Over the past week here in the village, I have had the opportunity to speak with countless people. The majority, when they have come to the project to receive assistance. It is very common when they are leaving for them to say “Yo no te lo puedo pagar, pero Dios te lo pagará” or “Dios les va a bendicir.” Meaning “I cannot pay you, but God will.” or “God will bless you.” Theses phrases have intergraded themselves into the everyday speech here in Guatemala.
I prayerfully thought about these words as I went house to house this week. God continued to affirm that those phrases don’t need to be in the future tense. We don’t have to wait for God to begin to bless us when He is already working on our behalf. What we fail to see is all the ways in which God blesses us, and equips us daily.
Yesterday afternoon I had a conversation with one of our volunteers about this very topic. He asked me to further explain what I meant. It was already four in the afternoon by the time we had sat down to talk. I explained to him that since I had woken up at six o’clock in the morning someone was always with me. The ladies come to make breakfast, a volunteer came to organize the food distribution, and he accompanied me on home visits. All blessings from God that could easily go unnoticed. But, it did stop there. Not only did God bless me with company, but also with the ability to walk house to house. The ability to communicate in another language. Health and energy to complete those tasks. The list goes on.
I continue to pray for a humble heart, and an attentive mind that sees God’s blessings that we often view as daily routine. It is not that we wait for God to give us something in return. But, noticing all the ways in which we are blessing, and returning all the glory to Him.
Now that Brennan is on the ground and going to be in Santa Maria for several months, we wanted to update you on a few things we are working on.
In the past, we have had weekly bible studies for our volunteers when one of us is present to lead them. We feel this is extremely important, yet something we take very seriously. In the past we did not have someone in mind we felt confident leaving this responsibility with when we left. After much time and prayer on both our ends and his, we are excited to announce we have found a local friend to lead bible studies at our facility. He will lead weekly sessions for our volunteers and go on home visits pray for and minister to individuals our organization is serving. He has completed graduate training in psychology and is a long-standing member of the church we attend in Guatemala. We are excited for the growth we are sure to see in our volunteers and community members through his work.
In addition to this, we have found a local pastor to minister to the elderly at our feeding program. The idea is to have a weekly or bi-weekly devotional time with them as they eat at our community center. Until recently, our ability to do this has been limited in the past due to the language barrier to Kaqchiquel (the native dialect spoken in Santa Maria, especially amongst the elderly population). We now have a local pastor from the village who we trust and are confident in his ability to minister to the elderly who attend our feeding program.
We are excited to share with you in the near future a taste of the stories of the village. We are continually overwhelmed by the strength of these resilient people and the stories they share with us. They are stories of hope amidst hardship and are unlike anything you hear regularly in the United States. We have taken to interviewing some of our volunteers and members of the community who benefit from our programs and are in the process of refining and editing life stories they have shared with us. We look forward to sharing these stories with you in the upcoming days and weeks.
Finally, as we near the end of the year we want to remind you of the needs of our new facility. After a 6 month trial period, we have decided to purchase the facility we presented to you in June. It has served us extremely well and provided us with a safe facility for the community center and even has a cistern to serve as our water source. We ask that you prayerfully consider donating towards our goal of $48,000 to purchase the facility and pay for the lawyer fees to get the paperwork settled. This is an investment in the future of our nonprofit and place this need humbly before our devoted supporters. We are confidently trusting God to provide for this need, just as he always does.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any concerns or questions with regards to anything you have read in this newsletter. In this season of thanks, we want you to know how thankful we are for all of you and your continued support and encouragement. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families from Guatemala!