When I first flew into Guatemala in May 2012, I saw the mountains sticking up over the clouds. I had never seen “real” mountains before, and the 10 days I spent in Guatemala were filled with things about God that I had never seen before.
I recently had the opportunity to present to the eighth grade Spanish class about Guatemala for culture week. As I prepared, it was fun to relive the trip through pictures and remember what God did in my heart and through the team while I was in this wonderful country. God stretched me in new ways physically, emotionally, and spiritually as the team distributed wheelchairs, visited an orphanage for children with disabilities, and laid the foundation for a home.
1 Corinthians 3:6-7, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.”
During this trip God prepared my heart to be a special education teacher, accepting what has turned out to surprisingly be my dream job upon returning home. I saw volcanoes and went spelunking for the first time, witnessing God’s awesome creation in new ways. Above all, I became more grateful for what God has blessed me with, seeing the disparity between my standard of living and the people we visited in the mountains. The people of Guatemala are entirely gracious. I could not expect that an entire village would rejoice when only one family received a quality home and help us, instead of feeling jealous. I could not expect that when giving food to a family in the mountains, they would take out of the little they had to give us lunch, teach us to make tortillas, and pray for us. I did not know that a sewing machine could change a person’s life and bring such a smile. The people I met in Guatemala seemed to have so little, but they have the joy of the Lord!
Nehemiah 8:9, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.”
The alumni team I was on joined with Bethel Ministries International, an organization led by a passionate and sold-out-to-Jesus family, the Mooneys. I hope you will visit their website at the hyperlink or visit them in person, because my description of how they serve God and the people of Guatemala won’t be enough. They have a wheelchair ministry that employs people with disabilities to refurbish wheelchairs that they can distribute to people in Guatemala who need them, as this is a huge need. Bethel also organizes child sponsorship for education, building relationships with the families and helping them in a number of ways. While I was there Donna and Chris took us to Hermano Pedro in Antigua where, if I remember correctly, the only special education classroom is in the country. Bethel has a part in getting support for children with disabilities and other needs to get an education.
This morning I woke up to remember that God is STILL at work in Guatemala, just like He is still at work all over the world. I receive updates about God’s work through Bethel and you can read updates at their blog. Today I read an update about the specific children I sponsor. Marlon graduated with a degree in accounting! Diego is continuing through seventh grade and is working hard in school. The letters from the boys expressed such pride over their schooling and touched my heart. As I teacher, I strongly believe in education. God is multiplying the little bit of support I send each month!
More kids in Guatemala need sponsorship for education. You can see some opportunities at this link. Donna Monney wrote to me specifically about the Tian family’s need for education sponsorship. This family is not yet featured on the website. She writes, “Florencio and Marta have five children, Belkin, Tomas, Sergio, Lilian, and Josué. Florencio is a wood cutter and Marta works doing housework. Their monthly incomes could be around $106.00, when both have work 4-5 times in a week. Some time ago, Florencio abandoned his family because he was an alcoholic but as of four years ago, God restored their marriage. Florencio and Marta really have the desire to give their children the opportunity to continue studying so they can achieve their goals. Belkin is 17 years old and she will be in fourth grade. Tomas is 14 years old. He is not planning to study. Sergio is 12 years old and he will be in first grade. Lilian is 10 years old and she will be in third grade. Josué is 9 years old and he will be in second grade. Their sponsorships cost $25 monthly or a total of $300 for one year each. Please send your donation, made payable to: Bethel Ministries International P.O. Box 573 Reserve, NM 87830. Please place on memo, or in a note ‘Ed/then the name of child.’ Or one time or monthly recurring donations can also be made online on our website. Just add Ed/child’s name in the tribute space. Thank you for your desire to help; their lives will be changed by your love!”
Matthew 7:7, “”Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”