First things first:
At the end of the last newsletter we wrote that we had BIG NEWS ABOUT OUR MEDICAL MINISTRY!
For the last 2 1/2 years we’ve been hosting and working with nurses from Colorado who have come to visit and have helped us develop and implement a nutrition program as well as help plan our clinic. Karlie Ruiter, an emergency room nurse, has been coordinating EVERYTHING! That’s taken a huge load off and has allowed me to spend more time with the boys at the middle school and academy.
Karlie and her husband Jeff are moving to El Rosario in August to run everything medical. And because God is so faithful, Jeff will be stepping in and eventually take over the building ministry! That will include coordinating and managing house builds, building clean air stoves, bathrooms and delivering water filters.
If Vonda and I could interview 1000 couples to join us, we would choose Jeff and Karlie, every time. They are compassionate, kind and on fire for the Kingdom. They understand “The harvest is plentiful,” and they’re ready to pour themselves into serving Jesus alongside us. *** If you’re interested in partnering with Jeff and Karlie, please message me. You would be fortunate to be on their team.
Our favorite Instagam posts / photos:
Speaking of our nutrition program!
These little ones stop by the academy with their momma’s every Friday at three in the afternoon. We pull out a scale and weigh each one. They always stare down as if they have any idea what the numbers mean.
I don’t know why they love it so much. They’re always smiling. They’re always excited. Maybe they feel the peace at the academy that I feel. Like the Holy Spirit rests here.
Before they leave we pray for them and we give them PediaSure for the week. We give their momma’s papayas, eggs, and black beans.
When Karlie Ruiter, a nurse form the States, and her husband move here in August, our nutrition program will probably grow five times.
Until then, it’s slow and steady growth for these little ones. They’re under the watchful eye of our Lord.
According to the United Nations World Food Program, 50% of kids in Guatemala are undernourished and that number climbs to 70% in rural villages. I absolutely believe those numbers. I see it every day.
What we’re doing now / What we’re excited about:
All moving parts, are moving. We’ve hired Rolando, a strong Christian man from El Rosario, to lead bible at the academy, which is a huge answer to prayer. We’ve always wanted to have Guatemalan men teach bible, but honestly, we never even dreamed Rolando would be part of our team. It would have been too good to be true. And yet, with God, all things are possible. Even the things you don’t dream about.
We’ve hired a private tutor to give our 21 scholarship kids the best opportunity to succeed! I’m super excited about this! They meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-6pm. This supplements their day of class on Sundays. The first week was amazing. The students said Luis explained things better than their teachers at school! I can’t wait until next year when they’ll be learning from teachers WE hire.
The academy is in full swing and we have about 40 kids going through our doors every day! We have 80 boys enrolled in the academy! That’s a lot of tortillas. Just sayin’. Our food budget is growing alongside our second building.
The middle school is in its fifth week and I can’t tell you how much I love it! My favorite part of the day is the 7:30-8:15 a.m. bible study. I’ve been teaching these boys since they were in the 3rd grade! I wish I could beam you here for a day…for a morning. I CRAVE to share this ministry with you. I know my words and photos don’t do it justice.
In the next newsletter I’ll be sharing more about our “Six day Intensive Exposure to Missions.” If you’ve ever wanted to learn what missions is about, if you’ve wanted to take your relationship with Jesus further, you don’t want to miss our next newsletter. Seriously. If this is you, don’t miss it.
The walls of the building next door are climbing! It feels like construction will be done next week…but, there’s a lot of work to do. We currently have enough cash raised to get us through mid May. If we can raise the remaining $75,000, the building will be done at the end of July. The day it’s complete, the day we can move in, we’ll be filled to capacity. We’re ready to move the middle school boys over, open the clinic and we can’t wait for Karlie and Jeff to get their butts over here to help us out.
What’s coming up:
In a few weeks we’ll be announcing our SPRING CATALOG! We’ll be sharing how we plan to raise the needed funds to finish construction.
Last month we took our first vacation in 4 1/2 years. We drove 10 hours to Tikal, a Mayan Ruin deep in the Guatemalan rainforest. I’ll just let the photos tell the story.
Sunrise was so beautiful. Clear skies. We could hear the howler monkeys waking the forest up.
Dang. I have beautiful kids. They’re growing up so fast. I can’t slow it down! Hug your kids people!
And this is what happens when you ask your son to hold your phone for a second.
Let us know in the comments what your favorite photo is!