Guatemala Mission Team – Day 5

*”For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not
be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken
spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” Psalm

Today we had sort of an off day to go tour the Mayan ruins at Iximche and
do some shopping. That didn’t mean God had an off day working on our hearts
though. Before we began the tour, we were informed about how some of the
ruins are still used by modern day Mayans to worship at and make
sacrifices. When we arrived at this particular part of the park, there were
two groups of people performing ceremonial rituals. If our teams hearts
were not broken for the Guatemalan people already, watching them perform
these acts to a god who is not alive nor real certainly did it. It was
surreal to watch. You hear about these types of things still happening in
the world, but to watch it with your own eyes is heart breaking. Praise be
to God who does not want sacrifices, but a broken heart. He did not ask us
for a sacrifice but sent his son to became one for us. I pray that the
Guatemalan people will have broken and contrite heart before God so that he
can take their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh!

At our nightly group time we prayed over the supplies we are giving
tomorrow at the home dedications. We also split up with our prayer partners
to pray specifically for tomorrow and what the Lord is going to do. Please
continue to pray for the dedications. They are the most important part of
our trip in that it is the time that the Gospel can go out and do its
mighty work.

*May the Lord be known and glorified amongst the Guatemalan people.*

Guatemala Mission Team – Homeowner Profiles

We’ve talked all week about the homes we’ve been building and now is your
chance to meet the homeowners. We’ve compiled some information about each
family and ways we can pray for them. The village we’ve been working in is
called “Community of Blessing.” It is a community the government created to
give families of a local mudslide disaster land to own at no cost. With our
home dedications tomorrow, we feel this is a great way for y’all to pray
specifically for the families we will be sharing the Gospel to.

*The Hernandez Family*

Felix (not pictured) and his wife Angelica (center) have been living in
this community for a year. They have one child, Meily (center), who is four
and are expecting their second child in September. They currently do not
attend church at this time and used to be Catholic. They have asked us to
pray for Angelica who has high blood pressure caused by her pregnancy.

*The Lopez Family*

Sandra (not pictured) is a single mother who have been living in the
community for a year. She has one child, Wendy (pictured), who is 15.
Sandra wants to become an archeologist. She has asked us to pray for her
family who has been moving from place to place a lot. She wants to stay in
the community and plant her life there.

*The Hernandez Family*

Carlos (35) and his wife Dora (33) have been living in the community for
four months. They have five children: Karen (11), Daniel (8), Carlitos (5),
Walter (4), and Rodrigo (1). Carlos works at a bakery. He has worked there
for 20 years and just recently became the owner. They have asked us to pray
that Carlos’ bakery would be successful.

*The Torres Family*

Gracíela (73) lives with her husband Vernacíous (63) and their grandson
Cesars (17) and Romano (12, not pictured). Vernacíous is a stroke victim
and is confined to bed. They have asked us to pray for his condition and
for their son who lives in El Salvador.

*The **Guitterez** Family*

Juan (not pictured) and his wife Dora have been living in the community for
about a year. They have a daughter Abbigail who is three. Juan works at a
coffee factory. They have asked us for prayer for his brother who is
addicted to drugs.

*The Torres Family*

Marta is married to Raul (not pictured) and they moved into the community
about a year ago. They have three children: Lilian (15), Wendy (12), and
Ezekial (8). They have asked us to pray for their family and for Raul as he
is off working.

*The Lopez Family*

José and his wife Elizabeth have one child, Elsa Sofia. They prefer living
here in this community. José used to help builders but currently does not
have a job. They ask for prayers that he will find a job to support them.

*The Perez Family*

Francisco (22) and his wife Reanna (19) have an eight month old baby girl
named Genesis. Francisco is currently not working but wants to become a
mason. They have asked us to pray that they will finally receive their
paperwork from the government to own the land they are currently living on.

Now you can put faces to the homes we have been building. We have
dramatically increased these peoples quality of life with these homes. But
if we stopped there, then this trip was nothing more than a humanitarian
project. Tomorrow is the most important day of our trip. Its when we get to
express to these people that the love of Christ in our own lives is what
has brought us here to Guatemala to build these homes. It’s when Cesar gets
a chance share the Gospel to these families. I pray the Holy Spirit is
already preparing these hearts for God’s word to come in and do a mighty
work in their lives.

*So that God would be praised and receive all the glory and honor.*

Guatemala Mission Team – Day 4

*This is the day that the Lord has made! I will rejoice and be glad in it!*

We started off our day singing this song as a part of Allison and Kat’s
devotional. It was a great way to get our spirits up and prepare us for
another day of ministry. Our teams split up again today. We had another
medical mission that was able to treat about 85 families. One build team
went back to the homes we built to put the finishing touches on them. The
other build team went to the local seminary to meet a need they had by
painting an apartment.

Tonight’s devotional was very special. Diane challenged us to trust God to
work through us and not to feel that we cannot do whatever God has called
us to do. She then beautifully reminded us of Christ’s sacrifice by drawing
a picture with chalk of Christ on the cross while music played. Also, Cesar
was able to join us tonight for dinner and group time. We gave him gifts
that we had brought for his two children and his wife. He was very grateful
and thanks all of y’all for your continued support of him and his church.

Tomorrow we are going to tour Mayan ruins and go shopping. Please pray for
safety as we’re driving and moving about the city. We’re not finished yet
with our ministry. Saturday we will dedicate all eight homes on the same
day. This is a special time to express to the homeowners why we’ve come to
Guatemala to build them a house and to share the Gospel through Pastor
Cesar. Pray that the Holy Spirit will go ahead of us and prepare the hearts
of those homeowners so that God can do a mighty work in their lives!

*To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.*

Guatemala Mission Team – Day 3

God’s blessings are new every morning! We were blessed to be all together
today to finish building our eight homes. The day didn’t start off well
when one build team found a large rock under where a post needed to be
placed (see pictures below). They persevered and were able, with much work
and many people, to get the rock moved. The day moved on better from there
and we were able to get all of our homes done early. As always, building
was not the most important thing on our minds. There was plenty of time for
loving on the locals and spreading the Good News as we had opportunity.
Through tracks, New Testaments, and broken Spanish we were able to plant
seeds of the Gospel that we pray God will continue to work on to bring more
children into His family.

Tomorrow we will be splitting up into three teams again to meet different
needs in the community. There will be another medical mission right down
the road from the mission house. One build team will be back at our homes
putting the finishing touches on them and the other team will be painting
an apartment at the local seminary. Continue to pray for God to strengthen
us as we are about half way through our week here. Also, pray that the Holy
Spirit will go ahead of us to prepare the hearts of those we will meet.

Guatemala Mission Team – Day 2

What a wonderful day it’s been serving the people of Guatemala! Today was
our first full day out in the community. We had two build teams that were
able to build four homes. That’s half of all the homes that we planned to
build this whole trip. There was also a medical team who treated roughly
150 families. All the teams also interacted with the local people to build
relationships. We packed up the teams a little early in order to get to
food distribution at Cesar’s new church building (pictures below). Before
we handed out food, there was a short service in which Cesar was able to
share the Gospel with the 150 families that were invited to come. As they
were leaving, they came through our line to receive their food. It was a
wonderful time to meet an immediate need in their lives. More importantly,
it was a wonderful time to tell each person “Jesús te ama*”* (Jesus loves
you). Even though we cannot speak their language fluently, it was a simple
way to express to them a beautiful truth of God. With each new smile, hug,
and kiss, our hearts were broken for the Guatemalan people. *May God be
glorified in Guatemala!*

*Prayer Requests*

We were blessed to have Tiko, president of the local seminary, come and
speak to us during our nightly group time. He expressed some ways that we
can pray for him and we’d like to pass those along to y’all.

1. The seminary is going on their first overseas mission trip to Spain this
summer. Currently, the price of the plane ticket for each student is higher
than what was budgeted. He has asked us to pray that God would provide the
extra or that the prices of the tickets will go down.

2. On October 31, the seminary will be celebrating life which will include
a parade. Instead of celebrating death through Halloween, they will be
celebrating Reformation Day. Pray that the community will come out for the
celebration and hear the good news of the Gospel.

3. Finally, Tiko will be traveling to Boston on Thursday to preach on
Saturday and Sunday. Pray for his traveling grace and also that the Gospel
will be spread through his teaching.

Continue to keep our team in your prayers as we all go out tomorrow
together to build houses. Prayers for strength are coveted. Pray that we
are not so short sighted to think that building these houses are our main
goal. Our main goal is not temporal, but eternal: *To spread the love of
Christ to these people so that He may be known!*

*Cesar’s new church!*