Guatemala-Bound…

Tomorrow’s the day! I can’t believe it’s already been six months since I began preparing for this journey. I cannot thank all of you enough for your support, prayers, and encouragement! Between your financial generosity and all the supplies you so generously provided, I’m fully-funded and taking FIFTY POUNDS of supplies with me!

For updates on our trip, you can check out this blog  and I will also try to post updates on Facebook when possible.

Here’s our general itinerary:

Sunday, February 2nd – Team arrives in Guatemala City and prepare for ministry (shopping, orientation, supply sorting, etc).
Monday, February 3rd – Team travels to Xela and meets children at Little House of Refuge. There will be cooking classes for the older girls, a cardboard boat regatta for the boys, and playtime for the younger girls.
Tuesday, February 4th – Team serves at Little House of Refuge (project work and teaching in the morning and time with the kids in the afternoon).
Wednesday, February 5th – Team travels to Antigua (a 3-5 hour journey), and has an afternoon of respite before preparing for ministry on Thursday.
Thursday, February 6th – Team distributes food and shares the Gospel at a local garbage dump called “The Ravine” in the morning in Chimatenango (a 45-minute journey), and spends time with the girls at Mi Especial Tesoro in the afternoon.
Friday, February 7th – Team serves at the Ravine School in Chimaltenango in the morning, and spends the afternoon with the girls at Mi Especial Tesoro.
Saturday, February 8th – Team serves alongside girls of Mi Especial Tesoro, ministering to the elderly at Cabacitas de Algodon in the morning, followed by a special farewell lunch. Team returns to Guatemala City in the afternoon.
Saturday, February 9th – Team returns to the United States.
Here is some information about the ministries with which we will be serving, as provided by our team leaders:
Casa Hogar: Mi Pequeño Refugio (Little House of Refuge or Little House) – Xela, Guatemala
(on a map, look for the city of Quetzaltenango)
Pequeño Refugio is a private orphanage run by sisters Lourdes and Teresa. This Christian children’s home houses up to 70 kids at a time ages 4 – 18.  All of the children that reside at “Little House” have been removed from their families due to abuse of some kind.  In addition to the home, there is a school on the property. In addition to education, each child receives psychological counseling and Bible teaching. These children are amazing when it comes to Biblical knowledge – chances are, they’ll be able to recite all the scriptures we’ll use in our time with them! Courtney and Ronne (the team leaders) have considered Little House our “home away from home” since 2009, when we were privileged to be a part of the first team of missionaries to visit the orphanage.  Orphan Outreach “adopted” Little House that same year, and now church teams from all over the US have answered prayer after prayer. These teams have done construction & painting, helped provide livestock and clean drinking water, taught job skills, established a sponsorship program, and most importantly, just spent time loving on kids.

Mi Especial Tesoro – Chimaltenango, Guatemala
Houseparents Cesar and Carol provide a loving home for 13 teenage girls as well as an 18-year old daughter and 9-year old son of their own.  Tesoro is a private Christian girl’s home where the girls receive biblical guidance, emotional support, and stability to aid in their healing.  The girls in this home have been removed from their families by the court system due to abuse or neglect.  Orphan Outreach just celebrated their first anniversary ministering to Mi Especial Tesoro, and we have been blessed to be there every step of the way so far. In just a year, tremendous work has been done to provide improvements to living facilities, give the girls much-needed personal items, build a sponsorship program for ongoing care and support of each girl, and establish a loving, nurturing relationship with everyone there.

The Ravine and The Ravine School – Chimaltenango, Guatemala

The Ravine School serves the children of the families that work in the city of Chimaltenango’s garbage dump, which is located in a ravine outside the city. The school was created in the minds and souls of the Mi Especial Tesoro caregivers, Carol and Cesar. The school started from an effort to teach the girls of My Special Treasure about serving others. In 2012, Carol and Cesar starting bringing the MST girls to the ravine dump to assist the children and families each Saturday. Around 100 people work at the ravine dump everyday, searching and sorting for things they can re-sell at the market on the weekends.  These families work from 12 to 14 hours a day of work making roughly between 3 to 4 US dollars a day. Their job is difficult, but it is worthy of admiration and respect because these parents work hard to be able to provide for their children in an honest and worthy way.

Cabecitas de Algodon 
Just a short walk from the center of Antigua, this nursing home provides a place for elderly residents that would otherwise be homeless.  Many of the residents either have no family to care for them or have been dropped off because their families don’t have the resources to provide basic necessities.  Though our visit will be brief, it will bring joy to the residents who are happy to see friendly faces.
  • Please pray for our team as we serve the beautiful people of Guatemala. We are all excited and can’t wait to see what God does in and around us this week.
  • Pray that we will be flexible and open to whatever God has in store!
  • For me specifically, please pray for the continued safety of our little baby (14 weeks tomorrow) as I travel. We’re starting him/her as a traveler from the beginning! 🙂
  • Please also pray that God will work in my heart this week in mighty ways.
There will be plenty of pictures and stories when I return! 🙂

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