January was such a busy month for us here in Guatemala. We had 4 new missionaries arrive and stay with us the first week of January, we worked countless hours to get all of the children in the families we serve registered and supplied with all their material for school, and then we had our January team come serve with us for a week. But as always with the busyness comes blessings. One of the biggest blessings we had was getting to help prepare backpacks for 30 children in the families that we serve. You may ask why is preparing backpacks a blessing so let me share why.

First off we spent 2 days (about 3-5 hours per day) ordering and picking up all of the supplies needed for the students. The schools and teachers here in Guatemala don’t have money to provide any school supplies for the students like they do in the states. This means that each child gets a LONG list of things they need to supply when they register for school. You can see one of the lists in the picture below. These lists include everything from writing paper to toilet paper…as I said the schools provide NOTHING.

This is just ONE of the list of school supplies that each family has to buy for each child.  And the things that are crossed off aren't because they aren't needed we just couldn't find them at the first store.  Imagine this list times 30!!!

This is just ONE of the list of school supplies that each family has to buy for each child. And the things that are crossed off aren’t because they aren’t needed we just couldn’t find them at the first store. Imagine this list times 30!!!

The reason that spending all this time ordering and picking up the supplies was a blessing is because it is the first time that we had the opportunity to work together as a team with the new missionaries who will be here serving with us and even though there was a lot of waiting during this process we had a lot of time to talk and learn more about each other.

After we finally got all the supplies we spent a total of 8 hours sorting all the supplies and packing the backpacks for each individual student. This was a blessing because it was the first time our new team took on a big project together and it went great! Dylan and I were only able to be there for the first 3 hours because we had to teach Celebrate Recovery that night but we knew we were leaving everything in capable hands with our new teammates. It took us a little while to figure out the most efficient way to do things but eventually they got into a groove and finished.

Finally, once all the backpacks were ready each family came and picked up their backpacks. This was a blessing because we always love getting to spend time with the families we serve and it was a great opportunity for our new teammates to get to know the families we serve.

We also had the chance at this time to pray with each of the families individually for blessings over their lives, for the kids to have a great year in school, and most importantly for all of them to continue to grow closer to our Lord and Savior who makes all of this possible.

I can still remember what it was like to get all my new school supplies as a kid and I’m so grateful the kids in the families we serve got to experience this excitement again this year. For all who pray faithfully for the families we serve here, for those who donated backpacks, who sponsored a child for a backpack filled with supplies, or those who sponsor families monthly thank you! Thank you for partnering with us to make this happen and for allowing Jesus to use you to give hope to the children we serve here in Guatemala.

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