"...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, October 27, 2016

Ava Mae Update

Ava Mae is 11 years old and she's my super helper.  She is quick to say "yes" to most tasks that need to be done around the house!

She brings a lot of joy into our lives.  And always likes to smile and make others smile.  She's goofy and energetic.  When asked how she would describe herself, she replied, "happy, crazy, weird," and she sure owns it with pride!

What does Ava Mae like to do in Guatemala?

*  Ava Mae likes to help me shop at the market.  Not only do I utilize her skills as a translator, she helps me carry our heavy bags of produce home!

*  She enjoys cooking dinner for the teams.  Her favorite food to prepare is guacamole.  She is a pro on taco night!

*  Ava Mae always likes to help shop for the families who receive a home.  She picks out special items for the house blessing, including plates, cups, pots and other household items specifically for that family.

*  Ava Mae was helping translate on Sunday mornings in the Children's Ministry.  Now, she is going to a tween class, which she is very excited about!

How can you pray for Ava Mae?

*  Please pray for Ava Mae's education.  This last school year was challenging for her so we want to continue helping her learn and find contentment in learning.

*  Pray for God to provide a friend about her age that will help her continue her walk with Christ.

*  Pray for us to model God's love and teach her how to share it with others.

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


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Love you all, friends!