What a wonderful week of ministering together that JESUS TE AMA (Jesus Loves You) everywhere we went! From the villages, to the streets feeding the homeless, sharing with the children at Casita Benjamin and at El Oasis, the team of 12 so intentionally prepared and shared God’s love in action. We are so blessed to have a friendship and be in partnership with First Reformed Church of Pompton Plains, New Jersey. They not only ministered to the people and children of Guatemala, but they ministered to us too. Thank you team for all your hard work, and for investing your lives with love into ours and everyone you encountered.
Seven days full of serving, sharing, loving, crying, laughing, encouraging, worshiping & praying together with this amazing team of women! We went to the mountain top village of El Tablon, back down to feeding street people and to prostitutes in Guatemala City, and up to another humble church of Chicamen located towards Antigua. We are so thankful to serve, to partner with, and to represent NEXT LEVEL MISSIONS of Fort Myers, FL. THANK YOU to all the team members and everyone back home at NLC who made this happen! To God be all the Glory!
Super blessed to have another men’s team from Peoples Church, (Bourbonnais, IL) with us again! Coming along side of Pastor Luis in the village of El Tablón to empower him in his vision to reach his community with the love of Jesus is always the one of the highlights of their week here in Guatemala. To see how this small congregation worked together to plant and grow 100,000 coffee plants in order to build their church and now to see the progress on their building is simply amazing! From the very beginning of the coffee project, Peoples Church has sent a men’s team to work alongside, encourage and partner with us, to empower Pastor Luis & his family! A special thanks to my brother in law, Dick Toepper & Kevin Mansberger who have consistently led the team, and to Pastor Greg Eilders who always makes it a priority to come and be a part. We are so thankful to the whole team and to Peoples Church for your unwavering love and support, and so honored that together we are igniting passion and empowering vision for God’s Glory!
God empowers us so we can empower others, II Cor. 9:8-12. It’s been 3 years since we empowered Pastor Luis and his congregation in El Molino with the coffee project that has been generating funds to fulfill their dream of building their church in order to reach their community. So Pastor Luis & a group of guys from his church wanted to pass on the blessing and help another congregation by not only giving to supply the necessary funds for all the tin, but also by going and doing all the labor. It was a long day hauling everything up the mountain to the small village in Las Brisas and literally raising the roof all in one day! What an awesome day seeing Pastor Luis and his group of guys getting to experience the overwhelming joy of empowering others. Our passion still remains to “IGNITE PASSION & EMPOWER VISION”…the heart and soul of Start With One! To God be all the glory.
We had the honor and privilege of meeting Doña Patricia Arzú, the former first lady of Guatemala a couple of weeks ago. If you remember, we have shared the testimony of Carmen (former prostitute) who accepted Jesus and left behind the lifestyle of prostitution through the ministry of El Oasis. God used Doña Patricia de Arzú to help Carmen pay off her standing debt of nearly a year’s salary and give her a job at the government school so she could leave “the line” forever. It was so exciting for all of us to finally meet face to face, and we marveled at how God used all of us to help Carmen walk out her new life as a Christian. Doña Patricia went on to tell us that when she returned to her office right after meeting with Carmen and her young girls at McDonalds, one of her staff members just received a phone call from someone who gave an offering for the exact same amount of money that she had just blessed Carmen with in order to pay off her debt! What an awesome ending to an awesome testimony! To God be ALL the Glory!
Just spent a great week hosting and partnering with a group from the organization WHIM, which stands for Women’s Hands In Mission, based out of Pompton Plains, NJ. The team was led by the founders, Bonnie Holmes & Charlene Mason, whose heart & vision are to empower women and girls in impoverished areas through education and technology. The team brought in and donated 30 tablets to the government school “Las Rosas” which was founded by the former first lady Patricia de Arzú. The women had a very fulfilling time introducing and teaching this mode of technology to the teachers and girls at Las Rosas. Bonnie & Charlene fell in love with the students and teachers of Las Rosas on former mission trips down when they were part of the teams from First Reformed Church of Pompton Plains. It is a privilege to be able to partner with an organization like WHIM and bless schools like Las Rosas where they not only educate the students, but share the Gospel on a daily basis.
We are off and running with a full ministry schedule for 2015 and it is such an honor and privilege to have been serving in Guatemala for more than 20 years now! God is faithful and we continually thank HIM for empowering us through all of our partnering churches, family & friends who so actively join with us through prayer, encouragement and generous financial support to take the Gospel of Jesus by Igniting Passion and Empowering Vision!
LIVE OUT LOVE– CWS – Elmont, NY
We just spent an awesome week of ministry with another first time mission team from Elmont, NY (Long Island). The team was led by Ann Vadakottu a former missionary who served here with us two years ago. We had the privilege to be leadership for Ann’s life during her ministry time here and because of that, God divinely put us in relationship with her home church, Community Worship Service. Pastor Cecil Mathew (senior pastor) was also part of the team and set the spiritual atmosphere for the team.
The whole team was uninhibited, very intentional, and extremely passionate during all their ministry times and especially during our nightly devotionals. Even though none of them spoke fluent Spanish, they came prepared knowing their skit and all the worship songs in Español. Our days were filled with a variety of ministry adventures from the mountain top and back to the big city. The Holy Spirit went before us while we shared God’s unconditional love, never-ending forgiveness, HIS mercy & grace.
One thing that made this team unique from any other we’ve had, is the fact that this team was made up of 11 Indians (India) and one native Haitian. With our family and our Guatemalan friend Crista who came to help translate, our team was the most “International group” we’ve ever had ministering together for a week. It’s amazing when God’s children come together in Spirit and in Truth because truly, there are no racial barriers or differences in HIS eyes when we LIVE OUT LOVE as the body of Christ. THANK YOU Ann, Pastor Cee, and each team member for all your hard work to make this an incredible week! We are so grateful for our time together, and all that HE did in us and through us…to HIM be ALL the GLORY!
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