As I sit here listening to the daily, pounding rain, I am reminded again, I am in Guatemala. On Thursday it will be one month in this beautiful country.
We spent 2 ½ weeks in Antigua learning Spanish. I am amazed at how much is coming back to me from High School and College. My family is AMAZING and learning Spanish “poco a poco”, little by little. Cecilia and Vonda are DETERMINED and it shows.
We have taken full advantage of our time in Antigua by coming together as a family. We had so much to do in the final 30-40 days in Colorado that we didn’t get to spend a lot of time together. Our gracious neighbors and friends took care of our kids while we tied as many loose ends as we could before we left for Guatemala. It has been one of Gods sweet blessings to give us this time together. We have all been on our knees thanking God for this opportunity. We have prayed for direction and guidance and we feel like God is holding us closely.
After living in a ONE BEDROOM condo we finally moved into our “permanent” part time home. We’ll be living here for a year and then hope to move out of the city to a village where there is more need and more hunger. The closer people live to the city, the closer they live to resources. We have been in our home for 4 full days now and I have to tell you…we love it. It’s a small, 3 bedroom home that just feels right to us. Our neighborhood has two “tiendas”, (small convenience stores). They carry almost anything you need including fruit, vegetables and even dog food. The tiendas are about 8’x10’.
We are all experiencing culture shock in our own ways. Samuel has missed his Grandma’s, Gabriel is already talking about moving back to go to CSU (he’s 10) but is now considering a soccer scholarship and Cecilia misses friends but doesn’t think she will ever move back to Colorado. She’s ready for school to start and can’t wait to be the hands and feet of God. Vonda has started preparation and orientation for teaching missionary kids which will be challenging after being a stay at home mom for 12 years. As much as she struggles with the language her determination makes me so proud to be married to her.
On our second day here we had the opportunity to visit missionaries Brock and Kerrie Johnson and meet the children of the Buena Vista Boys Academy. We have been following the Johnsons and their ministry for the past 6 months and we love what they are doing. When I asked Brock what advice he would give a missionary who has been in the country for less than 48 hours, he said “Take your time to learn the language and the culture. Spend 6 months visiting villages and praying for God’s guidance. Slow down and spend time with God.” It’s probably the best advice I’ve ever gotten in my life. How many times have I slowed down and not just ASKED for God’s guidance but LISTENED for God’s guidance? I’m sad to say, rarely. I never realized how hurried my life was.
Watch this short video of the kids we met and the work the Johnsons are doing in Guatemala. Please pray with us for direction and patience as God leads us.
We had dinner with Mark Orphan, our missions pastor from our home church, tonight! He is in town with a team from Colorado and they will be building a home in the nearby “comunidad”, Cerro Alto. During dinner he asked, “George, what has been your greatest challenge so far?” I wasn’t prepared for that question since most people ask, “What do you love most?” or “What has been the best part?” or some other variation.
I admitted that our move from Antigua to San Cristobal on Wednesday was a hard day for me. Driving in the city is CRAZY. Almost no one in the city speaks English, unlike Antigua, which is known for its language schools. You do not want to get lost in the city. There are sections of the city, “zonas” that “La Policia” will not enter. I realized that finding a grocery store and a place to buy household items like sheets and towels would be stressful. Being unemployed and dependent on God to provide through friends and family became very heavy. On Wednesday it became very real for me.
I don’t know when it happened but at some point I took the focus off me and my world and turned my focus to God. I realized that God did not just drop ship me here and leave me to fend for myself. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
On Thursday we ventured out and purchased some much needed household items and thanks to our new friend Claudia, on Friday we were able to visit “El Mercado” for fruits and vegetables. Poco a poco. Guatemala is feeling like home more and more every day.
Do you ever feel “drop shipped”? Do you ever feel alone or like God’s not listening? My prayer for you tonight is that you not only spend time with God but that you spend time listening to God. Slow down. He loves you and cares about you. He wants to spend time with you. He is there.
Before I go to bed I want to take a minute to thank everyone who is praying with us and for us. We feel your love and prayers. TRUST ME! I want to thank the friends and family who are supporting what we are doing, financially, every single month. We could not be here without you. You are here with us as we get our feet under us. You are here with us as we feed the poor. You are here with us as we expand our boundaries one day at a time. You are here with us as we struggle and you are here with us as we praise almighty God for His blessings. Thank you for standing with us.
If you would like to support what God is doing through us in Guatemala, go to www.God CalledUs.com and click on the link “Support this mission”.
Keep an eye out for Cecilia’s next blog! See Guatemala through the eyes of an 11 year old.
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 (local call for you) 970-449-9449.