity clinic. They have been given a donation which enabled them to buy a piece of property where they will eventually build their Church. The property is growing cardamom at the moment and when they harvest the cardamom, they will then use that money to start building the Church. We brought tamales, made by Sergio’s Mom, and the ingredients for ponche. Tortillas were supplied, and gifts shared for each family of the beautiful hand made quilts donated by the ladies who quilt for the Gleaners. It was such a beautiful setting, sitting amongst the trees. We met the two men from the Church who are considering taking the next Pastor training program. Please pray that if it is the Lord’s will that all things work out for them to be able to come. This will be so great, as currently Sergio preaches at his own Church on Sunday morning, and then travels to Santa Marta in the afternoon to preach. It is about one and a half hours from his house. This community has been such a wonderful community to work in and it is a joy to know this group.
We want to give a little update on Wilson, the boy with the brain tumour who lives in the community of Chitu. He has to make a trip to Guatemala City each month where he receives a treatment. He is doing well. He has had a tough year and we pray for an easier year in 2022 for him.
We want to take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and all the very best in the New Year.
"The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." Deuteronomy 31:8
No matter what road we take, God will be one step ahead. The Bible says the Lord is always going before us. No matter what journey of uncertainty we encounter, God is laying out our path and preparing our steps. This past year the Lord had gone before us in some amazing ways.
We arrived back to Canada in early June 2021 and quite honestly, because of all that is going on in the world, there were times that we wondered if we should have just stayed in Guatemala, but as the summer progressed, it became apparent that God had prepared amazing connections for us.
In early June we were reading about how there have been a growing number of disruptions in the shipping industry. We thought it would be a good idea to contact the ladies who organize our containers and shipping to see what it was looking like to send a container in fall. We believe this was prompted by the Lord because they told us that the 40’ x 9’ high containers that we normally buy were quickly rising in price and were hard to come by and that the whole shipping industry was in disarray. So we prayerfully, on faith, made the decision to send a container in August rather than wait until fall. In fact we were told that it was a miracle that they were even able to secure a container for us. That in several months, only 3 came available, and 1 of those they were able to designate for us. Prior to the container arriving, we had already had several requests for food and medical equipment, so the needs remain great.
We had some amazing acts of generosity during our time in Canada and we want to just share a few. One was that we first received a quote from a trucking agency that to pick up the empty container in Vancouver, bring it to the Gleaners in Lavington to load and then return it to the Port of Vancouver would cost $2,400. Costs had gone up and we expected that we would just have to pay that.
Then another offer from a trucking company in Armstrong, Fox’s Transport, said they would do the entire job for $500. We don’t know the details behind that amazing offer, but are very thankful. We know that this probably barely covers the cost of their gas. When the container was loaded, we and the volunteers at the Gleaners that day asked the truck driver if we could pray for him and for safe passage for the load. He was very moved that we would pray for him, and said that he had never transported a load like this before and he was thrilled to be driving.
God has truly gone before this shipment because despite the hindrances we have been hearing about in the shipping industry, our container has arrived in Guatemala, breezed through customs and unloaded in Coban just yesterday.
We were blessed to have about 20 young men from a couple of other ministries show up to help unload the container.
We camped up at the Lavington Gleaners for almost a week in August. During that time we met an amazing group, camping also, some from Alberta and some from Vancouver Island. They used to sing together in a quartet, and they meet every year at the Gleaners to serve. We were treated to some amazing singing in the processing room at the plant every day as we worked. It was also such a wonderful time of fellowship with a great group of people. (If you have never volunteered there, we highly recommend it, and they are always looking for volunteers).
One day, one of the men from the singing group told us that he felt that the Lord was prompting him to raise funds to ship another container to Guatemala for us. What did we think?
Wow! Well there is always great need and we are happy to take on the paperwork for another container. He has started the process of promoting this project and has set up an account for donations. If you would like to make a donation to that specific project, please contact us and we will provide the details. We don’t know when this will come to pass, but the Lord knows and we are trusting in His plan.
We’ve been able to connect with a group of prosthetic specialists in California who are coming early November. They will be able to build prosthetics for two new amputees that we have met, and will be able to service the prosthetics of the two previous amputees that we have been able to help. We have said it before, but it is truly life changing for these men to have received a prosthetic. They go from being and feeling hopeless about their futures to being able to lead productive lives.
Marvin, one of our Global Acción students for Pastor training will receive a prosthetic in November.
Rafael, recent amputee of left arm and leg, will receive a new prosthetic leg in November.
One other amazing act of generosity we want to share is that we had an anonymous donation of 25 portable radio devices, produced by Trans World Radio, in Ontario, with SD cards loaded with biblical material in Spanish/Q’eqchi’ as well as 5 in Spanish/Pokomchi. We will be able to provide each Church represented in our Pastor Training with one. They are used with success for sharing the Gospel in other parts of the world and can also be used in Children’s ministry as they come equipped with some good Biblical children’s stories. For more information you can read about them at twr.ca.
The Pastor training is moving along successfully. It looks like we have lost one student, but the remaining 9 seem committed to staying the course. Please pray for them, that their commitment would remain strong.
We are considering, and praying about starting another Pastor training session that would start in February. We would then have Pastors in year one and Pastors in year two to complete the modules. Sergio has had enquiries and so he will hold a meeting in the near future to determine how many would be interested. Please pray as we move ahead little by little to work out the details, and work out our finances as well. We will keep everyone posted as this progresses.
We will be commencing the work with another missionary group in the community El Mirador this fall. This is the community that lost everything to a mudslide. We are anxious, as we are sure they are, to get water to the community, and some decent living conditions. We will keep you posted on that project.
We were reminded once again as we returned to Guatemala how, in this country, life is so very hard for many. We can help alleviate the hunger and suffering for some and in that process, offer the gospel of Jesus Christ, who is our only hope in this world. It is a joy and a privilege to do so.
Thank you for your prayers and for your generous donations.
Denis & Eileen Nogue
Seeds to Harvest Ministries
P.S. Please check out the link for a short video that we put together of our last year of ministry in Guatemala.