"...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."

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