Ahhhh the joy of going home!!! Ok so I know technically Guatemala is not my home yet however, it really is starting to feel that way. I had the opportunity to return to Guatemala in February with our church’s missions team. York Christian Church (YCC), our home church, has taken a team to Guatemala for the last 3 years and this year there will be 2 teams going from YCC: one in February and one in July. For months before this trip I found myself consumed with feelings that were a mixture of excitement and sadness. I was excited because God was allowing me to be a part of our church’s missions team again this year and return to Guatemala. I was sad because due to work Dylan was unable to go on this trip with me this year. BUT GOD was faithful like always and it was an incredible trip!!
We arrived at New Life Children’s Home (NLCH) late in the afternoon on Thursday. The children were already out of school so we got to see them right away during the team tour of NLCH. It was so heartwarming to see them come running up to us and greet us right away. This was a second or third trip for many of us on the team and it was so special to see how the kids remembered us. One little girl, Isa,
started a game with me the very first time we visited NLCH where she runs up to me, steps on my toes, and then runs away laughing. I then chase her and we continue a game of back and forth stepping on toes. She has remembered this game and every time we return to Guatemala it is the first thing she does when she sees me. Many of the children have little things like this with members of the YCC team. It’s so awesome to see how God has developed relationships between us, the children, and the staff at NLCH. Everyone on the team agreed that the children opened up to us much more quickly this year than in previous years. This is largely due to the consistency we have with going every year and building relationships, showing the children we love them and they are important enough for us to want to return to visit with them.
We spent a lot of time serving at NLCH. They had many projects for us to do and it is such a blessing to be able to serve with them. Our service helps the home to continue to function properly, prevents NLCH from having to hire people to do some of these projects, and frees up the staff so that they are able to focus on their many other tasks. NLCH provides a safe haven and a place where abandoned and abused children are provided for and given the opportunity to grow into amazing young adults. It is such an honor to be a small part of what God is doing there. We worked hard during the day and spent time playing with the kids and developing relationships in the evening. The relationships that were developed were not only between team members and the kids but also between team members and NLCH staff. A relationship that is built out of serving and loving together is an incredibly unbreakable bond.
There were 5 members of the Serving At Risk Families (SARF) leadership team on the YCC missions team during this trip. Paul and Christina Springer, Kathy Aldinger, Trent Davis, and myself along with Lisa Corzine (who may become a future member of the SARF team) had the opportunity to visit 4 of the 5 families SARF has partnered with over the last year. We visited with the Fuentes family. This is Yanira and her siblings, the family that I wrote about in the last blog update who recently lost their mother Modesta.
We then visited the Godoy-Alvarez family, Monrroy family, and a family of 2 sisters Emilia and
Dipoli. Please see the SARF prayer requests which tells more about each of these families and provides ways that you can pray for them. It was a life changing experience for those members who have never met the families before and it increased the desire in all of us to push on and continue to grow the SARF ministry. God is doing incredible things through this ministry and we consider it a blessing to be allowed to serve.
Thank you all for your prayers for Dylan and I during this trip and all of you who prayed for the whole team. Please check out our updated prayer request page for our latest prayer needs. Every time we are in Guatemala God confirms for Dylan and I that this is where He wants us to be. We are so thankful for the faithfulness of all of our friends and family who continue to support us on this journey!! We thank God everyday for the blessing of having such wonderful friends and family and for ALL of His MANY blessings.