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.