Isaiah 52:7 “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news”
We think of this verse when we are with our Guatemalan missionary friend Marco. These are his shoes. He is the man who introduced us to Pastor Raül in the story below and we needed him to show us how to find his village again in the network of dirt roads so prevalent in Guatemala.
With Marco, we were finally able to make the long trip to Caxlampon, with precious cargo in tow, a Braille Bible weighing 63 lbs and just over 5 ft in length that fit perfectly into two beautiful donated trunks. Pastor Raül was the recipient, blind from the age of 9 or 10, from measles. He learned to read Braille as a young man, and then trained to be a Pastor. He Pastors a Church in a remote community, many hours north of Coban. What a blessing to be able to deliver this Bible to him. Donated by a ministry in California and shipped to Canada free of charge. Delta Airlines flew it free of charge when they heard the story. He immediately sat down, opened one of the books and started reading out loud. Such a joy to be a witness to this event.
We are preparing to head back to Canada in a few days, and are tying up some loose ends before we turn things over to Chris and Leah for a few months.
Just want to itemize a few needs and would ask that you prayerfully consider financially donating towards these needs. We would also ask for your prayers also that we have wisdom and discernment in each situation we encounter. The needs here are so great, and we have to say “no” to so many needs.
1. In the village of Chitu, where the maternity clinic was built.
The funds that were donated for the construction of the clinic were used up with the construction of the building. An attached water storage tank was built to catch the water during rainy season, but unfortunately we didn’t have enough donated funds to finish the inside of the tank so it could be used to hold water and to put the eavestrough that is needed to catch the rain from the roof. As rainy season is rapidly approaching, we made the decision to use otherwise designated funds to finish this project as we didn’t want them to go without the benefit of saving the much needed rainwater for use in the clinic. The inside of the clinic needs to be painted and that is an additional cost as well.
2. Next year, we hope to have enough donations to build another water Storage tank, that will store water for the entire community during the rainy season. This will be for their drinking water and as a community wash station, or pila, that the women of the village would use to do their laundry. The community leader told us that there are times of the year when their spring is dry and they are without water and that this water storage tank would be a great asset to their community. As it is now, the women haul water quite a distance to their homes. These people live difficult lives and this will help ease some of that.
3. We have had some funds donated towards the next maternity clinic, but only about 1/3 of what we will actually need. It has been on our heart that the next clinic will be built in the village of Santa Marta. They are a much bigger community, 125 families and the clinic would serve two other communities. There are 3 midwives that live and work in this community. Having a maternity clinic will benefit many many people and is life saving for many moms and babies.
What impressed us about this community is that that the men of the village have leveled out the side of the mountain, by hand, where they want their clinic to be built. (See photo below.). We also understand that they have the equipment to make their own cement blocks, they just need the material to start.
4. The last item that we are praying for the funds to come in, is for the next container. At present, we have about one quarter of the costs needed for another container. Our hope is to ship one in September of this year, but that hinges on sufficient funds coming in. We have school feeding programs that are using this food and we would like to keep them supplied, as well as a few other missionaries depending on it for their rural village ministries.
This now empty container blessed many people affected by the Fuego volcano eruption
Asking for funds for ministry work is the part we like least about serving as a missionary. But, it has been said that as Christians, we should either be goers or senders. We are the goers and we pray that the Lord will raise up enough senders to enable us to continue with the work He has put before us, however we will continue to move forward as the Lord leads, and as the funds allow.
We continue to share the Gospel by way of The Hope and the Jesus Film. People are open and the invitations continue to come for us to be received in the villages to show these films.
We have been invited to speak at Living Word Lutheran Church in Vernon, BC on Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 10 am. You are welcome to come and hear an update. We will be camping and volunteering up at the Gleaners, and hopefully we will see many of you then. Maybe you would like to consider bringing a team? It is life changing as was evidenced by our Alabama team earlier this year.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Denis & Eileen
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