March, 2015

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Distilled

If I could describe this week with one phrase (you know I can’t do it with one word J), it would be “a concentrated or distilled version of the body of Christ.” All ages are working together to meet the needs of the team (making hundreds of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, washing dishes, filling water coolers, etc. etc.), and combining the gifts God has given us to minister to the precious people of Guatemala with whom we are coming in contact during the day. We study the Word every day together and pray and sing and share from our hearts.   Where one lacks, another provides, and encouragement is EVERYWHERE – in word and touch and action. All of this happens every week in Columbus, but it is unbelievably condensed here and powerful to observe.   ALL glory to God for what He is doing in us and through us –

 

Courtney Stanback

 

This week has been absolutely amazing!! We have built houses, participated in VBS, a block party, and shared God’s love with these sweet people. Today was by far my favorite day of the week. It was our last day of VBS, and it was Carrington and my day to tell the Bible story. Our topic was “The Gospel” so we started with Jesus’ birth and went through the resurrection. It was such a blessing to get to share the story of Christ with the children. Later in the day, I shared the Evangecube with a group of children and about ten of them accepted Christ. It was indescribable to be a part of God’s work here in Guatemala and to see new souls be rescued by Christ’s love. At the end of the day, all of the children gathered around us and prayed over us. That was one of the biggest blessings of the week because it showed me how God’s love reaches all corners of the world. Please continue to pray for our team as we finish out our week.

 

Carrie Westmoreland

 

This week has been indescribable, but today was exceptionally special. Today I had the opportunity to share the gospel with all of the children at VBS. When I was done sharing, I asked each group if they wanted to learn more about having a relationship with Jesus, and several little hands flew up. It was one of the most rewarding and overwhelming feelings, to see the results of God’s work in the kids’ lives. To hear all of their voices proclaim their salvation through prayer was such a beautiful sound. Around 20 kids from my site entered the family of believers today. After we dismissed, my special little friend, Ashly, who had just accepted Christ, gave me her only snack and her piece of candy. Something so little showed me so much humility. Christ’s love was flowing through her little hands and smile. I am so thankful that God has given me this opportunity to come and live out this experience.

 

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Another Great Day

We had a great day today in Guatemala.  Our plans went through a major shift today.  We went from what we had planned to what God had for us.  I am thankful that our team packed their flexibility!

We had a great opportunity to visit a local orphanage, Hogar Amor Del Ninos.  This ministry was founded by a couple from the US and ministers to 50 orphans by providing a loving home as they await adoption or return to their parents.

While some were at the orphanage, others were ministering in a local school through basketball.  Later in the evening our students played a game against a Guatemalan team that is in the Guatemalan National Team system.  While the scoreboard didn’t quite go our way, it was a win all the way around.

Thank you for continuing to pray for us.  Our students and leaders are doing an amazing job.

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More Than Houses

Today when I was in the village where we were building houses, I met a boy named Christopher. He was very nice, and we liked to play together. Everywhere I went he followed me. We threw a Frisbee and jumped rope together. We had a language barrier but that didn’t matter because we still found ways to communicate. I wish I didn’t have to say Goodbye (or Adios)!

Ben Campbell

 

Today we were working on a house in a village for a man and his family. I was on my dad’s team and we were working right next to Mr. Mickey’s team. While we were working the man got into the work and didn’t hold back. He would grab a posthole digger and dig the holes or loosen up the dirt for us to dig out. Even when we asked him if he wanted to take a break he would say no and get back into the action. His family was near us and we played with his son. His wife was weaving a dress and she showed us the template and it was bonita (beautiful). The man worked so hard and he didn’t have gloves that he scraped up his hands. He said he was going to keep working. This blessed me along with all the kids and people that loved on us and cared for us.

Andy Ladd

 

This first day has been a great one. We began construction on the houses that we will be completing this week and while we still have a lot of work left to do we are making great progress! One thing that has been stressed leading up to this trip is the fact that it is about building relationships with the people in Guatemala, as well as with the people on our team. It is so easy for us, especially us “macho men”, to get so involve in completing the job that we totally forget about the main objective, building relationships and loving on the people of Guatemala. I came into this trip planning on doing construction only, but the more I meet these people the more I realize how truly special they are. Building houses is great, but we as Christians are called to so much more than that. As much as they need a roof over their head, they need Jesus so much more.

Max Davis

Wanna Trade?

Hola from Guatemala! We started our day off with a great breakfast and an even better worship service on the roof overlooking the city of Chimaltenango. Sam Taylor, our youth pastor, lead us in worship and Brother Breck spoke on Mary and Martha. We learned how sometimes we get caught in all of the craziness of everyday life and forget to just worship and give praise Jesus for all of the many blessings he provides. After worship, we fellowshipped with one another and ate a gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. As we were finishing up lunch, Brother Breck told us that we would be leaving in 4 minutes to go to a block party in the community, even though we didn’t think we would be leaving for another 30 minutes. This is a great example of why flexibility is the first and last thing on the packing list.  We are learning to see the Lord in each opportunity.

When we arrived at the block party, the people were a little skeptical at first, but as soon as we pulled out the finger nail polish, soccer balls, and candy, they definitely warmed up very quickly. The guys enjoyed played soccer with the boys and the girls enjoyed getting their nails painted and hair braided. We had jumpers for the children and they had a blast. For some, it was their first time playing on a jumpers. Then, we pulled out the corn hole game and all ages participated.

Kelsi’s most special moment of the day was when she gave a boy that couldn’t have been any older than two, a small car. As she was about to walk away, the little boy tapped her leg and gave her the only piece of candy he had in return for the car. This just showed her that even though they have very little, they still are so selfless and give what little they do have. This was just one of the many moments today that the Lord showed us that we need to appreciate what we have and give to others. John, the missionary in Guatemala, later told us that through the block party, two people were lead to Christ. Please continue to pray for us tomorrow as we build homes and more importantly build relationships with the families and neighbors and provide us with opportunities to lead many more to Christ.

Kelsi and Lindsey

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