"...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."

Thursday, March 28, 2013

What about the kids?

We have had awesome opportunities to share our journey to Guatemala with many of you.  As always, we encourage you to ask questions.   As many of you know Jack will gladly welcome the opportunity to share his heart for this mission with you!  Susie, too!

The most frequent question we receive....what about the kids?  With five, soon to be six kids, they each see Guatemala differently. 

SR is our oldest and she is 11.5 years going on....16.  ;)  She is looking forward to going to school in Guatemala and meeting friends.  SR is extremely creative and LOVES art.  Her only real concern with moving to Guatemala is missing out on her art classes.  We think she will pack more art supplies than clothes.  ;) 

AJ is our 9.5 year old daughter.  She is extremely helpful around the house and definitely the little mama of her siblings.  Along with her sisters, AJ took Spanish classes this summer in Guatemala and absolutely loved them.  She picked up the language very quickly and often times we would ask her to translate!  She looks forward to improving her language skills.  Upon our arrival in Guatemala, she has requested to see her Spanish school teacher, whom she loves!  AJ also has a heart for those less fortunate.  Her desire is to work with orphans or children during our time in Guatemala.

AM just turned 8 and is full of life!  She has so much joy and more energy than anyone else we know.  ;)  She loved Guatemala and is eager to make friends when we arrive.  AM tells us she is excited to walk around town, like we did often this summer.

PE was adopted from Guatemala at 7 months old.  Returning to Guatemala and learning more about her birth country was an exciting experience for her, as well as for the entire family.  PE is 6 years old and she has a great, positive outlook on moving to Guatemala.  She is looking forward to going to church at La Iglesia Del Camino.  She enjoyed her Sunday School class while we were visiting this summer.  She especially enjoyed "tricking" her teacher who believed she spoke Spanish!  It is our prayer that she really will learn to speak it over the next few years!

SJ just turned 2 years old so he has yet to express his opinions regarding Guatemala!  :)  He is so easy going and adapts to new situations easily and we expect no less when we move.  SJ brings cheer to our home and we look forward to seeing him reach milestones in Guatemala and prayerfully share a love for the country, just as the rest of us have.

JJ will be our newest addition to the family!  While the girls are at school in Guatemala, much of Susie's time will be spent with the boys.  Her biggest role will be bonding with JJ and running after these precious two year old boys! 

Our children bring us so much joy.  We are blessed to be able to take them to Guatemala and share this beautiful nation, culture and community with them.  Our prayer is for them to draw closer to their Savior during our time in Guatemala and find opportunities to share His love with others. 

As always, thanks for joining us on our journey!

Jack and Susie

A special thank you to Bestul Photography for taking family pictures for us! 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Home is where the heart is...

What is a home?  A home is a place that provides shelter, refuge and residence.  More importantly, it is often a safe environment that provides sanitary facilities, a place to prepare food, and gather for fellowship.

Many village structures outside of La Antigua, Guatemala are built with bamboo or corrugated sheet metal.  These homes not only provide little sanitation, they also do not fare well in the weather elements.   

  Bamboo and Corrugated Sheet Metal Homes

I was blessed to work with the building team at Iglesia Del Camino this past summer.  Each day I had the opportunity to spend a few hours working beside local residents constructing metal frames that would eventually replace bamboo or corrugated sheet metal homes.  This mission is to help Guatemalans build homes, not structures.  

House Design 12' x 16'

During our two year commitment to Guatemala, I will be assisting the building team with constructing metal homes, as well as home additions, church facilities and installing water filtration systems.  

 Working with Local Residents Summer 2012

Iglesia Del Camino is also partnering Iglesia Bautista Aposento Alto in Santa Maria de Jesus (SMdJ) to establish a feeding center named Campos Desuenos, to help Guatemalans change the course of malnutrition and stunted growth in the community.  Right now this center is in the beginning building stages.  When the center is complete and the water filtration system is in place, it will accommodate 350 children in the nutritional program.  Beyond meals, Campos Desuenos plans to eliminate the elements that have stunted generations of growth in the indigenous folks of Guatemala. Nutrition is important but Campos Desuenos is working towards good health, education, economic stimulus and showing the love of Christ to this community.  

I am beyond excited to get started helping with these building projects.  It was a pleasure to work beside local residents, getting to know their hopes and dreams for their country and sharing God's love.

Working with Short Term Mission Teams (Installing Homes)

We would be honored to have you partner with us on this journey:  http://giving.iglesiadelcaminogt.com/.

Blessings and joy,

Friday, March 1, 2013

La Iglesia Del Camino

Thank you, dear friends, for following us via Facebook and blog!  It's so good to hear from you and receive encouragement from our loved ones.

Please check out the church we will be working with - http://iglesiadelcaminogt.com/.  We were blessed to spend time in Guatemala this summer getting to know Pastor Mike Watkins and staff.  They are doing amazing work in La Antigua and surrounding villages.  

Please feel free to email us at townsendguat@gmail.com if you have any questions about our journey.  We would be glad to hear from you!