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!
For the sixth year in a row, a team of men from Peoples Church, (Bourbonnais, IL) have come down to serve and work alongside of us here in Guatemala. They were the ones who initially helped Pastor Luis in the small village of El Molino, prepare the ground and dig post holes for the 100,000 coffee plants in order to build their future church building. Each year, they still come and bring physical, emotional, and spiritual support to Pastor Luis and this Start With One ministry project. Not only do they encourage and empower the Guatemalan people throughout the week, but they minister to us and one another, especially during the nightly devotional times. What a huge blessing it is to have this team of men every year at this time, and we are so grateful to the church, their families and friends who help make it all possible! A special THANK YOU to Pastor Greg, and team leaders Dick Toepper & Kevin Mansberger who always go above and beyond to pull it all together each and every time. To God be the glory for all that was accomplished in us and through us this past week!
What an amazing week of ministry with a team of ladies from Next Level Church, of Fort Myers, Florida! Every day had a completely different “look” of ministry, but the love of Jesus, the spirit of hope and forgiveness were constantly transmitted each and every time that God ministered through us! Spending time with the little children who attend Casita Benjamin was super fun, and loving on the ladies who work in prostitution on the Line was a bitter/sweet experience. The ladies & children who live in the village of El Tablón also received a huge blessing by the team as we partnered with Pastor Chemita and Rosa in their small village church. The team went all out to bless and spoil a special group of missionary women, me included! All of us women enjoyed an afternoon full of great food, rich fellowship and all out, personalized gifts for each missionary. Randall and I are simply blessed beyond measure to be able to partner with NLC and to be an extension of their church here in Guatemala! THANK YOU for empowering us as missionaries…MUCHAS GRACIAS…and to GOD be ALL the GLORY!
Another awesome week of ministry with another awesome team from our home church, Praise Family from Mobile, AL! The team, led by Pastor Tom Turner did most of their ministry in the small village just south of Guatemala City known as El Tablón. We did work projects to bless Pastor Chemita, his wife Rosita, and their three sons which encourages and empowers them to stay faithful to the call. The team built them a shower area which is the first shower in the whole village! Such simple things in life that we take so for granted! Other ministry highlights included feeding the street people with Yuseppi, visiting his school and ministering to the prostitute ladies who work on the “Line”. Thank you again Praise Family! We love and appreciate you so much! 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 enjoyed an awesome team from our home church, Praise Family (Mobile, AL) which consisted of students from “Flipside Student Ministries” who were led by youth pastor Leo Colón. They put God’s love into action and shared in a variety of places from Guatemala City to the mountainous villages of Las Brisas and El Tablón.
Many of the parents of these students have come on several teams throughout the years so it was great to see the next generation rising up, being stretched and used to minister with the same intensity and love for Jesus. We are blessed to be part of Praise Family Church and fulfilling the Great Commission together in Guatemala. To God be all the glory!
We received the sad news yesterday that “Alejandra” was murdered last Friday. The details about her tragic death are unknown, but police were posted outside of her door all day while we were down at the line.
We, along with lots of teams have shared the Gospel and shown her the love of Jesus in the last few years. Only the Lord knows if she cried out to HIM in the last moments of her life. As we always share with the ladies, there is no guarantee of tomorrow, so don’t wait until it’s too late to make Jesus, Lord of your life…because this important decision determines where you will spend eternity. Alejandra was only 23 years old. Please keep us in prayer as we walk through this sad time with many of her friends at El Oasis.
For the last few days we ministered in full force with an on- fire team of young adults from Next Level Church, Ft. Myers, FL! The theme of “Restoring Broken Dreams” was woven throughout the variety of ministry activities which included loving on the impoverished toddlers who attend Casita Benjamin near and within the city dump, sharing with the ladies at El Oasis, and feeding the poor who live on the streets. The team also got a good taste of village life in Guatemala by ministering in 3 different villages. Hiking an hour and a half up a mountain to the small hidden village of Las Brisas (the Breeze) to deliver protein drink powder to children who are lacking proper nutrition was an eye-opening experience, and and exciting time to share the love of Jesus. (All the protein drink powder was donated by the team from Community Worship Service, Elmont, NY.) Thank you to Pastor Will Hutcherson, the team and Next Level Church for their valuable partnership with us and the ministry of Start With One. We believe that God restored broken dreams as we ignited passion and empowered vision everywhere we went this week!
Off to an amazing start with an amazing men’s team from Peoples Church (Bourbonnais, IL). The guys enjoyed of week of ministry in the Land of Eternal Springtime while leaving behind the cold temps of the Windy City and many inches of snow that hit the Midwest! The group of 12 blessed a village church in El Tablon and its pastors just 45 minutes out of Guatemala City by doing some construction and painting. Watching the pastor’s wife Rosa, light up when she saw the finished walls & ceiling made all the hard work worthwhile. Pastor Chemita and Rosa were excited to finally have their own bedroom in their home. The team also helped make food and feed the homeless, as well as help Pastor Luis and his family in El Molino replace shade cloth over the second crop of coffee plants. Thank you so much to the team, Pastor Greg, Elaine and everyone at Peoples Church for your faithful commitment to the Great Commission and for helping us to Ignite Passion and Empower Vision in Guatemala!
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!