"...great joy which will be to all people."

Luke 2:10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people."

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Annabelle enjoyed translating for a medical team visiting from the US last week.  She absolutely loved her time but her favorite part was telling a mother she was expecting a child after translating  pregnancy test directions.  Annabelle said the mother wanted a baby for over 10 years and my sweet girl remembered an episode of Little House on the Prairie where Ma thought she was having a baby but was actually going through menopause.  Annabelle said she was so thankful this women's test was positive and that it wasn't menopause!  Is my child really only 12?  ;)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Rhodes Family is Coming Back!

Do you remember our friends, Marty and Mandy who brought two of their oldest children to Guatemala last year?  You can check out my blog posts on this incredible family here.  They are coming back to build a house, deliver water filters and work at Campos de Suenos.  This time they are bringing an entire team!  And everyone is staying at our house.  We can't wait!

They are paying for their flights out of their savings and now need just a little more to help with the house build and water filters.  Would you consider making a donation?


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Jude + Joaquin = Buddies

The church had an event planned to feed breakfast to the elderly last week, so they asked me to bake 130 cookies.  The girls were away at camp and Jude had school so I loaded Joseph up in his wheelchair and we walked to Jude's school to drop him off.  There was a lock on the school door so we had to assume it was closed for the day.  Sigh.  Communication here is VERY different than the US.

I told Jude he was going to help me bake and he said, in Spanish, "I want to help Joaquin today."  I have mentioned Joaquin and Patsy, who are our dear friends from El Salvador, in past blog posts.  They are wonderful in so many ways but Jude has especially bonded with Joaquin.  Joaquin calls Jude, "little Jack," and doesn't mind the millions of questions Jude asks him.

When we arrived at church, Jack was loading up the vehicles to build a house.  Joaquin took Jude aside to gently remove him from chaos.  Jude immediately told him he planned to work with him.  Joaquin looked at me tentatively and said, "Well, we will try it!"  So Jude climbed up in the Kia truck and off they went to deliver materials for a house to be built next week.  After he was gone for two hours, I started getting nervous because I learned they went to a village that has been victim to some robberies lately.  By noon they returned and Jude was over the top excited.  He told me all about his very "own shovel," and all dirt he moved around.  He had a blast and, of course, Joaquin kept him safe.  So thankful for people who spend time with my kids and invest in them. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Working from Home

Susie is in the city today food shopping for the MANY teams coming starting next week.

In addition to doing school work with the kids, I am getting the solar lighting systems ready for next week by installing inline switches.

So thankful for the teams who provide families with solar lighting kits!  Electricity is extremely expensive here.  What a great help these are to families.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

More Home Visits (Written by Annabelle)

Last week, on Monday, May 16th,  I went with my dad to visit families who were waiting for a house. One of the families we visited had a nine-month-old boy named Eric.  When I was holding him, I noticed their stove.  It was basically a piece of metal held up by some sticks and wire.  It was placed right near the door to their house.  The smoke was drifting directly into their home.  Smoke related respiratory are among the leading ailments in women and children in Guatemala.  A nine-month-old is extremely vulnerable to respiratory health problems.

When my dad asked Eric's mom, Maria, how many people were in her family she said four; Marvin, her husband, Marvin Jr., her three-year-old son, Eric, her nine-month-old son, and herself.  They are currently borrowing a room from their uncle.  It's just one room with one bed which all four are sharing.  The uncle is giving them a piece of land to build on, but Marvin's job as a brick mason helper is not enough for them to build their own home.  In total, there are 15 people in three rooms. Many of them sharing beds or even sleeping outside on the ground.

Like most parents, Marvin and Maria want to provide a better life for their children but they don't have the money to do that.  We are awaiting a house sponsor for this young family who is doing their best to just put food on the table.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Follow Up Home Visit

Back in November, our dear friends, Rick and Erica Penny and their boys came for a visit.  We were able to spend a week of fellowship with their family which was a gift for us.  Before they arrived, they raised money to build a home for Marta and Jose and their two boys.  The Penny's home church, Christ the King, was instrumental in helping this family have a home of their own.  

Last week, Jack was able to visit this sweet couple.  They expressed their gratitude for their new home, which is also a work place for their family to make quality leather products.  Jose explained how thankful he was for a secure home to store his work tools and leather goods, knowing the rain wouldn't come in and ruin his livelihood.  

While Jose works on his leather business, Marta works hard at keeping house.  Dust is prevalent here, especially during the dry season, so constant dusting and sweeping is necessary.  When Jack complimented her housekeeping skills, she told him it is their responsibility to take care of the gift God has given them.  Jose and Marta also told Jack they intend to keep their kids in school to honor God in that way, as well.  

There is a special joy in visiting families after they've received a home.  The blessing of a home is not simply putting a bandaid on poverty.   It is changing the cycle of poverty.  The Mil Casa Project is building homes to allow families to spend their hard earned money sending their children to school, just like Jose and Marta.  

Thursday, May 12, 2016

A Post Written By Annabelle

On Monday, April 25th I went to a school, with a team, to volunteer. When we first got there all of the kids were standing in a large circle. Two teachers were in the middle. The kids said hello to us and then someone turned on some music. One person in the team brought a guitar and started singing.  Soon everyone was singing, dancing and having fun while worshipping God. 

I was standing to the side, just observing, when a little boy came over, took my hand and brought me over to worship with him and some of his friends. 

Later, the team split up into groups, one to give out the drinks and and one to go play soccer with some of the kids. I decided to give out the drinks.  The kids were so grateful and sweet.  Once when I was playing with the Pre-K class I asked the energetic kids to guess how old I was.  One of them guessed 200!  Playing with the kids was so much fun! 

After we left the school for the day, we went to deliver water filters to the school kids' families.  One of the fathers explained to us his struggle with alcohol.  As he broke down in tears, he asked us to pray over him.  We all laid hands on him and prayed.  The father asked us to keep him in our prayers and started crying, then we all did. 

By the end of the day we were all exhausted, but it was worth it.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know these kids and being able to play with them.  I would love come back here someday to work in, or open up, a facility like that.  They are not only creating a new generation of believers but also ministering to the kids' parents. 

"Jesus said,  'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'"

Matthew 19:14