"...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."

Friday, October 21, 2016

Annabelle Update

Annabelle Joy is now 13 years old!   

Bella, as she is known here, loves to work with teams.  Translating is by her favorite thing to do.  She clearly has a gift working with local Guatemalans.  She also loves to plan her future.  Right now, she desires to stay on the mission field for the rest of her life.  

What does Annabelle like to do?

*  Annabelle enjoys helping with the Children's Ministry at church on Sunday mornings.  

*  Annabelle would translate with the teams every single day if we would allow her to.  She finds her happy place being with the twenty-something Guatemalans who work with the mission teams.  They are great role models for her.

*  Once she turned 13 in September, she started going to youth group.  She loves going on Friday nights.  Annabelle is a social butterfly.

*  Like Sophie, Annabelle attends a small group Bible study.  She comes home with a lot of questions about the input other people share and is always inquisitive about Biblical issues!  

*  Annabelle is very interested in the political situation in the US.  She has a lot of opinions and questions on the two major candidates and their stances on certain topics.  We've had to find a way to stay current on the debates for her.  

How can you pray for Annabelle? 

*  Pray we continue to find time for her schooling!  She loves working with the teams over doing her school work.  Wouldn't we all?   

*  At 13 going on 20, it's hard to find a balance.   Pray the Lord helps us encourage her to enjoy being a kid as she grows into a lovely adult.  

*  Please pray for her faith.  We ask the Lord to daily build her foundation so her relationship with Christ continues to grow stronger.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Sophie Update

This girl.  

By far, out of the 8 of us, Sophie has changed the most over the past two years.  She left North Carolina as a shy, quiet, introverted 12 year old with the weight of the world on her shoulders.  

She is now 15 years old and her burdens belong to the Lord!  She has more confidence and self- assurance because she has a strong foundation in Christ!   

Our first born has a beautiful soul that others may not see regularly but thankfully she saves it to share with those close to her.  

God has given her a great gift for loving and helping children with special needs.  She roots for the underdog.  She sees pain in others.  Her ability to feel for others, empathy, is incredible.

What does Sophie like to do in Guatemala?

*  Every Friday she goes with a pastor and mentor to a local hospital and prays with patients.  

*   She translates for teams.  Her favorite ministry is Hope Haven, a factory which builds and fits wheelchairs for patients who would otherwise be immobile.

* Sophie loves her Bible study and prayer group with other young girls on Thursday nights.  They are currently going through Acts, the book on putting faith into action.

*  She enjoys youth group on Friday evenings. 

*  She's an incredible helper to Joseph, our son.  She has a passion for helping him communicate better.

How can you pray for Sophie?

*  Pray for her relationships with her sisters and friends and those close to her.

*  Pray for her future.  At 15, it is time to look into colleges, SATs, and her future!  It's hard to do when you're busy living life!

*  Sometimes with empathy, comes heartache.  Her heart is so big for others that we pray she also finds the joy in life!  She has the best laugh and we want to see it more often!  

*  Pray for us to have wisdom in parenting her.  We continue to pray the Lord would help us mold her will into His will.

DISCLAIMER:  There aren't many pictures of Sophie because she does NOT like her picture taken.  We have to sneak them in!  ;)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Update on the Kids

Over the next week, we will post individual updates on the children.  Lately, some friends and family have asked how the kids are doing, what they love about Guatemala, what they miss about the US, and what their daily life looks like.

We are so thankful for how well they have adjusted over the past two years.  God placed people in our lives who absolutely love our children.  There are individuals in Guatemala who have stepped up to the plate to help nurture our children and demonstrate to them the love and joy of Jesus.  These people are our village.  We do life with them on a daily basis and they are helping us guide our kids morally, spiritually and physically.

How do people love our kids?

* A mature couple who loves them as though they were their very own grandchildren and host special birthday parties for them with homemade pizza and cake.

*  One of our pastors and his wife hosted a special Star Wars Movie Marathon (all 7 episodes) at their house.  The girls all enjoyed junk food, movie, and spending time with them.

*  A young mission team staff gave 15 flowers and sweet gifts to Sophie on her birthday.  This Guatemalan said, "This is a very special day in Guatemala (called a quinceanera) and I wanted her to know she is special."

*  The director of our fabrication shop often takes Jude out in his work truck to visit different villages, pick up and deliver materials.  Jude bombards him with a million questions.  They are a wonderful pair!

*  So many people speak to Joseph and touch him when we walk into a room.  They acknowledge him and love on him appropriately.

*  Our girls help translate for teams and work with a group of young Christian adults on our mission team staff.  These twenty-somethings are wonderful role models for our children.  Our kids see them working to make their country a better place and they witness them sharing the love of God with others who don't know Him.  Our kids are being taught, encouraged and loved.

*  Sophie and Annabelle have a mentor who meets with them weekly for Bible study and prayer.  Their youth group leaders are wonderful!

*  There is a young lady, whom Ava Mae refers to as her "mentor," who sings, laughs and plays with her.  These two together are funny, silly and full of joy and smiles.

*  Susie went back to NC while her dad had triple bypass cardiac surgery recently.  Many people stepped up to help Jack and the kids while she was away.  Three women from our staff took Annabelle, Sophie and two friends to the city for Annabelle's birthday.  Others dropped off food and pitched in to allow Susie time to be with her father during his recovery.

In addition to people here loving on our kids, we have people in the US who frequently check up on us.  They ask us how each child is doing individually.  They send emails to the girls and they support us in challenging times by encouraging us.  I can not describe the complete peace we have; peace comes from Christ.   We have such a wonderful community surrounding us.

Proverbs 18:24

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 27:17

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Are you getting our newsletter?  If not, send your email address to townsendguat@gmail.com and we will make sure you are on our mailing list.  

Love you all, friends! 

Thursday, September 22, 2016


As with most ministries, we are dependent on charitable giving.  The only way that we are able to be in Guatemala is due to the generous and prayerful support of those who have made a monthly commitment and donations.  This has been such a growing experience for our faith. 

Some of our supporters have extended themselves, month after month.  We are so thankful for you.

Some of our supporters have given one time gifts.  We could not be here without your generosity.

Some of our supporters have given more than they originally committed to.  We are so grateful for you, as well.

Some of our supporters have not been able to continue their support.  Thank you for your generous giving in the past.  We completely understand that life happens and finances change.  We appreciate your vulnerability and honesty.

Please understand that every dollar that is given is appreciated and utilized.  We pray over our finances and monthly budget.  We ask the Lord to make us good stewards and be responsible with the money He has provided.

Our original intent was to stay two years and that anniversary has passed.  Now, as some of you know, we have prayerfully considered staying longer.  This decision does not come lightly.  We have talked with our children, spoken with our family in the states and we have asked our spiritual mentors for wisdom and prayer.  

I believe extending our commitment to work with Mil Casas - The Project will help the ministry continue on towards the goal of building 1000 homes in villages in the Sacatepequez region of Guatemala.  My role in this ministry is to foster relationships with families in our surrounding villages of Pastores and Santa Maria de Jesus.  It is a privilege and joy to meet with families before and after their home builds.  As a team, we assess the level of need each family has, assign homes to short term mission teams to construct, and share the Gospel message.  Hearts are being changed; God's Word is being heard and God's love is being exposed.

We have met with other volunteers in our area who raise support and we believe our budget is accurate for our area.  We've spent the past two months adjusting our needs and now we have a new budget for our family of eight.  If you would like to see our budget, please let us know and we would be glad to share it with you.

So this is where we humbly ask for your help.  We need those of you who are giving to continue.  We need those of you who gave in the past, to consider making a monthly commitment at $10, $25, $50, $100 or any amount the Lord puts on your heart.  Finally, we need you to share your excitement for being involved in this ministry with others.  If you know of someone who might be interested in partnering with us, please let us know.

Please consider making a monthly commitment of $10, $25, $50, $100 or more at

Take a few minutes to watch one of the videos in the sidebar.  They will give you a little insight to what the Lord is doing through this ministry.  Also, visit our Facebook page, write us an email or private message.  We would love to hear from you and pray with you.

Thank you for your support and encouragement over the past two years.  

In His Service,
Jack, Susie, Sophie, Annabelle, Ava Mae, Pearl, Joseph and Jude

John 15: 12-15  

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.  You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.  No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

Friday, September 9, 2016

What can your family do in Guatemala?

Have you ever had the desire to serve?  Maybe you think you're too young or old.  Maybe you don't know much about construction.  That is not important.  What is important is your desire to share the love of Christ.

Team Rhodes consisted of a family of four (Marty, Mandy, Eli, and Julie), Maddie, Mr. Tom and Ms. Traci.  All different ages, all different backgrounds.  This team, made of 7 unique individuals, built a house, delivered water filters, built a customized wheelchair, fed over 400 children, worked at a special needs hospital and much more! 

Thank you, Maddie, for taking this video.  We do this weekly and it never gets old.  It's such a privilege to volunteer in Guatemala.  Not a day goes by that we don't thank God for our financial supporters and prayer warriors.  We absolutely could not serve here without you.  


If you are interested in helping with the Mil Casas Project, please send us a message at townsendguat@gmail.com.  

Monday, August 8, 2016


Hello friends and family,

Over ten years ago, Pathways Church, now known as Mission City Church, in Largo, Florida, planted a church, Iglesia del Camino, in Antigua, Guatemala.   The building ministry we work with, Mil Casas Project, is a branch of Iglesia del Camino and we are excited to announce, after ten years, it is now it's very own non-profit in Guatemala, called Centro de Suenos!  It's taken a decade in the making but this is a huge step, allowing more Guatemalan job opportunities and Guatemalan ownership.

With this change, we need our funding to be filtered through Centro de Suenos, which requires a change for you.
Two step process:

1.  Please contact Chris Polson at 727-397-4707 x119 or chris.polson@missioncitychurch.com and ask her to cancel your monthly commitment to the Townsend Family.  She is expecting your phone call or email.  Please make sure you ask her for a confirmation of cancellation.  

2.  Please go to:  http://my.simplegive.com/dl/?uid=the944202   After you have created an account, you will be directed to the "My Donation" page.  On the left side, you will need to click on "Scheduled Giving" to create a monthly commitment, and you will find "SUPPORT - JACK TOWNSEND" if you scroll under "Choose a Fund."  After you have successfully signed up, please send us a copy of the verification and we will confirm your donation with Centro de Suenos.

If you would prefer to send a check in the mail, please send to:  
The Guatemalan Dream Center
944 Alcazar Way S, St. Petersburg, FL 33705

Payable to: The Guatemalan Dream Center, Inc.  Memo: Townsend Family

If you’re not particularly concerned about the 501c3 tax deductions, you can always use PayPal.  Our PayPal ID is townsend164@bellsouth.net .  Several supporters prefer this method because 100% of their support goes directly to us.
Please know we are blessed to receive your support and constant prayers!  Be sure to check your email next week for our most recent newsletter.  We have so much to tell you about!