Thursday, November 2, 2023

Life Lately October 2023

We began the month celebrating Kid's Day.  It is an annual holiday similar to Mother's Day and Father's Day but is all about the kids.  It falls on October 1.  This year it was on a Sunday.  After church we met friends for lunch at Finca Azotea.  We enjoyed a great meal and then the kids spent the afternoon playing and riding bikes.  

enjoying a little friend time on Kid's Day

sweet friends

silly boys!

Our country was practically shut down for around three weeks due to protests and blockades stemming from the recent presidential elections.   Protests and blockades happen regularly around here, but they generally only last a day or two.  This one was different in many ways.  Thankfully, things have calmed down and are back to normal.
We flew to Virginia to attend a homeschool conference with other IMB families serving in the Americas.
The boys doing math in the airport while we waited to board our flight.  They are both doing a live online class for math this year so we had to keep up their work even though we were traveling. 

boarded for our flight to the U.S.A.
That is always a great feeling! 

The sunset view as we landed in Atlanta.

Like most all missionaries, our first meal was Chick-fil-A.  We enjoyed it in the Atlanta airport.

Ben loved seeing this car in the airport.

We enjoyed watching SEC football while waiting to board our flight to Richmond. 

The conference took place at the IMB's International Learning Center.  It is one of our favorite places to be!  Just entering the property gives you a sense of peace and calm.

We had the best time of the year to be there.  The leaves were changing.  The weather was nice and cool but not cold.  It was just perfect! Fall is my favorite time of the year and we miss the changing of seasons when we are in Guatemala.  Many of our missionaries serve in very hot climates so getting to experience fall weather was an extra treat for them also.


So beautiful!
The conference consisted of a wide variety of activities to enjoy.  The parents had daily classes to attend.  Some of our topics included having challenging crucial conversations with your kids, TCK trends, mom challenges, growing up globally, online learning tips, record keeping for high school, artificial intelligence and the homeschool classroom, internet safety and outside influences, preparing for college, and much more.  Our classes were fantastic and we all learned a wealth of valuable information. 

The kids were in their own classes during the day.  The volunteer team planned many fun educational activities for them to do.  The team also proctored the IOWA test that the kids took.  

Other activities throughout the week included an elementary and middle school science fair, high school oral presentations, a game night, a graduation service to recognize the juniors and seniors, a talent show, a curriculum fair, a parent panel, a college fair, and a surprise birthday party for our wonderful TCK educational consultant.

The homeschool conferences are always one of my favorite things to attend.  This one fell at a much needed time for me.  I left feeling refreshed and ready to continue doing the task.  It is not an easy one and now I feel a little more equipped to keep going.
Ben's science fair project.

Cruz's science fair project.

The moms had a great time together but it was especially life-giving to the kids.  They all had the best time hanging out and spending time with each other.  MK's have such a strong bond and really understand each other well.  I am always thankful for times when they can all get together.  It sure makes our two feel a little more normal.   Here is Cruz with some of his middle school peers on our last night together.

The sunrise view as we landed in Atlanta on our trip home.

Breakfast at Chick-fil-A in the Atlanta airport.

arriving back in Guatemala City

volcano view in the distance
The next day David attended the Bible Institute graduation service for Rafael and Luz.  They lead the church in Nearar.



We are very proud of them!
We celebrated seventeen years of service with the IMB on October 24. 

In late October we attended a production of Beauty and the Beast in San Cristobal (near Guatemala City).  It was a fantastic play!!

The boys knew several students who were in it.   Here they are with their friend David who played Cogsworth.  
The last day of the month was cool and rainy.  We built a fire, roasted hot dogs for supper, and continued our tradition of watching Charlie Brown on Halloween night.  We also enjoyed some pumpkin pie.

hot dogs cooking over the fire

 It was a fun night!
And now we enter Thanksgiving season. This year has flown by fast!

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

November 2023 Newsletter


Roadblocks and Protests
For the first half of the month we were mostly stuck at home due to country-wide political roadblocks and protests stemming from recent elections.  Homeschool kept us busy and occupied while we waited for things to calm down. Pray for the political situation in Guatemala to remain peaceful.  The new President will take office in mid-January.  Pray that the transition will be a smooth one.
IMB Homeschool Conference
Right in the middle of the protesting we had a trip to Virginia scheduled to attend an IMB Homeschool Conference for families serving in the Americas.  Here we are after arriving at the airport in the middle of the night to avoid any roadblocks.  That meant we had a long ten hour wait to board our flight. We were happy to get out for a short break and thankfully things calmed down while we were gone. 

We had a wonderful conference!  I was able to get a lot of questions answered especially for things pertaining to high school and college prep.  Our morning devotions were led by some of our IMB leadership wives.  A highlight was hearing Michelle Chitwood share about an issue she had with her son when he was in school, which just happens to be a struggle I am currently dealing with.  Her words of wisdom and reminder to focus on our children's hearts encouraged my heart in many ways.  It was just one of many takeaways I had from the conference.

A U.S. volunteer team came to work with the kids while we were in our classes. Our boys participated in daily fun-filled educational activities. They also took the IOWA state test and were part of a science fair. 

Other activities throughout the week included a graduation recognition service for our juniors and seniors, a talent show, a curriculum fair, a college fair, and a surprise birthday celebration for our amazing TCK educational consultant.

This conference is just one way that Southern Baptists support their missionaries.  Educational issues is something that many missionaries struggle with. Whether families choose homeschool, national school, or international school, the IMB does a fantastic job of making sure we have the training, resources, and support we need to help our children get a solid education on the mission field.

Thank you Southern Baptists for making it possible to have conferences like this. Our family is truly grateful!
The boys science fair projects.
Graduation Service
As soon as we returned home from Virginia, David headed out to Chiquimula to attend a graduation service for our leaders in Nearar.  For the past three years several from the Baptist church in Nearar have been taking Bible classes at a local Bible Institute.  The church pastor, Rafael, and his wife, Luz, finished the course and graduated. 

This was a huge accomplishment for them both.  When we first met Rafa years ago, he had a limited education.  He has come a long way over the years and has worked very hard to learn.  His desire to be able to read the Bible and grow in his faith has been his motivation. 

Words cannot express how very proud we are of both of them. It has been a joy to see them come to know the Lord, be discipled, and step up to lead the church. This opportunity to study will only strengthen their ability to serve and reach their area with the gospel.

Continue to pray for them, the church, and all the surrounding villages in their area that many more would come to know the Lord through the witness of Rafa and Luz.
  • The church in Nearar will be having their anniversary service November 4-5.  Pray that these services would not only be an encouragement to the congregation, but would also be a witness to the local community as they see the church united and strong. 
  • The  Baptist church in Jocotenango will be having their anniversary service this coming Saturday, November 4.  Pray for their service and that the Lord would continue to use their church to be a light in their city.
  • The regional pastor's meeting for our area will be this coming Sunday, November 5. Pray for a good day of meetings and unity among the pastors.
  • The Guatemala Baptist Convention will be taking place November 28-30.  Pray for great meetings and unity among not only the leadership but all the Baptist churches throughout Guatemala.  Pray that these days would be refreshing for the pastors and leaders who will be attending and that they would return to their churches with a renewed zeal to lead out and advance the gospel.
Lottie Moon Christmas Offering Season
Lottie Moon season is quickly approaching! Where should you begin?
1️⃣ Pray about your church’s involvement with the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
2️⃣ Set a giving goal for your church.
3️⃣ Setup an online campaign for your church.
4️⃣ Download and order available resources.
🔗 Find promotional resources and the new church campaign feature at:

IMB Service Anniversary
Lastly, in October we celebrated seventeen years of service with the IMB.  We are very humbled that the Lord has allowed us to serve Him here for so many years. It has been an honor to represent Southern Baptists on the mission field, to be a face to your Lottie Moon giving, and to host many of you here in Guatemala. 

Many of you we have met as a result of answering the call to go.  Our lives have been impacted greatly by your prayers, your friendship, your love, and your encouragement.  Thank you for coming alongside us on this journey.  You play a vital role in everything we do! Let's keep going!!!

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