Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January 2012 Newsletter

Greetings from Guatemala!  We hope each of you had a wonderful holiday season.  Ours was extra special thanks to a certain 19 month old who made it a lot of fun.  During December we hosted two missionary couples who live and serve in Guatemala City for a few days.  It was nice to have their fellowship and company.  Shortly after they left I became ill and spent the next three weeks recovering from getting e-coli and having rotovirus at the same time.  I spent two nights and three days in a local hospital getting drips for dehydration and antibiotics for the infection.  It was a miserable month for me and I am glad to be feeling better again!  We made a trip into Guatemala City to attend our annual mission Christmas party with the other IMB missionaries.  We had a wonderful time there.  David was able to be a part of the organizing of a new Kekchi mission.  We celebrated the five year anniversary of our arrival in Guatemala this month as well.

This months pastors meeting was extra special. It was exciting as they all brought in the offerings that their churches had collected on Christmas Eve.  This is their equivalent to our Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.  This offering is used to support their six national missionaries and the association of 60 plus churches and missions. They collected a good amount of money considering the average income for most of these families.  We are humbled by their sacrificial giving and service to the Lord!

As we look to the new year we see a lot of change for our family.  In addition to the adjustment of having a new baby around (due the end of April)  we will also be moving to a new area. We will begin work with a new people group- the Chorti, and a new language.  We have plans to move to the Chorti area the end of this month.  Yes, sometime around the week of the 23rd.  On our last trip to that area back in November we found a small apartment to rent in the town of Camotan.  It is located about 45 minutes outside of Chiquimula and about 20 minutes from the Honduras border.  We have been making plans since to move and we think we have it all lined out.  I am feeling a little overwhelmed with the idea of packing this house, moving seven hours away, unpacking, and getting settled in to a new place, all the while being pregnant.  It was our choice to move now though instead of waiting until after the baby was born.  I would rather be there and adjusted when he arrives than be facing a transition.  Once settled in we will continue learning all we can about the Chorti people and their culture.  We also plan to begin learning some of their language.  We plan to make trips back to the Kekchi area to keep up with the work and be a presence of support and encouragement to the pastors and leaders.  It is going to be a very challenging year for us.  We are excited to see how the Lord is going to work it all out and begin to use us in that new area.  Would you pray us through these transitions?  We are going to need them a lot this year!

During the past five years of living in Guatemala we have done a lot of adjusting.  We have had good days and bad days.  We have encountered sickness that at times seemed unbearable.  We have traveled many hours on many dangerous roads.  We have seen lives changed and lives destroyed.  We have studied two languages (and are facing a third).  We have seen our family grow from two to now four.  We have hosted many teams and have made some amazing new friends in doing so.  We have eaten foods that I would have never dreamed I would have eaten.  We have seen God work in amazing ways and have learned over and over just how faithful He is.  Many of you have been right there with us praying us through all of these adjustments.  We cannot express enough how grateful we are to all of you who regularly lift us up in prayer and show an interest in our work here.  It is a great encouragement to us!  We thank you and ask for your continued prayer support in the year ahead. 

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