When You Want to Change Your Husband

What should a married woman do when she wants her husband’s behavior to change? What’s a good starting point for initiating this kind of conversation with your spouse?  Nancy Guthrie,
Jen Wilkin, and Jackie Hill Perry discuss this question and more in the video below.  
 
 
 


Guatemala 2016-Day 7

For our last full day in Guatemala, we visited Cesar’s church. Several of our team members participated in the service.
Heading into church

Heading into church

Sarah shared her testimony

Sarah shared her testimony while Cesar translated. 

Clay share his testimony as well.

Clay share his testimony as well.

Kevin sang "New Again" by Brad Paisley.

Kevin sang “New Again” by Brad Paisley.

 
Bro. Ken brought the message. Cesar translated.

Bro. Ken brought the message. Cesar translated.

 
What a beautiful time of worship it was with our Guatemalan brothers and sisters. And Bro. Ken’s message was a great reminder that once we are in Christ, we are all family. It doesn’t matter where we live, how we live, what color our skin is, or what language we speak, we are united in Christ–“one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5). 
 
As our time here draws to a close, it’s bittersweet. We are all ready to be reunited with our families back home; and yet, we know we’ll miss this beautiful place and these beautiful people. We’ll be leaving the guesthouse early in the morning to get to the airport and catch our flight back to the U.S. Please pray for UNeventful travels. Lord willing, we’ll see y’all soon!
 


Guatemala 2016-Day 3 (Food Distribution)

The crowd waiting to receive food

The crowd waiting to receive food

Setting up/preparing the food to be distributed

Setting up/preparing the food to be distributed

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16
 


Guatemala 2016-Day 3 (Construction)

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Click here to see pics from the medical clinic.
Food distribution pics are here. 
 


Guatemala 2016-Day 3

Another full day of ministry has been completed–a medical clinic, three construction teams, a group of teacher assistants, and a food distribution that provided one month’s supply of basic grocery items for 150 families! 
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Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of your crops. ~Proverbs 3:9 (NIV) Posted on the wall of the church where the medical clinic was held.

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Explaining to a son how to provide therapy for his mother at home.

 
 
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Excited to get glasses and BONUS–They matched her sweater. 🙂

 
 
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Playing peek-a-boo with a patient

 
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Elders of the church praying with one of the patients before she leaves the clinic

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These girls taught Mrs. Karla a little Spanish

Ms. Shirley helped entertain the kids while they waited to be seen at the medical clinic.

Ms. Shirley helped entertain the kids while they waited to be seen at the medical clinic.

Construction photos here...
Food distribution photos here


Guatemala 2016-Day 2

Today, our 25 person team was divided into four different work sites. Three groups were sent to begin construction on houses and one group was sent to the local seminary to help with English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.
 
We are excited to report that after the first day of construction, SIX houses are near completion and construction on houses #7 and #8 has begun. 
 
And as promised, here are more pictures…
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Sarah reading “Jesus Loves Me” to an English class. 
 
 
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Attentive students practicing their English skills.
 
 
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This lady was so excited about having her house built that she met our team at the truck and carried tools to the worksite–even with her baby on her back. 
 
 
 
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Praying with a family before the construction of their new home began. 
 
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Construction
 
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More construction
 
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Investing in eternity as we build relationships with the people.
 
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Hanging with the locals. Who said language had to be a barrier?!
 
 
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The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. 
Psalm 19:1
 
 


Guatemala 2016-Day 1

Day 1 is done!
 
After a couple minor delays with our flights, our team of 25 arrived safely to the guesthouse in Chimaltenango. 
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Entering Guatemala City with a volcano on the horizon.
 
 
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Current road conditions in Chimaltenango.
 
Tomorrow, the team will be sent out into four different locations–three will begin building houses and one group of ladies will be serving at the local seminary where an elementary school was started in January. 
 
Please pray for our team–that we would show the love of Christ in all that we do, and that God would be honored and glorified through our time here. 
 
More photos coming soon…
 


Guatemala 2015 – Day 5

As one of the team members said to me after supper tonight, it amazing how each day has been better than the last.  Today was a unique day in some ways – not just for this week, but unique compared to previous years as well.  Because all the teams worked so efficiently earlier in the week, there was time and manpower available to do things for the ministry here that wouldn’t have been done – at least not by us – otherwise.  A few of our folks took care of purchasing, picking up, and installing a new dishwasher.  Others worked on a few electrical issues around the mission house and property.  There were also a few plumbing tasks to tackle.  John and the others here at Grace Ministries spend so much of their time serving others.  It was a blessing for us as well as them that God allowed us to serve them for a change.

Also unlike some previous years, we only had need for one small build team to finish up homes today.  Because there wasn’t as much physical labor to be done, the team had a few hours to spare which they used to love on the people in the village.  As Bro. Wayne pointed out in our devotion this morning, all of the hard work we’ve done this week – building the homes and building relationships with the people – is leading up to tomorrow when the homes will be dedicated and the Gospel clearly shared with the families.  We’ve lived out the Gospel in our actions.  We’ve lived out the Gospel in kind words and laughter.  Now we will communicate the reason for all they’ve seen in us this week.

Putting the finishing touches on the homes.

 

Just as on the previous day, we also sent a team to another church in the community to do a medical clinic.  This time with the same two members serving to diagnose and treat the patients and with other members supporting by helping triage, translate, and occupy kids they were able to see 143 patients!  And just like before, all involved fell in love with the people, young and old alike.

Diagnosing patients.

 

A few of the smiling faces around the clinic area today.

 

The same church which hosted the medical clinic today also hosted a food distribution this afternoon.  We handed out what should be enough food to supplement an entire family for a month and did so for 200 families.  It was unique time in that this part of the ministry moreso than any of the others so far allowed us to connect – serve, touch, hug – the adults as well as the children.  To have 200 families arrive at a small church (which at the moment was essentially a large shed) with no issues – no pushing and shoving, nothing – and an expression of gratitude on every face is amazing and certainly a “God thing.”  It’s also very humbling and convicting to see such gratitude for really very little coming from people who have very little.

Here the families are beginning to line up for the food distribution.

 

Handing out food … and smiles!

 

There’s nothing like looking them in the eye and telling them that Jesus loves them while acting out that love in the same moment.

 

For supper we were joined by familiar faces in Pastor Cesar and his family.  Afterward we went upstairs and took some time to encourage them and also share a few gifts which should meet some immediate needs for this sweet family.  As Bro. Ken pointed out later on, because we have a common confession (Christ as our savior) we have a common bond even though we may be separated by thousands of miles and even greater distances in culture.  But despite such separation, I have never felt such a connection with another brother whom I barely know.  It’s something that can only be explained by understanding God’s word and the work of the Spirit.

Cesar and family.  Sweet people if ever there were any.



Guatemala 2015 – Day 4

Today we awoke to a beautiful sunrise with a clear sky out in front of the mission house but fog settled in the valley below revealing only a few tree tops.  God certainly knows how to paint a masterpiece!  Because the view was so perfect, we opted to do our morning Bible study on the roof of the mission house.  It certainly set the tone for the day with Bro. Ken talking about God’s perfect design and how He is most glorified in our weakness.

The sun was just beginning to hit the top of the volcano.

 

The tasks for the day were slightly different this time as we had a group going to do the first of two medical clinic days.  Despite having only a small group they were able to see 125 people today.  They treated aches and pains, swollen tonsils, and even q-tip cotton stuck deep within one individual’s ear.  So many things we take for granted because we have easy access to medical care and medicines are obstacles these people live with, sometimes for years.  Thanks God’s guidance in calling just the right people to serve on the team and just the right donations to be given, they received care and medication they likely would have never received otherwise.

Providing a service many of these people have no access to outside of this ministry.

 

Much of the success of the med team was thanks to those who went to simply play with the kids.  It may sound like a trivial task, but those individuals played a crucial role as well since they could keep the kids preoccupied while parents or siblings were being treated.  And more importantly, we could build relationships that, while they may only have lasted for the day, could have an eternal impact on those young lives.  One of our team members spoke of building a bond with a brother and sister in particular, and before they left stopping to say (in the best Spanish he could muster), “Very important … Jesus loves you.”  We pray the memories of fun and laughter tied to those simple words make them stick in the hearts and minds of those kids until the Jesus opens their hearts to see their need for him and trust that despite their sin, Jesus loves them.

Fun times that lead to sharing the most important message these kids could ever hear.

 

Of course we also sent build teams back to the village to finish a few homes and start the final ones.  They also saw God moving as one of the families in particular certainly seemed to be responsive to the prayer and brief words shared with them prior to the team starting the home.  We hope to see even more evidence of God moving in their hearts when we reach dedication day on Saturday.  Please focus your prayers for that day!

One of the teams praying with the family whose home they were building.

 

Just as before, the build teams ploughed through the physical labor portion of the day, but also made time to build connections with the kids and homeowners.  It’s been amazing to watch as the kids have warmed up to us the longer we are there.  We know as long as we are willing to serve and faithful to show the love He has lavished on us, God will be faithful to bless us and use us to accomplish His will.  That is all we can ask.

Loving on the kids … and being loved on in return.

 

While it was a wonderful and productive day, it was also a long and hard day!  There was no shortage of tired eyes, achy backs, and sore muscles when we got back to the mission house.

Even our pastor needs some down-time once in awhile!

 

Tomorrow we will send a small group to do the finishing touches on the 10 homes we’ve built, a larger group to the second day of medical clinic, and others will disperse to do a few things for the ministry here that we wouldn’t have been able to do were it not for the hard work put in the past few days to get us ahead of schedule.  What can I say?  God is good!



Guatemala 2015 – Day 2

(NOTE: Our apologies for the delayed post.  Shortly after supper yesterday – Tuesday – the internet connection at the mission house went down.  It still wasn’t up when we left this morning.  So the post below is actually from Tuesday, Day 2.)

Today was our first day in the field, and what a day it was!  Not only did the two build teams complete a record amount of work (6 houses built except the fronts and #7 laid out with the posts set) but we also sent a team to work with a new ministry for Grace.  That team spent most of the day helping a group of ladies prepare food and activities for children from the very poorest families in Chimaltenango.  The ministry seeks to provide school tutoring, activities, and hot meals for at least one child from these extremely poor and overlooked families.  The kids provide the ministry with an avenue tby which to minister to and share the Gospel with their entire families, and change the lives of the (currently) 35 or so children in the program.  This is a truly unique opportunity and one we hope to watch grow over time.

A few of our team members with the kids in the tutoring program.

 

Doing a little babysitting before getting started for the day.

 

Back in the small village where the build teams worked today God immediately opened a door no one could have foreseen.  The last thing you would probably expect to find in a village where the terrain has next door neighbors separated by 50+ feet of elevation is a girl in a wheelchair … but that’s exactly who God led us to.  A few of our members had the opportunity to speak with the family and help educate both them and the girl on things they can do to help strengthen her crippled legs.

Bringing tools to the first sites.  You can get some indication as to how steep the terrain is in this village.

 

As stated above, the actual home builds went extremely well.  Both teams worked together well and with positive attitudes all around.  Before beginning each build the team would meet the family whose home they would build and pray with the family members who were present.  We got to work alongside some of the new home owners as well as others from the village who wanted to help.  Working in such close proximity allowed us to share laughs, high-fives, and love.  Of course there were also dozens of beautiful children to be found watching us as we worked.

Brother Wayne didn’t have to beg too much to get them to pose for a photo.

 

This is the first time Grace Ministries has worked with this particular village so the people, and the kids especially, didn’t quite what to expect when we arrived.  As such, the children watched from afar more often than not when the day began.  But as the day wore on and they got to see that we cared for them and their families, they quickly warmed up.

A few fashionistas in the making.

 

It’s an amazing and humbling thing to see these children who, quite honestly, live in extreme poverty and often squalid conditions by Western standards … and yet they are so happy and full of life.  The curiosity and wonder with which they look at things like power tools, white skin, and blonde hair brings a smile to your face.  And the smiles they give in return could melt any heart.  It’s no wonder Christ loved children as he did while on Earth, and it’s obvious how important it is that we share His love with them while they still have their whole lives ahead of them.

Bruce had an app that would record your voice and play it back sounding like you’d inhaled a bunch of helium.  I’m not sure who enjoyed it more … Bruce or the kids.

 

I pray God will use even the small gestures and simplest words this week to plant seeds in their hearts that one day will sprout and for which He will send someone else (maybe even you!) to harvest.  Please continue to pray that God will make our work efficient, our lips quick to speak the good news, and our hearts open to His moving.

A few more pictures from the day …

Tillmon provided the muscle for job.

 

One of the build teams installing tin on the house.

 

We’re not the only ones Corey had laughing today.

 

The roof is nearly done and it will soon be time to move on to the next house.

 

Defying gravity as the kids cheered on this jump-roping duo. 

 

A sweet moment with a precious child … one of many such moments this day.