Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Colossians 3:23
Dear Friends and Family
It appears Yeimy’s cancer is in remission. She went for a series of tests in the children’s Hospital in Guatemala City in January. All is well and she will go for another check up in July. Praise God for his faithful answer to the many prayers for Yeimy. It has been a more than 2 year journey with this family.
On a recent visit with Yeimy.January was a busy month for us. Pastor training was in the first week. The second week we hosted a Pastor retreat for the first two graduating classes. They enjoyed it so much, the reconnecting with those whom they had studied with. The third week we received a team from Canada and in the midst of all, Sergio resigned suddenly and advised us that due to certain circumstances, he had left the country. If you could keep Sergio in your prayers as he is in a difficult situation right now.
We have relied heavily on Sergio for 5 years now. He was our Q’eqchi’ interpreter, but much more than that. He gave us valuable insight and guidance into the Indigenous culture among many other things. He will be greatly missed.
When we received the news, our range of emotions went from considering cancelling the Canadian team to seeing the Lord work out any problems we thought we might have, day by day as we reached out to the villages we would be visiting. They still wanted us to come. They said “we will work it out”.
Erick, who graduated from our last Pastor training was willing to step in as our Q’eqchi’ interpreter, and although he has never worked with teams before, he did an awesome job and the team enjoyed getting to know him, and saw his passion for sharing the gospel with his people.
It was a busy and full week for the team and they seemed to embrace every aspect of it. We had 3 different groups on this team. 3 from the Gleaners. 3 from Fort St John and 8 from the Lavington Church. It was beautiful to see the bonds of friendship forming within the group. The gospel was shared in every village we visited and we saw a response from several people in at least 3 of the places we visited. That was exciting for the team, and it fulfills so much of the purpose for why we are here and why we go.
We did a few home visits with the team and one was to the home of the 3 disabled boys. They now have fitted wheelchairs. Although they can't communicate with words, they seem very aware of what's going on around them.
We believe the team had a glimpse of the beauty of the people and the country of Guatemala that has kept us here for so many years. They were a big encouragement to us and we appreciate that so much.
The beautiful Rio Negro, where we visited the town of Rio Negro.
After the Film Jesus Film for Children and Erick shared the gospel, this sweet couple came forward with a very positive response to the gospel message, in the village of Secranil.
Visiting a local care home run by Q'eqchi' nuns. Many of the people here have been abandoned by family.
Now that we have had a chance to rest up, we begin preparations for our February Pastor training, next week.
One of the last things Sergio did before he left was give a young man who had lost his leg in an accident our contact information. This young man reached out to us recently and said that he had heard that sometimes we help amputees. Just a couple of days ago we met with Juan, who, a year and a half ago was involved in a hit and run accident. He was hit by a truck while on his motorcycle and left for dead. Thankfully he survived, and has recovered from some serious head and facial injuries. He also lost a leg above the knee. We have helped several others with prosthetics over the past few years. We would like to help him also. He is 26 years old and he would like to work. So we begin the process of seeking out options for him. The prosthetic specialist that will be working with him will see if part of his leg can be built with some of the prosthetic supplies we received in December on the container from the Gleaners..
Juan, who lost his leg in a motorcycle accident a year and a half ago.Over the next little while we will be taking some time to seek the Lord in direction for our ministry without Sergio. We would ask for your prayers for wisdom, direction and discernment as we move forward. After our February Pastor training we will be taking a rest trip to Panama and then to an annual missionary conference. We will be returning near the end of February in time for the March session of Pastor training and then will be receiving a team from Shiloh Baptist Church in Alabama.
Many of you have asked about my (Eileen’s) health. I am feeling good and life carries on as normal. I give all glory to God for that. I know that many of you are praying for me and I am so thankful for that. For the most part, I sense the peace and the presence of God, and even in moments when I don’t, the Bible tells me that He will never leave me nor forsake me. Can’t imagine not having those promises to sustain me.
Thank you all for your support and prayers.
Denis and Eileen Nogue
Seeds to Harvest Ministries
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
Hello Friends and Family
Hard to believe Christmas is almost here. Our time since returning to Guatemala has gone quickly.
Pastor training began the month of November and we just completed the second module in early December. It is going well and they are so enthusiastic about what they are learning. Such an encouragement to see their open hearts for God.
We have had a couple of visits with Yeimy and her Mom. She seems to be doing well. She will be going to the children’s hospital in January for 5 days to have a number of tests. There was a concern with an accumulation of fluid in her abdomen, but her Mom tells me that it has resolved. So we continue to pray for a complete healing for her and we ask you to continue the prayers for her also.
For her birthday we had a little memory book made with many pictures we have taken of our last two year journey with her. She absolutely loved it as you can see in the photo below.
We have had a great visit from friends from Lumby, BC, Tim and Wendy Andres. Wendy is the coordinator of the North Okanagan Gleaners medical section, so it was especially meaningful for them to be here for the unloading of the container, which we received a month late due to backlog in the shipping industry. It cleared customs quickly and easily, praise God.
They were with us last January on a team when Wendy approached us asking if they could raise funds for and coordinate a load of medical equipment to come. This came after a visit to a family with 3 disabled boys. We told her that if God has laid it on her heart to do so, we would happily receive it. We love it when we see God at work like this and to be able to see it come full circle is especially meaningful.
We are currently coordinating the shipping of a container of food which should arrive around the end of January. Our food supplies are low and we have had several requests that we can’t fulfill at this time.
We had an invitation to visit a very rural community , about 2.5 hours away on a pretty rough road. They gratefully received the protein and apple we brought and fed us a delicious chicken soup and tortillas with the whole Church in their small kitchen. The ladies wanted us to try making tortillas and we shared lots of laughs at our efforts.
We had a wonderful visit with the village of Santa Marta . They are an agricultural community and the last several weeks they have been harvesting cardamom, so our visits have had to be delayed until now. Santa Marta is where a Church plant grew out of the maternity clinic project that was initiated in their village
Their Church building is presently under construction. It has been raining a lot, so there is lots of mud and things are on hold for a bit until it dries up. We had a lovely Christmas event with them. Tamales, cake and a gift for each family. The Q’eqchi’ are a storytelling culture, and to encourage them, we shared a missionary story with them about David and Svea Flood. If you haven’t read it, google the story and read it. It is an amazing story.
Within that story, we adapted it a little to bring in the message of the gospel in its simplicity. In some ways this story reminds us of the struggles the community of Santa Marta faced as a Christian community over the years.
We met this community 6 to 7 years ago and love how God has connected us with them. They are a very special community to us. We told them of many in Canada who ask about them and pray for them. They are grateful and say thank you.
We also had an opportunity to visit the Coban hospital with gifts for the women in maternity, and a small gift for the children in the pediatric ward. In a place where so many hearts are heavy it was a blessing to bring a little joy into their lives.
For those of you who would like to follow the journey of Cody and Bronwyn Watson and family, they have settled into their community and although we have done a few things together, and we are always open to guidance, they have launched out into their own initiatives. If you wish to follow their journey, please email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
We wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a blessed New Year.
Denis and Eileen Nogue
Psalm 77:11-1411 But then I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. 12 they are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.
13 O God, your ways are holy. Is there any god as mighty as you?14 You are the God of great wonders!
You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations
We arrived in Guatemala 4 weeks ago and for most of the last 3 weeks there have been many road blockades that have limited our ability to travel much. The issues are political and we are praying that it gets sorted out soon. For awhile it caused a shortage of fuel of all types. The stores had been short of food staples and produce trucks had been hindered from being able to deliver their product. At this time the road blocks have moved more central to Guatemala City and supplies and services are much better in our area. However, prices have risen a lot, and as always, it is the poor who suffer the most.
A glimpse of some of the protests around the country.
This has caused a delay to the start of our next Pastor training but we plan to start in mid November. We have had a couple of students withdraw but will move ahead regardless of class size.
We are expecting our container of used medical equipment to arrive on October 31 and then it will likely be a week in customs pending no problems at the port.
We hope to bring in a container of food soon after. We are just waiting for the group that brings in our containers to renew their permits with the new Government. They anticipate this to happen sometime in November. All in God’s timing.
We were able to sort through our current supplies of medical equipment and food and get a proper inventory done. We have provided the couple below with food and medical supplies. Sara is a Dr and Raul, her husband is a Dentist. They have a clinic in Campur about an hour and a half from Coban. We met Dr Sara a few years ago years ago when the hurricanes happened. Her clinic in Campur was completely submerged during the hurricanes along with the rest of the village. We are all now attending the same Church and it is a joy to get to know them better.
An update about Yeimy, the little girl we have been helping with cancer treatments. She was scheduled to go for some tests the first week of October due to an increase of fluid in her abdomen. This was all cancelled because of the roadblocks and will be rescheduled once these protests are over. So please pray for her health during this time.
The Watson family have settled in to a home in a community called Chihou, near Santa Cruz. We facilitated a meeting with them and the local leaders of the community, and then had a visit with the local health clinic. The Doctor in training there speaks good English and invited them to join her on some visits within the community. We held a soup demonstration for a couple of groups in the community yesterday and the ladies enjoyed the teaching and the soup also.
The new church build in Santa Marta is underway. We are anxious to have a visit, but for the next little while they have taken a break from the construction to harvest their crops of cardamom.
For those of you who have been praying for my (Eileen’s) health concerns, I thank you. I am feeling good at this time and just trusting in the Lord, maybe for a miracle, if He chooses. I know that God is always good, whatever happens. At times I find this journey of faith to be full of mystery … even so, I cling to the Lord. Who else would I turn to?
The verse of scripture at the top of this letter reminds me of how God has been so good to us and the great things He has done in our lives. We are blessed … and the journey is not over yet.
Denis and Eileen
(PS. See update from the Watsons at the bottom of this email)
UPDATE FROM THE WATSONS
WOW, it's hard to believe that we have been in Guatemala for a month already.
Here is a little news on what we have been up to since arriving at the end of September.
We arrived in Guatemala to meet with Denis and Eileen in Guatemala City. We had a lovely stay there and the next day headed to Coban. Denis and Eileen were such gracious hosts. We had a lovely time with them as we waited for our rental. Our youngest celebrated her 6th birthday while with Denis and Eileen and it was made very special being that we celebrated with Denis and Eileen's daughter and her family also. Chis and Leah, Eli, Noah and Selah. What a great day and a great start to our Guatemalan adventure. Leah baked an amazing cake for Maddie.
On October 4th we moved into our new home in Aldea Chijou, in Santa Cruz. This is approximately 15mins from Denis and Eileen. This home was meant for our family. It's a lovely transition from North America into the Guatemalan village. It's very comfortable, the kids have lots of room to move and we have the BEST neighbours.
Please meet our Guatemalan neighbours, Charlie, Gloria and their children Juan Carlos and Karla. They have been a real blessing to us as just after we moved into our home, we were in "lockdown". Guatemala had country wide blockades for political reasons and our ability to move freely was limited. Our Neighbours, as well as our church family and Denis and Eileen have been such an encouragement to us. Our neighbours have embraced us and our "Gringo" ways with such grace and love. We have spent days just chatting with them about their families, eating tortillas or baking together. I have taught Gloria how to make banana bread as her husband Charlie loves it so much. Their daughter Karla speaks some English and we all giggle with each other as Cody and I stumble our way through our very broken (almost non existent) Spanish and they love learning English. Our church pastor Robert called numerous times during the lockdowns to ensure we felt safe and even did market shopping for us (for fruits and vegetables). Being able to know that in a foreign country, under very unsettling circumstances, that you have people to lean on , if needed, was so comforting. We spent our days bonding with our family and being immersed in the Word, what a beautiful way God used this crazy time for us to take a step back and slowly slide into Guatemalan culture. We serve such a mighty God and he does everything for our good.
We are now 1 month into life here in Guatemala, protesting and blockades have moved to the City and we are now free to move around more. We have had the opportunity to make church on Sundays, the kids enjoyed soccer with a sports ministry run by Chris and his friends, Diego and Juan. It's a great program in a "red zone" of Coban. (Red zone meaning rough), however from what we understand things are turning around for this area.
It was a blessing to see almost 50 children come out to play soccer. Hard to believe that a simple thing like a soccer ball can bring so much joy to this community. We felt very fortunate to be there and witness the joy for not only the kids but also the coaches. The coaches ended the session by sharing God's word with the kids which was so awesome.
We met with our community leader in Aldea Chijou, made a visit to our village Clinic and also held a soup preparation demonstration at our local church. It was all so very well received and we have started to form some great relationships, right here at "home".
The clinic has an English speaking Doctor who is doing her final practicum in our Village. They also do have a medicinal herb garden.
We have been fortunate enough, with the help of Denis and Eileen, to supply them with some medical equipment that was needed as well as some food for families in need.
Our soup demonstration today went so well. I felt the appreciation of the ladies that were present. They were full of love and laughs and they did a wonderful job listening and preparing the soup, which was led by Sergio.
We had an opportunity to enjoy the meal with them and then pray before handing out a bag of soup and a bag of protein flakes.
As much as we had an idea on what life would be like here in Guatemala, it has turned out a little different. It is slower, but great. We had these ideas of life being full of doing these wonderful things for people, so many people in need, but you know......we have quickly realized that God's hand is in everything we do. We are fully trusting in Him as we wait to find out what our purpose is here. We just don't quite know yet, other than we are EXACTLY where we should be. We have had our moments of feeling a little discouraged, but Cody and I very quickly were reminded by some wise words from our Pastor back home. He told us that life may not be all we thought it would be and run as smoothly as it had at the start of our journey, but to always remember that God placed it on our hearts to go to Guatemala and to hold onto JUST that......HIS CALLING. We hold onto that and pray everyday that He continues to guide us in this journey, no matter what it looks like. We are ready and able to be HIS hands and feet.
Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails
Our family is feeling very blessed by all the encouragement both here in Guatemala and from back home. We wish to thank each of you who have stayed in touch so far. In every little message, video call, phone call and email we are being touched and encouraged, so thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts.
We pray for you all back home and will continue to do so. Please continue to pray for us here and that God will reveal to us our purpose over time (we know he will :)) and also that He may continue to protect us and guide us EVERY STEP OF THE WAY.
All our love and may God Bless you all.
When he (Jesus) saw the crowds he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like a sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field”.
Hello Friends and Family
Our summer in Canada has flown by and we are looking forward to returning to Guatemala. We were able to share about our ministry several times in the Vernon and Lavington area, and in Nakusp also. Thank you to all of you who hosted and invited us. You are such a blessing and an encouragement.
We enjoyed a day of chopping onions and peppers at the North Okanagan Valley Gleaners
Psalm 66:5. Come and see what God has done, His awesome deeds for mankind.
We want to share a story about the faithfulness of God, and answered prayer. During the years of raising our family and attending the Lavington Baptist Church, there was a sweet little elderly couple, Sam and Margaret, who attended the Church, who without fail, every Sunday during a corporate time of prayer, would ask for prayer for the salvation of their unsaved loved ones, and in particular their grandson and his wife.
Over the years, we have been invited to share about our ministry several times at the Lavington Church. Two or three years ago, after we gave our presentation, a young couple engaged us in conversation, very interested in what we were doing in Guatemala, and as we heard their story, it dawned on us that this was the grandson and his wife, of Sam and Margaret. They had recently started coming to the Lavington Church.
Earlier this year, a mission team from Lavington Church came to visit our ministry for 10 days. This couple, Cody and Bronwyn, joined the team, and we saw quite an impact made on the whole team, but especially Cody and Bronwyn. They contacted us a couple of months after they returned and asked if we would mentor them onto the mission field.
I will insert their story here.
We are the Watson family, who currently reside in beautiful Lavington, BC.
Cody, Bronwyn and children (Cameron is 10, Payton is 9 and little Madison is 5)
Cody and I were blessed to join Denis and Eileen in Coban, Guatemala in January 2023, when our church Lavington Baptist sent a team to join the mission field. It was a wonderful, eye opening, life changing experience. A part of our hearts were left behind and it left us feeling a little empty. What’s next? How do we help now? We jumped into helping Denis and Eileen from afar by volunteering at the Gleaners and fundraising for their wonderful people of Guatemala.
We were so touched by how Denis and Eileen bless their community and surrounding communities by doing God’s work that we prayed and called on God our Father to use us. In any way He wanted. Low and behold (!!) we have been catapulted into this mission with EVERY possible door opening with such ease and care. God’s hand is at work in every detail and we are very excited to see where He takes us next. In a space of a couple weeks, He had our house rented in Canada, cars sold, a house rented and a vehicle to drive over in Guatemala. God is so good and we so look forward to this journey He has us on. We will be calling Santa Cruz our home for the next 6 months for sure, while we wait on Him to show us the road forward.
With our very little knowledge of the language (Cameron outshines us all with his Gr 5 Spanish he took last year), we look forward to immersing ourselves in the Spanish language and the culture that we have come to love so much. There is so much to learn, we know! We are aware that things won’t always be so smooth, but that is the joy of being a child of Christ……He is forever moulding us and challenging us for our own good and His GLORY!
We ask for prayer for protection, health and peace as we stand FIRM in God’s love for us.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding. In all your ways obey him. Then he will make your paths smooth and straight.”
“We are God’s creation. He created us to belong to Christ Jesus. Now we can do good works. Long ago God prepared these works for us to do."
The Watson Family
Back to our story:
They, Cody and Bronwyn and their 3 children, will be arriving in Guatemala with us on Sept. 29 and will be living about 15 minutes from our home. We will be including them in as many aspects of our ministry as we can.
We firmly believe that it is when we are willing to take the first step of faith then God will be there to lead.
Sam and Margaret have long since passed into the presence of our Lord, but we often think of them and their faithful prayers for their family.
We have had funds donated to begin construction on a Church in the village of Santa Marta. We met the community of Santa Marta when they were chosen for a maternity clinic a few years ago. From that project several people from the community wanted to start a Bible Study, which quickly grew to a Church. They currently meet in one of the homes. A piece of land was purchased and donated for a Church, and they will start on building a retaining wall on Monday.
We have seen God at work in this community and we are excited for this next step.
One of the many good things that arose from the visit by the team from Lavington was that the Lord placed on their hearts to raise funds for and ship a container of medical equipment and many other useful items to our ministry in Guatemala. This container is scheduled to leave Canada for Guatemala around the 22 of September. Thank you to the Lavington Church and the North Okanagan Valley Gleaners for your complete support for this container. Also thanks to those who prepared for and attended the dessert auction and to Keith Dinwoodie, Auctioneer, who raised a good amount of funds towards the container.
We are aiming to ship a container of food within the next few months as we are down to about 25 boxes of soup mix. Unfortunately Guatemala has changed their rules for import and we cannot mix food and medical anymore.
We have a new group of Pastor training starting the week after we get back.
Please keep the Watson family in prayer as they step into a very different culture, and for health and safety. We know they will be welcomed by our small missionary community in and around Coban.
We thank you for letting us share with you our continued journey in Guatemala. It has been one of the biggest blessings of our life.
Denis and Eileen Nogue
Seeds to Harvest Ministries
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