"...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, November 9, 2016

Give the Gift of Opportunity this Christmas! (EDIT: Price Change)

We are so glad to have a team from Murphy, North Carolina this week!  They have been working hard building homes on their first IDC trip.  These are some of the kindest people with HUGE hearts. It's an honor to meet new people each week who have a desire to share the love of the Lord with others.  

This is going to be a short, blunt blog post because we are asking for help.  In addition to a home, the families receive a stove, bunk bed and water filter but we would love to gift some of the families in need of work with a tortilla stove.  Would you consider donating $200 $100 this holiday season for a family to receive a tortilla stove?  This will allow a family the opportunity to bring in extra income which would be a tremendous (long term) help for them!

If you would like to donate a tortilla stove (pictured above) please send us a message to townsendguat@gmail.com.

Thanks for following!  

Jude Update

My sweet friend, Chris, sent me this message a few weeks ago:

"The name Judas comes from the Hebrew 'Judah,' which means 'praise.' Judas is the Hebrew spelling, while Jude is Greco-Roman."

I love that!  It's a great reminder to praise God every time this loveable boy snuggles on my lap, kisses me all over the face,  runs around the house with more energy than I can fathom, holds my hand as we walk to school and so much more!

Jude, affectionately known as "Teddy" at church and "Samuel" at school (Jude is difficult to pronounce here) is such a gift to us.  

Our first boy after parenting four girls was a completely new experience for us.  It's an honor and we are still adjusting to his energy!  ;)

What does Jude like to do in Guatemala?

*  Jude loves school!  We are so thankful that he has completed a full year of pre-school in Guatemala and now speaks Spanish!  He enjoys playing with his good friend, Juan Pablo.  

*  Jude absolutely loves going with Joaquin to visit homes.  Joaquin is almost like a grandparent to Jude and gives him lots of attention.

*  Jude asks a ton of questions.  It doesn't matter if he's met you for the first time or he's known you a long time, he will ask all about your car, your house, your job, anything!  He likes to know how things work and his biggest desire right now is to learn how to drive a car.  Or a truck.  Or a tractor.

How can you pray for Jude?

*  Jude just started his school vacation.  In January, he will begin Kindergarten/First Grade.  He is eager to learn how to read.  

*  It's not easy doing school with the older girls when Jude is home.  He's a blast to have back at home but it's challenging to do school work with his energy.  Pray for all of us.  

*  Please pray for us as we parent this rambunctious, loving, little guy!  We cherish his affection and sweet spirit.  We are so blessed.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Joseph Update

We frequently have people tell us how much Joseph has grown since we arrived in Guatemala 2.5 years ago.  It's always such an encouragement to hear that.  Sometimes, as Joseph's parents, we don't see the massive improvements because we are working on the day to day strides which often seem so BIG.  When we intentionally think back to some of the earlier days when Joseph first came home, we are truly amazed at the positive changes he's made!

Joseph is a strong, joyful boy who LOVES music.  He laughs and dances when music is played.  He immediately changes when it comes on and it calms him when he's upset.  We take a pair of headphones and an ipod with his favorite music everywhere we go.  It's so fun to see his face light up with his favorite songs.  He also knows the words to them and often sings along with them.  It's difficult to get a good video of him singing because, even though he can't see, we are certain he knows the minute we break out the camera because he stops singing.  ;)

What does Joseph like to do in Guatemala?

*  Joseph enjoys worship music at church.  He claps to the music and has a wide smile on his face from the beginning of music to the end.  We are still working on making it through the sermon.  ;)

*  Whether in a car or wheelchair, Joseph loves the cobblestones streets here!  He yells, "bumpy, bumpy," while traveling the roads of Guatemala.  He also loves having his window down while driving and says, "feel the wind?" as the wind blows in his face.

*  We have some incredible people in our lives who love Joseph.  When they come to the house, they call him by name, go over to talk with him and touch him appropriately.  It's such a blessing to have some loving people who step out of their comfort zone to approach him.

How can you pray for Joseph?

*  We recently found someone willing to do occupational therapy with Joseph who has extensive experience working with people with special needs.  This adds another $125 into our monthly budget.  We are praying the Lord will provide those funds.

*  Joseph's sleep patterns are just awful.  We realize this sounds dramatic but it's the truth.  He wakes up every morning between 2:00-3:00 am and stays awake until 7:00 pm.  We have tried wearing him out during the day, giving him a nap, keeping him up later, melatonin, etc. but nothing changes.   Pray as you feel led.

*  We continue to work on teaching Joseph to feed himself.   He has zero desire to learn how to use utensils.  He's come so far with eating issues so we praise God for those amazing changes and pray we all have the patience to continue teaching him how to use a spoon and fork!  :)

Friday, November 4, 2016

Purses for Sale!

Would you love to have a 100% leather purse this Christmas?  Perhaps you would like to give a few away for gifts?

We have a good friend, Elio, who makes leather products and sells them to our teams.  He makes boots, purses, belts, wallets, etc.  This summer, we had an amazing team from Wilmington come down and they fell in love with Elio's work!

This team decided to raise money to build a home for a family by selling Elio's original purses.  This is a WIN-WIN-WIN.

1.  Elio wins because he gets more business which supports his family.
2.  The family in need of a home wins because they will receive a new home in 2017!
3.  And YOU win because you get a new leather purse.  Or maybe your loved one wins because they get a new purse for Christmas from you!

We have someone coming down to Guatemala from North Carolina the first week of December who is excited to help us bring the purses to you.  They will be delivered to your home (in the Wilmington area) or can be picked up in a Wilmington location between the second and third week of December.  If you live outside of the Wilmington, NC area and would like it shipped, please add $10 to your cost.  We would be glad to ship!

Here are the four designs we are offering:

Large leather purse ($85)

Cross Body Purse with Adjustable Straps ($80)

Medium Purse with Front Pocket ($85)

Double Strap Purse (Lined Inside) with Top Zipper and Front Zipper Pocket ($80)

Please send us a message at townsendguat@gmail.com if you would like to purchase one of these beautiful purses!  We look forward to raising money for a family in need!  Thank you!

Pearl Update

Pearl is doing so well in Guatemala.  She is full of sass and spunk!  At first glance, Pearl can appear shy and quiet but spend a few minutes with her and she will start doing cartwheels and flips and chat away.

Our youngest daughter can spend hours playing outside, jumping around or sit quietly with her dolls. She is a precious girl and we pray she will follow the Lord's path always.

What does Pearl like to do in Guatemala?

*  Above all, Pearl LOVES gymnastics.  For $8 a month, she goes five days a week.  As a bonus for us, the gym is directly across the street from our house!  It's a great opportunity for her to be around other Guatemalans, speak Spanish, and get to know the culture of her birth.

*  Pearl enjoys her Sunday School class.  Thankfully she has friends in her class and enjoys spending time with them and her teachers.

*  Pearl is usually at gymnastics when we cook for the teams but every so often she is able to go with us and she loves it!  

*  Pearl is a great playmate for Jude.  They enjoy spending time together and she helps him get his energy out when they play outside!  

How can you pray for Pearl?

*  Please pray for Pearl's schooling.  Like the others, we are focusing on school after a busy summer with teams.  

*  Pearl's Spanish coming along nicely and we are so thankful she has the opportunity to be with young Guatemalan girls her age.  Please pray she would be a light in the darkness.

*  Continue to pray for Pearl's walk with the Lord.  As her parents we are proud of all her accomplishments but most of all we want her to love God with all her heart, mind and soul.