I can’t believe it’s been five months.
|Photo I took of El Fuego erupting – Antigua, Guatemala
Vonda and I landed in Guatemala on July 19th and since then we have experienced the eruption of El Fuego, one of Guatemala’s many active Volcanoes, we have felt two earthquakes of which one registered 7.2 on the Richter scale, we have survived two hidden scorpions, and have avoided Dengue Fever transmitted by mosquitos, (we knew many people who were very sick from it).
As we took our first missionary baby steps all we wanted to do was run. We wanted to build houses, install wood stoves and care for orphans, all day, every day. But God had other plans. Yes, we have done some of those things but not in the way we originally imagined. God has called Vonda to not just teach at a missionary school but to be a missionary to all the people in her life. My wife is a missionary to her family, to the students and teachers at her school and to our neighbors and friends. She is picking up where she left off in the States and is a huge blessing to everyone who gets to know her.
I’m taking a deep breath as I begin to lay out what God is calling us to do in Guatemala. God’s plan becomes more clear, almost daily. And I have to tell you…it’s a little intimidating. We will be living in San Cristobal, just outside of Guatemala City, for the next 8 months. In August we will move to San Lucas which has a population of almost 20,000. We’re moving to San Lucas for two reasons. First, it is located closer to the village we have been working with so our drive will be 25 minutes shorter. Second, it’s where our kids will attend school for the duration of our time in Guatemala. We absolutely believe this is where God is calling us.
Our kids will be attending a Colegio which is a school for Guatemalans, not for missionary kids. They do not teach in English. At all. This won’t be easy for our kids to say the least. They are learning Spanish now but it is “poco a poco”, little by little. Within a few months of Colegio they will be close to fluent in Spanish. In the end, it will be worth it but there will be struggles ahead.
|We feel God is calling us to the village of El Rosario
Over the next 2 years we will continue to work in the village of El Rosario. El Rosario’s population is about 1,400. There is a local “esquela” (public school) for K-6th grade and a few small tiendas, not much more. Most of the men work in the fields planting and harvesting blackberries or coffee beans. The women stay at home to cook and take care of the kids.
When I first visited the village my instinct was to assess their needs and do my best to raise the money to help them. I believe God has asked me to “slow down”, to get to know the people, and to invest in long term change rather than short term support. If you know me, you know it’s been a challenge. As an entrepreneur in the States I had schedules and time commitments that had to be met. I ran a tight ship and paid close attention to detail. It’s different now. Right now building relationships is more important than building houses.
|This is the school “kitchen” – We will begin construction of a new one in January
We don’t want to “fix” El Rosario. We want to build relationships, encourage them, build trust, let them know we care, pray with them, learn from them and empower them. We know we are all poor. They happen to be materially poor but we all need God to heal our land. It’s not about us. It’s not about the people of El Rosario. It’s about our Father in heaven.
Our missionary journey is not what we expected. It is so much sweeter. God is working in our lives and answering prayers. Every day is another opportunity to get to know Him better and to draw someone closer.
If you would like to support what God is doing through us in Guatemala, go to www.GodCalledUs.com and click on the link “Support this mission”.
If you have questions or just want to catch up, do not hesitate to contact me directly. You can email me at or call our Magic Jack number in Guatemala, 970-449-9449 (local call for you). I would love to hear from you!