The Long Journey Home | Ordinary Missionaries


Dec 12, 2018 Abuse, Children, Home, Love

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?”

It’s been a long journey.

Over the last 6½ years, I’ve often said, “THIS is why God brought us to Guatemala.” There have been SO MANY REASONS. But maybe. Maybe THIS REALLY WAS WHY GOD BROUGHT US HERE?

We landed in Guatemala in July of 2012 and in January of 2013 we filled out the application and began the process of becoming full time residents. There were two reasons we wanted to become permanent residents. One, it would be easier to travel to and from the US and two, because only citizens and permanent residents of Guatemala can adopt. Adoptions have been closed internationally since 2008. Once we were permanent residents, we applied to be approved to adopt.

Our daughter Cecilia began volunteering at an orphanage where she met Amado and Chayo. Chayo was born deaf and thanks to some amazing, loving people in the States, was able to have an operation for a Cochlear implant. Miraculously, Chayo would be able to hear!

In 2016 Vonda began taking Chayo to Guatemala city once a week for speech therapy and as a family we began taking a group of 6 kids from the orphanage to church on Sundays. We did it to get the kids out but, we mostly did it to give the nannies a break. For almost two years, one by one, the kids from the orphange were going back to their families or getting adopted. The orphanage was now taking in more babies and Amado and Chayo were the only “older kids” left.

And then, in April of 2017 WE WERE APPROVED to adopt!

For the last two years, as we’ve fallen in love with Amado and Chayo, the orphanage has been working with social services to get them adoptable. Social services was investigating their case and looking for family who might be able to take them. Vonda and I always prayed, “Your will be done. Whatever is best for the kids.”

In July of 2017, social services found two younger brothers! As it turns out, Amado and Chayo were given away when they were very young because their parents were alcoholics and could not take care of them. Their father was abusive and is most likely in prison. Amado and Chayo spent time with a grandmother, an uncle and ultimately were turned over to the government to be put in an orphanage.  It’s something we’ll never quite understand.

On July 12th of last year we got this text message from the director of the orphanage.

“Amado and Chayo have two little brothers.”

((A few seconds later))

“Would you and Vonda consider adopting all four?”

((A few seconds later))


“Good, because that’s what I told PGN.” (Social services of Guatemala)

He stretched out His arms on the cross for me and for you and for these four little ones.  We didn’t pray about it.  We just said “yes”.

“But you should have prayed so you could get a clear direction from the Lord.”

This is what the Lord says in His Word.  This was our clear direction.

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

Things were moving fast and Martin and Valentin were added to the court case. The four siblings would now always be together. They could not be legally separated.

We didn’t pray about it.  We just looked at each other and said “yes”.

This is the text we received from the director at 11:47am on June 1st.


Just two words. And a lot of exclamation points!

We were finally matched with the four little ones on October 14th. And then…on November 16th at 1pm, we signed the final papers and brought them HOME!

If you would like to visit our “baby registry” please click HERE.



Post Author

Christ follower.

Husband. Father. Missionary. Head Saturday morning pancake maker.


  • Cora
    Dec 12, 2018 at 7:58 pm Reply

    Thanks for sharing that awesome video! So excited the four littles have a new home with you all, what a blessing for all.


      Dec 12, 2018 at 9:41 pm Reply

      Thank you Cora! YES! Huge blessing for all! ❤️

  • Holli Bishop
    Dec 12, 2018 at 9:29 pm Reply

    So excited for you guys! I loved the video….there’s a whole lotta love in that van! Hey…if I want to buy some things off the Amazon registry, where should I have them shipped? Is someone collecting things to send everything together? Let me know and I’ll order something for each kiddo.


      Dec 12, 2018 at 9:43 pm Reply

      Thank you Holli! YOU ARE RIGHT! “A whole lotta love in that van!” CRAZY LOVE! Also, if you buy something from the registry it is automatically shipped to someone in Windsor who will pack it and get it to us! THANK YOU! ❤️❤️❤️

  • Diane Gish
    Dec 12, 2018 at 10:44 pm Reply

    I want to purchase some clothes for the children, where do we ship them? I buying them through Amazon. Please let me know. I loved the video too! What a blessing for all of you.


      Dec 13, 2018 at 7:17 am Reply

      Thank you Diane! Anything you buy from our registry automatically is shipped to a friend in Colorado who will get them to Guatemala. THANK YOU! If you want to buy anything that’s not in our registry let me know and I’ll get that address to you. ❤️

  • Roxana Mullaney
    Dec 13, 2018 at 6:26 am Reply

    Thanks for sharing. Wow!!!!! What a mutual blessing ❤️😃


      Dec 13, 2018 at 7:18 am Reply

      Thank you Roxana! It’s a beautiful, crazy, blessed home!

  • Michael Myers
    Dec 15, 2018 at 12:35 pm Reply

    This really does my heart good. Thank you so much for sharing.


      Dec 18, 2018 at 7:54 am Reply

      It’s been a long…winding road. Thanks man.

  • Michel Perusse
    Dec 15, 2018 at 3:24 pm Reply

    George and Vonda ~ This truly fills my heart. So glad they are all finally home with you. Love you all ♥️


      Dec 18, 2018 at 8:03 am Reply

      Thank you Michel. When we started this process, YEARS AGO, I remember thinking “It will take a miracle. I don’t see how this is possible.” The oldest was born in Mexico…”How on earth do we find his birth certificate AND get it transferred to Guatemala???” People over 50 years old can only adopt children 2 years old and older. The youngest JUST turned two! You’re not supposed to know the kids you’re adopting…we did. Honesty, it felt like we were climbing a hill with no summit.

      I tell you that story because we serve a God of miracles. We serve a God who still heals today. We’ve seen SO MANY KIDS who should have died but LIVED.

      I am praying for you friend. God heals. Even brain cancer.


      George and Vonda

  • Lisa
    Dec 16, 2018 at 9:35 pm Reply

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story! From the beginning it was a story of hope and trust and faith. His will be done and wow!!! God is so good and waiting was so worth it. Tears of joy were shed as I watched this, from your anxious hearts, to signing the papers, to “let’s go already”, and seeing. Their rooms and very own beds for the first time. This right here is what HOME is. A place of security, belonging, and love. I know when we had all of our littles we were toting around to and from church and all over people would constantly comment, “wow, you’re got your hands full” and all I could think to respond with was yes they are so full of love! And your arms are full right now…the love beams from all of your faces, your eyes, and your smiles, and your arms physically and metaphorically full of pure, honest love. I can only imagine how exhausted you must all be but we are so excited for all of you!💗


      Dec 18, 2018 at 7:52 am Reply

      Lisa, thank you for your kind words and encouragement. Honestly, the last 35 days have been surreal. If we slow down enough to think about what’s actually happening it feels unbelievable. If we slow down enough to think about the next 10 years, it seems overwhelming. I can honestly say, we are living completely in the present. Day by day. Hour by hour. And I believe that’s exactly the way God wants us to live. In the moment. In the present. Merry Christmas. ❤️

  • Sandy G Lange
    Dec 16, 2018 at 9:39 pm Reply

    Wonderful…wonderful…..such wonderful, powerful times in life with Jesus


      Dec 18, 2018 at 7:52 am Reply

      ❤️❤️❤️ ALMOST unbelievable. But SO believable!

  • Byron Hynds
    Dec 17, 2018 at 2:02 am Reply

    “Let’s go already” lol. Amazing. So proud of you guys. Wow the joy coming from the kids is awesome George. Super exciting times ahead. Thank you for being so faithful to His word and for you and the family being so inspirational. A lot of Christians can take a leaf out of your book. You guys never cease to amaze me and you know what? I have followed your journey from the very start and the Lord has been in it every second of the way. Love you guys….and I WILL see you all soon, that’s a promise. Love from the Emerald Isle. God bless my friend and brother!! Wow I’m so touched by that video 😍


      Dec 18, 2018 at 7:50 am Reply

      Brother. Thank you for always encouraging us. It’s humbling because we know you’re on the other side of the pond, doing the same thing. All for the Glory of God. We love you man. Keep ‘er lit!

  • Jackie
    Dec 17, 2018 at 10:50 am Reply

    Incredible! Thank you for sharing those special moments! Praise the Lord!


      Dec 18, 2018 at 7:53 am Reply

      Thank you Jackie! ❤️

  • Rachel Clyne
    Dec 18, 2018 at 9:50 pm Reply

    So happy for all of you. Loved seeing their reactions to the things on their beds! May the Lord continue to bless you as you take care of these precious little ones. We are planning to arrive in Guatemala by July 1 for our own adventure. Adoption is on our minds too.


      Dec 23, 2018 at 8:58 am Reply

      Thank you for your message of encouragement Rachel! Let us know if you have questions about your transition to Guatemala!

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