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God doesn’t want to be first in our lives.

This year we’ll have our first graduating class of The El Rosario Christian Academy for Boys! INCREDIBLE. The first year we studied Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. For the last two years we’ve studied the book of Luke. We have two chapters left. I recently asked the boys, “What have you learned over the last 3 years?”

This is what they learned.

“Don’t fear people. Fear God.”  NOT what I was expecting as a first answer. He was talking about the Pharisees and how they were more worried about their status and what people thought about them than they were about God Himself.

“We are saved by grace and by faith.” That’s it. There’s nothing we can do to earn it.

“Only God is good.” He recounted the story about the rich young ruler.
“Good teacher, what good thing must I do that I may have eternal life?”
Jesus answered, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep all the commandments.”
The young man answered, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” Basically saying, “I’ve been good.” Or, “I’m good.” He walked away sad.

“God doesn’t want to be first in our lives…He wants to be the only.”

“The harvest is great and the workers are few.”
I asked, “What does that mean?”
“It means there are many who don’t know God and few who are making disciples.”

“To enter into the Kingdom of God, we must be like little children.”
“What does that mean? How can we be like little children?” The rest of the class answered,
“Be obedient.”
“Don’t question what the Bible says. Trust it.”
“Love like little children love.”
“Forgive quickly.”
“Don’t judge.”

“You are either with God or against God.” Luke 11:23

“There is a cost to following Jesus. You need to count the cost.”
“What does that mean?” (I don’t let the boys off easy.)
“You have to be willing to leave everything behind.”
“What does that mean?”
“Go where Jesus calls you.”

“If we have faith, if we believe, we will put our faith into practice.”
“What does that mean?”
“If we believe, we will make disciples and love our neighbor.”

“We must be persistent in our prayer.”

“We must repent.”
“What does that mean?”
“We ask for forgiveness and turn from sin and temptation.”

At the end of class I told the boys how proud of them I was.  We ended in prayer and I quickly left.  I was emotional.  I couldn’t stop thinking about their future, here on earth, leading their families, and of their future in heaven, basking in His magnificence and glory.

Here are ten things I’ve also learned over the last 7 years in Guatemala.

I’ve learned that I can’t be a missionary, I can’t help the poor, I can’t make disciples, apart from the Holy Spirit.

I’ve learned, the closer I draw to God, the closer I WANT to draw to God.

I’ve learned that what these boys are getting is HUGE. Life changing. Kingdom changing.

I’ve learned that this adoption has been a close representation of Matthew 16:24, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”

I’ve learned it’s easier to SAY you want to put Jesus first than to actually PUT Jesus first.

I’ve learned that I LOVE being 53.  I’m not gonna lie, my body struggles but my mind is strong.

I’ve learned that Jesus doesn’t care how often I go to church or read the Bible if it doesn’t lead to being and then making disciples.

I’ve learned that many Christians would “die for Christ” but aren’t willing to put Him in charge of their lives.

I’ve learned that living in Guatemala as a missionary comes with an insane amount of pressure. You can’t calculate it until it’s already knocked you over.

I’ve learned that it’s crucial to have a few good friends both here in Guatemala and in the United States. (You know who you are.  THANK YOU.)


If you know me, you know I love to read.  I JUST finished LETTERS TO THE CHURCH by Francis Chan.  WOW!  Also, I’ve watched American Gospel Christ Alone twice!  Post a comment by September 15th and I’ll choose someone to get a copy of the book and a copy of the DVD.  SO GOOD!

All our love,
George and Vonda

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  1. As always, I LOVE TO RECEIVE AND READ your newsletters. The ministry is MAKING A DIFFERENCE!! I LOVE YOU BRO!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Thank you brother. Your friendship is invaluable to me.

  2. Your updates are always a blessing. Hearing how lives of young boys are being transformed and filled with hope never gets tiring. It also makes me miss Guatemala.

    1. Thank you George. Guatemala misses you right back!

  3. Wow. Amazing fruit that is just going to keep on multiplying. Lord, BLESS these boys for your kingdom and glory!

    1. Thank you Cathy! For His kingdom and glory.

  4. Love the letters…..puts so much in perspective

  5. “You can’t calculate it until it’s already knocked you over.“ Dang. I think you’re a writer.

    God is doing big big things. Thanks for letting us see it through your eyes. To Him be the glory for ever and ever. ♡

    1. My favorite comment so far! <3 Hurry home.

  6. Thanks for all you and Vonda are doing for the Kingdom and the children of Guatemala. Amazing how God wants to use us to touch and change the lives of others. I always enjoy your updates

    1. Thank you for your kind words Anita. ❤️

  7. Blessings!

    Thank you for your hard work. Love Does. You’re making a difference in more ways than you realize. I always enjoy your updates.

  8. I sure missed spending quality time with you this past summer. We are already on CRI’s calendar for next summer, so we’ll hopefully be able to connect then. As always, I love your deep and insightful posts.

    1. Thank you Eric! Yes! Next time! I’d still like to make it to Alamosa some day!

  9. Thanks for the awesome update, George. Keep doing great things and inspiring others!

    1. Andrew, THANK YOU for partnering with us. Together, we’re making disciples and changing lives. I hope I get to see you again someday brother.

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