Hello from the mountains of Guatemala!
There is so much to update you on…but I’m going to try to keep it brief.
WE REACHED OUR GOAL! Through our Bracelets That Builds campaign, we raised $22,750 in 60 days. THAT. IS. AWESOME. THANK YOU! That, combined with the actual bracelet sales, will allow us to begin construction and complete phase 1 of the Boys Academy. Phase 1 includes one of the classrooms, the kitchen and the dining/meeting room. We begin meeting with the boys on February 3rd. Please pray for them. 2014 will be one big step toward a generational change in the hearts and minds of 45 young boys.
We have been working with Jose Mario for 9 months. Jose Mario has a rare skin disease that we are trying to identify and cure or at least help him manage. We have visited 5 different doctors. We have visited the largest National Hospital in Guatemala and we have been to almost 25 doctor appointments. It would be more frustrating if we weren’t so hopeful and faithful that he is in Gods hands. I continuously ask myself, “What is the will of God in this situation?” “What is God teaching me?” Next week we have an appointment with a team of doctors at the Military Hospital. Please continue to pray God will heal Jose Mario.
I remember the first day I met Maria. She seemed nervous but was so gracious and kind. I remember her cornstalk home wrapped in salvaged plastic that couldn’t have been keeping much wind out. I remember the smoke crawling around and out of her home from the cinder-block fire pit in the corner that she called her “cocina” / kitchen.
There was one dilapidated bed where she and her youngest son slept. The three older boys, 7-11 years old, slept on the dirt floor. The same place I had just seen a mouse looking for leftover breakfast. I remember thinking that on this day; God had brought me to Guatemala for Maria.
I remember praying for her…and then…I remember her praying for me. She told me that she had seen me before that day. She had seen me in a dream that God had given her. She told me that I was there as an answer to her prayers. And then I remember not being able to hold the tears back anymore. It was the first time I cried in Guatemala. Little did I know that those tears would continue and that they may never end. I hope they don’t. I hope I continue to be broken hearted for the Marias of Guatemala. I hope there is joy and peace but I hope there is always empathy with a dose of pain.
Thanks to God, Maria has moved into her new home. It has been under construction for over two months and… It. Is. Done. It’s a block home with two bedrooms. She has a new bed and the boys now sleep in their own room on bunk beds. One of the boys has only slept on a bed, off the ground, one night…ever. Maria has a new kitchen with a smoke free stove. She has a bathroom and a place for her kids to bathe. Maria does not have running water or electricity and yet as I watch her, she is at peace. She is happy. To God be ALL the glory.
How many things in our life do we take for granted? Running water? HOT water? Purified water? Electricity? Light in the middle of the night? A bathroom? A door that locks? A home free of smoke? A LIFE free of smoke? A medicine cabinet? A bed…with blankets? A roof that doesn’t leak? How many things do we use every single day that we are blessed with that we don’t even notice?
This school year, thanks to so many caring people both here in Guatemala and in the States, we will be helping 40 kids with new backpacks filled with a years worth of school supplies. One more step forward toward generational change.
My three “little one’s” started school this week! They were all so nervous and honestly, I have been a little nervous too. They learned so much last semester, but it was challenging. They cried and struggled through making new friends while learning a new language but they did it. Now, after a long “summer break”,they are standing tall and bravely beginning again. We are so proud of them. Please pray that the rest of the year is a lot like the first three days of school this year. All smiles, happiness and peace.
Would you pray about supporting what God is doing through us in Guatemala? If you feel called to be a part of our support team, CLICK HERE. We could not do this without a few people praying and listening to God.
If you would like to support the work God is doing through Vencedor Ministries, or turning in your “Bracelets That Build” donation, CLICK HERE. 100% of your support goes directly to projects like the Vencedor Boys Academy and Standing By the Single Mothers of El Rosario.
When disciples followed a rabbi, they followed him closely so that they would never be out of his sight, never be some place where they couldn’t hear him speak. They followed him so closely that his sandals often kicked up dust.
May you be covered in His dust,
George and Vonda