Friday, July 15, 2011


Ran out of time yesterday, so I didn't get to post. I'll try to fill in the blanks. On Thursday we spent the day in San Antonio working at the student center. It is run by a Guatemalan lady named Anna Louisa with help from a couple from Germany. The student center program is called "Step by Step" and it provides after school educational programs as well as meals for children in the town. Right now, they are cooking on what is the equivalent of a 5 gal. bucket with a fire in under it.

We finished chipping away the paint and plaster from the outside wall so it could be refinished. We also finished pouring the concrete slab for the kitchen we are building. Some of our group went to the town square to play with kids and give out candy and tracts. The man Cecelia had spoken to on Tuesday was there and I had an opportunity to share the Gospel with him. He is interested in Christianity and has been reading the New Testament. He didn't accept Christ today, but we made sure he knew what he needed to do, and we left him a "Steps to Peace with God" tract.

On Friday we split up the groups and some went to the church that Mike and Carla attend - it is an inner city church in Guatemala City. It is also a student center, and they had a birthday party with the kids. I went with a group that went back to San Antonio to get the walls up on the kitchen for the Step by Step student center. We were able to get the walls up and the mission team that is coming in tomorrow will put the roof on and install a new stove. It is a drastic improvement for the center.

We're about to start evening devotions, so I'm going to stop for now.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Today was a great blessing. We spent the day in San Miguel, where we were all week last year. We saw the kitchen that we helped build; it is now being used by the school to provide hot meals for the kids. We also saw many of the children that we ministered to last year. They seemed to remember us. We weren't able to go to the "small school" so Jamie was not able to see the little girl she had connected with, but some of the others are in the student program being sponsored by Clubhouse Guatemala so we got to spend the day with them. It was great to get to be with the kids again.

We also installed four stoves in the village. Most homes in the village have open fire stoves that are usually found in out buildings near the home, but they have very little ventilation and the women  have to deal with the smoke while cooking. The stoves we installed were made of cinderblock and concrete but also have an exhaust pipe to vent the smoke. The new stoves also use 3/4 less wood than a typical Guatemalan stove, which will be more economical for the families.

At the first home that we installed a stove, when the installation was complete, Mike Parker shared the Gospel with the home owners, a man and woman in their forties, and they both prayed to receive Christ as their Savior. They were both raised Catholic, but were not practicing any religion. Afterward, Mike said this is the first family that he has provided a stove for that prayed to receive Christ. He has installed about 100 stoves over the last year and he always shares the Gospel, but most of the time the people claim  to be Christian because they belong to the Catholic church. Mike was on Cloud Nine today. We were thankful to be a part of two more souls for the Kingdom of God.

Tomorrow we return to San Antonio to finish the kitchen for the student center. We'll also go into the city square to minister to the kids and hopefully have a chance to share the Gospel. Please keep us in your prayers.


Just getting around to posting about day two of our Guatemala Mission Adventure. Was exhausted last night and went to bed early; had a productive but tiring day. We worked all day in San Antonio, on a student center that provides after school program for children. We prepared for and began pouring the floor to the new kitchen we are building for them; mixing cement on the ground by hand and moving it by wheelbarrow. We also began removing paint and plaster from an outside wall, using machetes, hatchets, hammers and various other hand tools. It is a long and tedious process. 

Some of the group went to the city square and attracted a crowd of kids. They played with the and loved on them. Cecelia had an opportunity to witness to a man who told her he didn't have a religion but he was reading the New Testament to help him learn English. She gave him a "Steps to Peace with God" tract. We are going back Thursday, please pray that Manuel will be there so that we can talk further with him. J-Bob witnessed to the Teresa who, along with her husband and a Guatemalan lady named Anna Louisa, run the student center in San Antonio. Teresa is from Germany and was Catholic but now says she is not "in church." J-Bob talked with her and gave her a Gospel of John and a tract. Pray that the seeds planted will grow and produce fruit. 

The other church groups we are working with have been great. The Youth Group from Bel Air Methodist Church has been impressive. They are eager to work and have done everything that has been asked of them. One young lady, Kendall, has worked circles around most everyone else. She is an athlete (placed 4th in her state in shot-put) and has worked tirelessly at some of the hardest jobs. Cecelia has made a friend from Gillespie Ave. BC in Knoxville. She and Mitchell pick at each other all day, and Cecelia is loving it. 

Well the bus has just arrived to take us to San Miguel. I'll try to post more later tonight.

Monday, July 11, 2011


We arrived safely in Guatemala yesterday (Sunday) and was picked up at the airport around 10:30 am Guatemala time. We picked up the other teams that are here. We learned that there is actually 4 teams here this week: the largest group is a youth group from a Methodist church in Maryland. There is also a group of 6 from Gillespie Ave. BC in Knoxville (including Kelly Woods nephew, Austin), and a family of four from Northstar Church in Knoxville, and our group of eight.

After picking up the other groups we all went to Antigua (Central America's oldest continuous city) for our down day. When we finally arrived back at the mission house, our team was exhausted. Most of us were running on 3 hours of sleep or less. We all slept well last night.

After breakfast this morning we headed to the village of San Mateo, a mountainous village about an hour from the mission house. Mike has partnered with a church in the village to do a "Character Counts" ministry for the local kids. We spent the morning leveling the ground in the church's courtyard preparing it for sod and seed. As it is, the dirt courtyard ground was sloped and drained into the building that housed their children's ministry. We leveled the ground (by hand) and tomorrow they will be bringing in sod. It is a real blessing to the church.

In the afternoon, we held a birthday party for the kids who are registered with the ministry center in San Mateo. There are about 55 children involved and we provided a pizza lunch, drinks, and balloon decorations. When the pizza was brought in, someone asked the children how many of them had ever had pizza before, only three out of the 50 or so kids, raised their hands. After the pizza party, the kids had a tienda, or toy store. The kids in the Character Counts program earn points by doing things like, learning memory verses, helping at the ministry center, helping at home, etc. At the tienda they can cash their points in for toys and games.

In the afternoon, some of the group went to the ministry site that we will be working at tomorrow. It is in a city call San Antonio, and is in the downtown area. A man and his wife operate a feeding center and an after school program for kids, but they don't have a kitchen to cook the food. Tomorrow and Thursday we will be building them a kitchen from the ground up. Today we cleared and leveled the area where we will be building. We also had to unload a ton of sand from a truck that was too big to fit through the gate of the place we are working. We unloaded it with shovels at the entrance to the gate, then we had to move the pile to another location so we could get in and out of the gate. It was a full truck load of sand and it had to be unloaded and moved all by shovel. Our groups will sleep well tonight.

Everyone is doing well. Brittany is battling a cough she had before she came down. She feels fine, just irritated with the cough. We'd appreciate your prayers for her. I'll try to post some pictures later on our Facebook page.