Sunday, December 1, 2019

December 2019 Newsletter

We have felt your prayers this past month.  Thank you for praying for all of our activities.
The anniversary service in Nearar went very well.   They had a great turnout for both services.  It blessed our hearts to get to worship with them again.  It was good to see that they are doing so well and continuing to grow and reach others.  Pray for Pastor Rafael and his wife Luz as they lead out in reaching their village for Christ.  Pray that this next year would be their best year yet. 
We went a day early so we could make home visits with some of our old contacts.  One of our favorite visits was in La Libertad.  Many of you have prayed for that area and specifically Nicolas and his family.  As we hiked up the hill to their home the first thing we noticed was the smiles on their faces.  The joy that had not always been there seemed to have returned.  We had a wonderful visit with them and they just beamed as they shared how the Lord is working not only in their lives but the church as well.  In the month of October they had seven new believers and had already baptized five of them.  What an encouragement that was for us to see and hear.  Continue to lift up this work, family, and village in prayer. 
David enjoyed getting to attend the Guatemala Baptist Convention in early November.  It was a time for him to form new relationships with pastors and also a time to renew relationships with others including the many Kekchi brothers who were there.  The Kekchi will always be dear to our hearts and we are thankful for times of fellowship with them.
A highlight of the convention was the Pokomchi being recognized as their own association and being accepted into the convention.  Here is IMB missionary to the Pokomchi Jeff Thomas with them as they are being recognized.  Pray for the Pokomchi work and that God would continue to bless it.  Pray for these leaders as they strive to reach their people with the Gospel. 
Thanks for praying for David's trip to Orlando to attend the Florida Baptist Convention.  It was a great experience and he enjoyed getting to meet and visit with several pastors and leaders while there.  He also had the opportunity to preach in the Sunday morning service at First Baptist Church, Titusville, FL.  We enjoy getting to be in churches and saying "thank you" in person for the way Southern Baptists support their missionaries.
Just this past week we hosted a small team from Alabama.  We have worked with the Browders many times over the years. They are a precious couple who are big supporters of missions both at home and internationally.  While here we spent a few days working alongside a local pastor making home visits.  We encouraged, prayed, and loved on many.  They also spent a lot of their week just loving on our family and encouraging us.  What a blessing it was to us to have them come down and just want to be a part of what we are doing.  You do not have to be a part of a large team to serve.  Small groups like this really do breathe life into missionaries. 
We attended a goodbye party for the Thomas family who are returning to the U.S. after serving 17 years with the IMB in Guatemala.  Pray for their family as they readjust to a new life there.  It can be a very sad and difficult time.  Pray that God's grace will carry them through the days ahead and bless them with ministry opportunities in their new area.  We will miss them and their friendship but are thankful for our years together on the mission field. 
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day celebrating with other families at our mission house in Guatemala City.  In addition to eating, we spent time singing hymns, reminiscing about mission times over the years, remembering those who have served before us, and praying for one another.  It is always a special time that we look forward to each Thanksgiving. 
This month you can pray for the Indigenous Conference that will take place December 2-4.  This year it is being hosted by the Kekchi in Coban.  It is an annual event where indigenous pastors and leaders gather for a time of worship, training, and fellowship. Pray for those leading and attending that it will be a wonderful time of growth for each one.
As we enter the Christmas season we would like to ask you to prayerfully consider giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.  Your gifts go to support missionary families like ours all over the world. Many are hearing the gospel for the first time and lives are begin changed and transformed.  It takes everyone doing their part to make this happen.  Some pray, some give, and some go.  Together we are reaching the multitudes.

This Christmas season you can be a part of what God is doing around the world by giving.  You can give through your local Southern Baptist church or online at: Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

On behalf of IMB missionaries around the world we say thank you!  Because you give, we can go.
Together from IMB on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

November 2019 Newsletter

David began the month of October helping fellow missionary Gary Stone host a volunteer team from Georgia and South Carolina.  They spent the week working in Quetzaltenango and Ixchiguán doing evangelism and outreach.  This was the first time for David to work in that area.  Other than having to endure the cold weather, he enjoyed it.
The boys and I enjoyed getting to visit with the team in Antigua on the end of their trip.  It started a great month of fellowship opportunities for our family.  This past month we have had meals in homes, meals in restaurants, and meals in our home all with friends.  We attended a birthday party for a co-op friend, and the boys enjoyed a fun party at karate class.  I met a fellow homeschool mom for coffee, and we met a family for a play-date at a local park.  We spent a few days with a mother and son from a partner church in South Carolina who were visiting Antigua.  We also made ministry visits, attended a few services at the Baptist church in Parramos, and ended the month with a special service at the Baptist church in Jocotenango to welcome their new pastor.

This month we will celebrate one year of living in Antigua.  I think the thing I am most thankful for about the move is the community that we have around us to share life with.  We are constantly thanking the Lord for the blessing of friends that he is providing for each of us.  Having lived many years in areas that were a little more isolated makes us appreciate it all the more. 
We are kicking off the month of November with a trip to Chiquimula to attend the anniversary service for the church in Nearar.  They will have services on November 2-3.  We are very excited to visit and worship with our church family there.  Pray for a great weekend, for safety of travel, and for spirit filled services.  Pray specifically for lostness in that area and that this weekend will be a productive time of outreach for the community.
Later this month David will be flying to Orlando to represent the IMB at the Florida Baptist Convention. In addition to promoting the IMB in general, he will be sharing about mission opportunities in Guatemala and throughout the Americas. Pray for many great conversations with the church leaders there.  He will also be sharing at a local Baptist church there on Sunday morning November 10.  Pray for his travel and time away.
We will end the month not only celebrating Thanksgiving with our mission family but also hosting a couple from a Baptist church in Alabama that week.  We will spend the first part of the week doing ministry and the end of the week having fun and fellowship.  We look forward to having them here with us. 
On an exciting note, our request for student volunteers for next summer has been adopted by the Georgia Collegiate Ministry. We do not know who they will be, whether they are male or female, but we do know that they will be coming from the State of Georgia.  Join us in praying for the students that the Lord is going to send our way.  Pray that we would be a great fit for each  other.
There are still opportunities available for students to serve in other areas.  Right now there are still openings in Peru, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, and Venezuela.  If you know of a college age student who is interested in doing summer missions, have them visit Summer Sojourners 2020 for more information.
Thank you for your prayers for our family and ministry. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Children's Day 2019

In Guatemala they celebrate Día del niño on October 1.  It is a big celebration day honoring the kids.  They have parties, activities, cakes, piñatas, gifts, and games. It is a lot of fun and the kids all look forward to it.

David was out of town with a team and it rained most of the day.  Because of that we had a simple celebration. Here is how we spent the day.

Dunkin Donuts advertised several cute donuts for the day.  We went and picked up a few the night before to have for breakfast.  We love donuts!!!

Cruz with his Spiderman donut.  They also requested bananas with yogurt.

We had a full morning of school and then went out for lunch at Pollo Campero.  They wanted to eat at the Sunset Terrace but it is currently closed and moving to a new location.  Bummer! Ninja Turtle themed kid's meals at Pollo Campero was just as fun though.  

I have made a cake like this on Children's Day for several years now.  We might change up the flavor and M&M colors but the overall idea is still the same.  The boys will ask me when the day gets close "are you going to make that smiley face cake this year?"  I always do and they love it.  This year we had lemon cake with lemon icing.  Yummy!

 The boys with our cake.  We had already cut it before I remembered to take their picture.

  My sweet boys on Children's Day.

The following day they had a party at their karate class.  After class they got to enjoy cake, games, candy, and a piñata.  Here they are grabbing more candy from the piñata.  How do you break a piñata at karate class?  You put on boxing gloves and take turns punching it until it breaks.  It was so much fun for the kids!!!  I was laughing so much I did not even think to get a picture.  My boys will always remember that.  
 
karate class celebrating Children's Day

It was a fun time of celebrating two of my greatest blessings.  I am so glad that God allowed me to have children.  Days like this remind me of just how much joy kids can bring.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

October 2019 Newsletter

September was a busy month with teams.  We began the month hosting a team from Life Church in Culver City, CA.  This team worked in the Antigua area.  We partnered with two local pastors and helped them do outreach in their communities.  They were able to minister to a lot of hurting families and share words of encouragement with them. They also participated in two worship services with these pastors. It was a great week and we really enjoyed working alongside this church.

They flew out on a Saturday and then David left the following day to join another team from Denver Baptist Church in Denver, NC.  That team worked in the town of Soloma which is in the Western side of Guatemala in the municipality of Huehuetenango.  It is about a 10 hour drive from where we live.  They spent the week doing a health fair in an area where there is very little Baptist work.  Pray for the advancement of the gospel in this part of Guatemala.  Pray that more churches would catch a vision to help reach it.

He had a little less than two weeks at home before he headed out again this past Friday.  He is currently helping host a team from Georgia and South Carolina.  They are working in Quetzaltenango and Ixchiguán doing evangelism and outreach.  Pray for them this week as they serve on mission together.
team from Life Church Culver City, CA
team from Denver Baptist Church Denver, North Carolina
Missions College is an annual IMB training event for US churches, both pastors and lay people, engaging in short-term, mid-term, and long-term missions. This is an intense week with a lot of opportunities for learning, networking, and strategizing.  Whether you have been doing mission trips for years or are just getting started, there is something for everyone.

You will leave encouraged and excited about how God is at work among the nations and with practical tools for how you can be involved in what He is doing.

Registration is now open. Visit imb.org/missions-college to learn more.




Here is a video highlighting the 2019 Summer Sojourner students who served in the Americas. Summer Sojourner is a program for college age students to spend six weeks of their summer working alongside career IMB missionaries.

Job requests for summer 2020 students are now posted. There is even one to serve alongside us here in Guatemala.  If you or a student you know is interested in missions, Summer Sojourner would be a great opportunity.  Visit www.imb.org/students for more information.
On the 24th of this month we will celebrate 13 years of missionary service with the IMB.  It has been a joy and honor to represent Southern Baptists on the mission field here in Guatemala.  Thank you for the way you have partnered with us through prayer and lifted us up every step of the way.  We could not do it without you.  Thank you for your faithful prayers!!!  
Our family celebrating Guatemala's Independence Day 
September 15, 2019
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