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.
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